Criminal Division Judges
- Chief Judge James P. Daley (Branch 1)
- Judge John M. Wood (Branch 6)
- Judge Michael Haakenson (Branch 5)
This division hears: criminal felony, criminal misdemeanor, criminal traffic, forfeiture, and traffic cases. Intake Court is where a defendant makes the first appearance in all criminal and traffic proceedings.
Criminal Court FAQs
How long does the Clerk of Circuit Court keep criminal and traffic files?
Felony files are kept for 75 years after the final judgment. Misdemeanor files are retained for 20 years after final judgment. Traffic files are kept for 5 years after final judgment
Can I search criminal or traffic records online?
You can search cases online through the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website. You will find information about your case, including court dates on this site. Please Note: the "WCCA is not the official Judgment and Lien Docket. The official Judgment and Lien Docket is located in each county's Clerk of Circuit Court Office." (from the WCCA website) Please read the agreement on the search page prior to searching your records.
Can I search records at the Clerk of Circuit Court Office?
Yes. Public access computers are available in the viewing room at the Clerk of Court's office on the 2nd floor of the Rock County Court House. You can also search indexes for older cases that are not in the computer.
Is there a charge for searching records?
If you conduct the search, there is no charge. If you have someone from the Clerk's office do the search, there is a $5 charge per search
How do I get copies of documents in case files?
Copies can be obtained from the Clerk of Court's office at a rate of $1.25 per page; the cost to certify a copy is $5.00 in addition to the per-page cost.
I posted a cash bond in a criminal action. How do I get my bond money back?
If the case is still open, the judge will usually require the bond to remain on deposit to secure the defendant's appearance in court, or you may arrange for the surrender of the defendant to the sheriff. After the case is closed, any remaining bond (after it is applied to the fine, court costs, assessments, and surcharges) will be returned to the person designated on the bond form.
Note that if the defendant failed to appear for a court date or otherwise violated bond conditions, the judge may order that the bond be forfeited and issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant.
What are Huber Privileges?
According to Circuit Court Rule 314: "Periods of confinement in jail, either by sentence or as a condition of probation, shall be without Huber/work release privileges unless otherwise ordered by the court." This means that Huber (work release) is not a right; it is a privilege granted by the judge at the time of sentencing. The Huber program is administered by the Rock County Sheriff's Office.
How do I report an address change?
All address changes must be made in writing, either in person or by mail, to the Clerk of Circuit Court. Your must include your case number.
- The court may appoint a public defender, based on income or indigency, for criminal misdemeanors or felony cases.
- Location of the State Public Defender serving Rock County
101 E Milwaukee Street - Suite 301
Janesville, WI 53545-3004
- Phone 608-758-6170
- Wisconsin State Public Defender Website
Traffic Court FAQs
How do I pay my fine?
Please visit the Paying Fees, Fines or Forfeitures page.
I received a traffic ticket. Do I have to go to court?
Your ticket will indicate whether or not your appearance in court is required
My ticket says appearance in court is required. Can I avoid going to court?
You must appear in court at the time and date stated on your ticket.
My ticket says I am not required to appear in court. What happens if I don't go to court?
A default judgment will be entered against you for the "deposit bail" amount shown on the ticket. You will be allowed no more than 60 days after the date of judgment to pay the forfeiture. Failure to pay will result in one or more of the following enforcement actions:
- Arrest and commitment to the County jail.
- Suspension of your driving privileges.
- A civil judgment entered against you.
- Referral to a collection agency.
- Certification to the Department of Revenue for interception of your tax refund.
I want to go to court even though I am not required to appear. What will happen if I appear in court?
The date on the citation is not a trial date; it is an initial appearance before a court commissioner. At this initial appearance you are given a chance to plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty to the charge. Simply appearing in court will not guarantee that your ticket will be reduced. The citation may already be charging the minimum forfeiture and points for the alleged violation.
I want to plead "not guilty" to the traffic citation. Must I go to court to enter a plea?
Your plea may be entered in writing, provided you send it to the Clerk of Court prior to the court date shown on the citation. You may submit a written plea to the Clerk of Circuit Court in person; via fax at 608-743-2223; or by mail. Your correspondence must include: the charge and violation date, the date you were scheduled to appear, the name of the police agency that issued your ticket, the ticket number, your current mailing address and phone number. If you plead "not guilty," notification of a future court date will be mailed to you.
What happens after I enter a "not guilty" plea?
Your case will be scheduled for either a jury trial or a trial in front of a judge.
I want a trial by jury; what should I do?
You have a right to have a trial by jury, but you permanently waive that right if you don't pay the jury fee within 10 days of entering your not guilty plea. The mandatory jury fee is nonrefundable; the fee is $36 for a 6-person jury or $72 for a 12-person jury and is payable to the Clerk of Court.
What if I don't want a jury trial?
By default, your trial will be in front of a judge if you don't post the jury fee in time.
I want to discuss my case with the prosecutor. What should I do?
At your initial appearance, a prosecutor will not be present to speak with you. After your initial appearance, you may contact the prosecutor (either the District Attorney's office for county and state cases, or City Attorney for city cases) if you wish to discuss your citation. You should contact the prosecuting agency before the next scheduled court appearance. If you and the prosecutor do not come to an agreement to settle the case, the matter will be set for trial and you will receive a notice of the date and time of trial.
Can I find out how many points are assessed against me once I am found guilty?
The DMV website is a helpful resource to answer your questions about points and other issues. You can also contact them directly at 608-266-2353. Please note: the court does not make determinations about the number of points assessed against your record. The court reports the conviction of guilty to the Division of Motor Vehicles and the DMV determines the point assessment depending on the charge. If you accumulate 12 points against your driving record within a one-year period by date of violations, your license will be suspended or revoked.
My driver's license has been suspended because I didn't pay my forfeiture. What should I do?
You need to pay the forfeiture to the court, and you must pay a $60.00 reinstatement fee to the Department of Transportation.
How is the dollar amount on my ticket determined?
The dollar amount written on your ticket is a combination of a forfeiture and numerous surcharges and fees.
Why do I have to pay all these fees and surcharges?
State statutes require that the officer and the court include the fees and surcharges on your ticket.
Where do the fees go?
On a typical speeding citation, the minimum amount could be broken down as follows:
- Forfeiture $30.00
- 26% Penalty Assessment $7.80
- Court Costs $25.00
- Justice Information Fee $12.00
- Jail Assessment Fee $10.00
- Court Support Fee $68.00
- Crime Lab & Drug Assessment Fee $8.00