What happens at a trial
You have the right to be represented by an attorney or you may go ahead without one. If you want an attorney, you must retain one at your own expense. The court will not provide you with an attorney. The Village/Town tries to prove that you violated the law by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence. The Village/Town will call its witnesses first and ask questions. You can then present yourself as a witness, call other witnesses and present documents such as photos or maps. Affidavits or written statements from witnesses are not allowed because they are hearsay. The witness must come to court and testify. For every witness called, both you and the Village/Town Attorney will have a chance to ask questions. After the judge has heard all the evidence, he will make a decision.
Preparing for trial
Think about what witnesses to the events you want for trial. Unless they will appear voluntarily, you will need to subpoena them at least two weeks before trial. A subpoena is a document you get from the court and then present personally to the witness with the appropriate witness fees. You cannot mail the subpoena. The court provides instructions for this. Also, bring any relevant photos or maps or drawings.
Police testimony and police reports
You should ask the Village/Town Attorney in writing what witnesses they plan to use at trial. If you want to ensure that those witnesses are used, you will have to subpoena them yourself.
Also, do not assume that the Judge has seen the police report. The Judge has not read the police report and will not read the report unless it is properly submitted at trial. Do not assume that the Village Attorney will submit it at trial. If you want the judge to see it, you will have to bring a copy and then see whether or not it will be admitted. You can request a copy of a DeForest Police report by filling out a request form at the DeForest Police Department. To request a copy of a Village of Windsor police report, you may call Attorney Kyle Engelke at (608) 259-2690.
Will I have to pay more than the amount on the ticket if I lose at trial
You might have to pay more. The amount on your ticket is usually not the maximum possible fine. Further, there can be additional costs for witness fees, mileage, and subpoenas. The Judge decides what the penalty will be if you are found guilty.
If I lose, can I appeal?
Yes. The Judge will explain your three appeal options at the trial. All appeals require a substantial filing fee. If the Village loses, they also can appeal.
I’ve changed my mind and want to settle my case.
To contact the Village of DeForest Attorney, call Attorney Dan Evans at (608) 250-9053 between 9am - Noon, weekdays. For the Village of Windsor, call Attorney Kyle Engelke (608) 259-2690.