Wisconsin Statutes Vehicles (Ch. 340 to 351) § 344.02. Hearing on suspension or impoundment

(1) Whenever the department under s. 344.13 gives notice of the amount of security required to be deposited and that an order of suspension or impoundment will be made if such security is not deposited, it shall afford the person so notified an opportunity for a hearing on the proposed action, if written request for a hearing is received by the department prior to the date specified in the notice, or prior to the postponed effective date of suspension if postponement has been granted under s. 344.14 (1) .  Upon receipt of timely request for hearing, the department shall fix the time and place of the hearing and give notice thereof to such person by regular mail.  The scope of the hearing is limited to the matter set forth in s. 344.14 (2) (k) and, subject to s. 344.14 (2m) , to whether or not the person is the owner of the motor vehicle to be impounded.  Any person who fails without reasonable cause to appear at the time and place specified in the notice shall forfeit the right to a hearing.

(2) No law enforcement officer or other witness called by the person who has requested a hearing to testify on his or her behalf may be paid a witness fee by the department.  No law enforcement officer called as a witness for the department may be paid any witness fee.

(3) Upon completion of the hearing, the department shall make findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a decision, and shall either proceed to order suspension of the person's operating privilege, or registrations, or both, and may also order the impoundment of the person's motor vehicle, in accordance with s. 344.14 , or upon good cause appearing therefor, shall terminate the proceedings.

(4) The time during which enforcement of an order of suspension or impoundment is stayed pending completion of court review thereof shall not be included as part of the one-year period fixed by s. 344.18 (1) (d) for suspension or the period fixed under s. 344.185 (2) (a) or (b) for impoundment.

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