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From the Honorable Judge Kristine R. Weirauch:

The Everest Metro Municipal Court has jurisdiction of traffic and non-traffic ordinances in the City of Schofield, Village and Town of Weston. You have a right to be represented by an attorney or you may proceed without one. If you would like an attorney, you must retain one yourself at your own expense. Since most people are concerned about appearing in court, I offer the following rules and procedures to help you understand how the court functions.

● COURT CONDUCT

This is a court of law and the rules of proper decorum and evidence will be followed. Please remain quiet while court is in session and give others the courtesy to be heard and present their case. Smoking is prohibited in the courtroom. Persons who fail to conduct themselves in an orderly manner shall be cited for contempt.

● INITIAL APPEARANCE

At the initial appearance, the defendant may enter a plea. Only those cases where the defendant enters a Guilty or No Contest plea will be heard. Where the defendant enters a Not Guilty plea, the case will be scheduled for a pretrial at a later date. If your citation is marked for MANDATORY APPEARANCE, YOU MUST APPEAR.

If you are cited for a violation of Driving While Intoxicated and plead Not Guilty, you may request a Jury Trial before the Marathon County Circuit Court. A timely written request to the court and payment of the required fees must be made within ten (10) days of the initial appearance.

● PLEAS

If you plead Guilty it is an admission of the charges against you.

A plea of No Contest is similar to a plea of Guilty and I will treat it the same as a Guilty plea. However, you will not be admitting your civil liability for use in other litigation, which should be expected where personal injury or property damage is involved.

Where pleas of Guilty and No Contest are made, a money judgment (forfeiture) is entered against you. You will be given an opportunity to tell me of any mitigating circumstances surrounding the charge.

If you plead Not Guilty it means that you feel that the charge against you is not correct and the municipality must prove your guilt by "clear and convincing evidence". In short, the facts proven by the municipality must indicate that it is highly probable that you committed the ordinance violation. Not Guilty pleas are not granted by phone. You need to appear in person or mail in your Not Guilty plea which needs to be received by the court before your court date.

● COURT PROCEDURE

When your name is called, please advance promptly to a position in front of the bench. I will then inform you of the charges and of the consequences of your plea, i.e., traffic demerit points, minimum and maximum forfeitures, etc. The court clerk will advise me of the facts of the violation. You may make a brief statement and depending on the seriousness of the present charge and any past record, I will render my judgment accordingly.

Upon a finding of Guilty, forfeiture plus costs may be imposed. Forfeitures are payable in full on or before your court date. If you need more time to pay I will allow you up to 30 days. Failure to pay the forfeiture in a timely manner will result in 1) suspension of your driver’s license until the forfeiture is paid in full; 2) warrant issued for your arrest; 3) intercept your state tax returns for unpaid balances.

● TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS

If you are found Guilty of a traffic offense, in addition to any judgment made by the court, the State 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 demerit points in one year shall result in the loss of your license. Any person holding a probationary license will be assessed the actual points for the first violation. Demerit points double for second and all subsequent violations. Juveniles cited for traffic violations are subject to the same forfeiture and court procedures as adults.

● JUVENILES

The Municipal Court has jurisdiction of persons who are at least 12 years of age and less than 17 years of age charged with non-traffic ordinance violations. Juveniles have the same rights as adults with respect to pleas. They have a right to a private (closed) hearing. A money judgment may be entered against a juvenile found Guilty of a non-traffic violation. If the juvenile fails to pay the judgment, 1) his/her driver’s license shall be suspended until the forfeiture is paid (if the juvenile does not hold a driver’s license he/she will not be able to obtain one until the forfeiture is paid in full); 2) warrant issued for your arrest; 3) intercept your state tax returns for unpaid balances.

● TRIALS

The trial procedure is as follows: 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 witness 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 Court will determine your innocence or guilt. If the Court finds you Not Guilty, you will be discharged and the complaint against you dismissed. If you are found Guilty, the court will impose a penalty, taking into consideration the seriousness of the violation, the hazardous condition, if any that may have existed at the time, and your past record. If necessary, you may have up to 30 days to pay the forfeiture and costs.

● APPEALS

If you are found Guilty after trial, you have the right to appeal your case to the Marathon County Circuit Court. All appeals must be filed in writing within 20 days after judgment. Ask the Court Clerk for an Appeal Form. If you fail to meet this time limit, you have lost your right to appeal. The appeal fee, forfeiture and costs must be posted upon filing the appeal with the Court Clerk. You have the right to a 6-person Jury Trial on appeal, upon payment of appropriate fees.