Court Procedures- Juvenile
State of Wisconsin- Hudson Municipal Court
The following rules and procedures will help you understand how Hudson Municipal Court functions. This court has jurisdiction over most traffic law violations and all city ordinance violations. These matters are not considered criminal in natures, so you are free to seek representation by an attorney at your own expense as you are NOT entitled to a public defendant appointment. All matters for juveniles are currently heard in private, unless the juvenile knowingly waives a closed hearing after consulting with an attorney.
When you are called into the courtroom, please step up to the podium. Your parents may be seated at the council table to your right. The citation will be read and potential penalties and other consequences will be explained. You will then be asked to enter a plea of "guilty", "not guilty" or "no contest". You may request a continuance for purposes of consulting with legal counsel or for other valid reasons.
If you enter a plea of guilty, it is an admission to the charge. The arrest officer's report will typically be read by the court officer. You will be allowed to make a statement before a penalty is assessed. If applicable, a computerized printout of your driving record may also be introduced by the city. You will receive an order outlining your penalty before you leave.
A plea of No contest is similar to a plea of guilty and will also result in a finding of guilt. However, with a no contest pleas, you admit to no civil liability in connection with the incident, such as a claim for damages (that civic action must be handled by St. Croix County Circuit court). Restitution may be ordered in some cases. As with a plea of guilty, you may offer comments or explanations which you deem relevant to the fact or sentencing by the court. Before leaving, you will receive a juvenile order outlining your penalty.
If you enter a plea of not guilty, you deny the charges against you. Your case will then be set for pretrial. Before leaving, you will be given a Notice of Pretrial and Pretrial instructions.
The following penalties may be imposed: Community service; formal or informal suspension of driver's license; formal or informal suspension of work permit; curfew; house arrest; quiet time; letter of apology; attend "quit smoking" class; undergo alcohol and drug assessment; attend chemical abuse counseling program; probationary monitoring period for school attendance; attend summer school; provide copy of report cards; monetary payment; restitution; or comply with parental directives. Other penalties may also be considered. If you are unable to pay due to economic circumstances you may request either an installment payment plan or to perform community service in lieu of your forfeiture. If you feel that you qualify, please see the clerk for poverty guidelines.
Traffic violations by juveniles are treated the same as for adults. However, defendants between the ages of 14-16 are currently heard in private unless the juvenile knowingly waives a closed hearing after consulting with an attorney. A money judgment may be entered upon a finding of guilt. If you are found guilty of a traffic offense, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) may assess demerit points against your driving record and your driver's license may be revoked or suspended. Assessment of 12 demerit points within a 12-month period will result in suspension of your driving privileges. If you driving privileges are in jeopardy, the DOT will advise you of the number of points assessed and the present status of your driver's license, upon request. A juvenile may not be jailed for failing to pay a forfeiture, but driving privileges may be suspended for up to two years for failing to pay. Community service or other action may be ordered. Possession or consumption of alcohol by a juvenile will result in a suspension of driving privileges, as well as a forfeiture.
This is a court of law. Rules of evidence and proper decorum are expected. Please be quiet when court is in session so all individuals can be heard and present their case without distraction. ALL HATS MUST BE REMOVED. Persons who fail to conduct themselves in an orderly manner will be asked to leave and may be cited for contempt of court. The City of Hudson is committed to ensuring that you are treated with courtesy and respect that every citizen has a right to expect from judicial officers. The court, in return, expects the same courtesy and respect.