Penalty For Non-Payment of Forfeiture
If you do not pay your forfeiture on time, the court may:
- Summons to appear for a Good Cause Hearing
- Suspend your Wisconsin driving privileges for up to one year
- Refer the debt to State Debt Collections
- Initiate a tax intercept of your Wisconsin Tax Refund
- Refer the debt to a collections agency
- Jail time
If you are found guilty of a traffic offense, in addition to any judgment imposed by the court, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation may assess demerit points against your driving record which may result in the suspension or revocation of your driver's license. The assessment of 12 or more demerit points in one year will result in the loss of your license.
Any person holding a probationary license will be assessed additional demerit points for the second and all subsequent violations. Juveniles cited for traffic ordinance violations are subject to the same forfeitures.
Operating While Intoxicated Citations
If you are charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant (drunk driving) or with a blood alcohol concentration greater than .08 and enter a not guilty plea, you have a right to request a jury trial.
To secure a jury trial, you must file a written request in River Falls Municipal Court and submit the appropriate jury fee for a six person jury within ten days of your not guilty plea. If this is not done, you lose your right to a jury trial. If a proper jury trial demand is made, your case will be transferred to the County Circuit Court. The Circuit Court Clerk will then notify you of your jury trial date.
The following penalties are assessed if found guilty of Operating While Intoxicated: a mandatory revocation of your driver's license, a forfeiture imposed, a mandatory drug and alcohol assessment, and Victim Impact Panel at St. Croix Valley Restorative Services. If your Blood Alcohol is .15 or greater, you may be ordered to install an Intoxalock on your vehicle for one year.
You may receive a second citation for Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC). Although you can be convicted of both the Operating While Intoxicated and Prohibited Alcohol Concentration, points and penalties will only be imposed on one.
If there was a "Refusal," you may request a hearing with the River Falls Municipal Court in writing within ten days of the issuance of the "Notice of Intent to Revoke." Please refer to the information given to you at the time of your arrest pertaining to refusal procedures.
Underage Drinking Violations
All Underage Drinking violations are mandatory appearances, the Court may suspend your driving privileges for not less than 30 days and not more than two years.
The Municipal Court has jurisdiction over persons ages 12 and older. Juveniles have the same rights as adults with respect to pleas. They also have a right to a private (closed) hearing. A forfeiture may be entered against a juvenile found guilty of a traffic or non-traffic ordinance violation. If the juvenile is found guilty of a traffic violation and fails to pay the forfeiture, his/her driver's license may be suspended for up to one year. If the juvenile is found guilty of a non-traffic ordinance violation, a forfeiture will be imposed. If the juvenile fails to perform the community service or to pay the forfeiture, his/her license may be suspended for up to one year. If the offense is alcohol related, the driver's license of the defendant may also be suspended.
It is the prosecutor (City Attorney) who bears the burden of proving the case against each defendant by clear, convincing, and satisfactory evidence.
The prosecution will produce its witnesses to testify as to the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. You or your lawyer will be permitted to cross-examine each witness. When the prosecution has completed its case, you and your witnesses will be given the opportunity to testify and will be subjected to cross-examination by the prosecution.
After all the evidence has been presented, the prosecution and the defense will be given an opportunity to summarize their respective cases to the court through brief argument. Thereafter, the Judge will determine whether you are guilty or not guilty.
If the Judge finds you not guilty, you will be discharged and the citation dismissed. If you are found guilty, the judge will impose a forfeiture. If necessary, you may have up to sixty days to pay the forfeiture and costs.
If you are found guilty, you have the right to appeal your case to the County Circuit Court. All appeals must be filed in writing in the Municipal Court office within 20 days after a guilty finding is entered. If you fail to meet this time limit, you lose your right to appeal. The appeal fee, forfeiture and costs must be posted upon filing the appeal. You have the right to a jury trial on appeal, upon payment of appropriate fees.
It is hoped that your appearance in Municipal Court will be a learning experience for you.
It is very important that defendants understand the nature of the charge(s) against them, their legal rights, and the possible consequences. If we are notified that a defendant needs an interpreter, one will be provided at no charge to the defendant.