If the defendant fails to appear in court at the time fixed in the citation or by subsequent postponement, or, if an ordinance under s. 345.28 (2) (d) applies, not less time than the period established in an ordinance under s. 345.28 (2) (d) has elapsed since the person was charged with a nonmoving violation, the following procedure shall apply:
Terms Used In Wisconsin Statutes 345.37
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Following: when used by way of reference to any statute section, means the section next following that in which the reference is made. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
- Person: includes all partnerships, associations and bodies politic or corporate. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
- Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
- Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
(1) If the defendant has not made a deposit under s. 345.26, the court shall either:
(a) Issue a warrant under ch. 968 and, if the defendant has posted a bond for appearance at that date, the court may order the bond forfeited; or
(b) Deem the nonappearance a plea of no contest and enter judgment accordingly. If the defendant has posted bond for appearance at that date, the court may also order the bond forfeited. The court shall promptly mail a copy or notice of the judgment to the defendant. The judgment shall allow not less than 20 days from the date thereof for payment of any forfeiture, plus costs, fees, and surcharges imposed under ch. 814. If the defendant moves to open the judgment within 6 months after the court appearance date fixed in the citation, and shows to the satisfaction of the court that the failure to appear was due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect, the court shall open the judgment, accept a not guilty plea, and set a trial date. The court may impose costs under s. 814.07. The court shall immediately notify the department to delete the record of conviction based upon the original judgment. If the offense involved is a nonmoving traffic violation and the defendant is subject to s. 345.28 (5) (c), a default judgment may be entered and opened as provided in s. 345.28 (5) (c).
(2) If the defendant has made a deposit under s. 345.26, the citation may serve as the initial pleading and the defendant shall be deemed to have tendered a plea of no contest and submitted to a forfeiture, plus costs, fees, and surcharges imposed under ch. 814, not exceeding the amount of the deposit. The court may either accept the plea of no contest and enter judgment accordingly, or reject the plea and issue a summons under ch. 968. If the defendant fails to appear in response to the summons, the court shall issue a warrant under ch. 968. If the court accepts the plea of no contest, the defendant may move within 6 months after the date set for the appearance to withdraw the plea of no contest, open the judgment, and enter a plea of not guilty upon a showing to the satisfaction of the court that the failure to appear was due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. If on reopening the defendant is found not guilty, the court shall immediately notify the department to delete the record of conviction based on the original proceeding and shall order the defendant’s deposit returned.
(5) Within 5 working days after forfeiture of deposit or entry of default judgment, the official receiving the forfeiture, plus costs, fees, and surcharges imposed under ch. 814, shall forward to the department a certification of the entry of default judgment or a judgment of forfeiture.
(6) Any person who fails to comply with this section relative to forwarding records of convictions to the department may be fined not more than $100.