About Off The Record

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff
Published on: Sep 11, 2017

Promoted as the smart way to fight your traffic ticket, Off The Record's mobile and web technologies promise to make it easy for the country’s more than 200 million drivers to fight tickets, keep violations off their record, and protect their insurance premiums from unjust penalties.

In fact, the website indicates it’s as easy as ordering take-out; the company also boasts a 97 percent success rate.

Compared to traditional traffic ticket lawyers, we’re told the process works over four steps and takes less than a minute. You won’t be required to mail in your ticket or show up in court, the company will send you real-time updates and allow you to communicate with your lawyer at any time, and you’ll be notified if any further action is required once your case is resolved.

But compared to the long-term costs associated with insurance rate hikes, should you choose to hire Off The Record? How do they compare to the competition? What about just handling it yourself? Let’s answer this question first.

Is It Possible to Fight a Traffic Ticket on Your Own?

While we're certainly not legal professionals, and the specifics surrounding your citation (the city, county, and state in which it was received; your previous driving history, the type of ticket and severity, etc.) can play a big impact, most drivers can contest traffic tickets.

However, the process is often intimidating, cumbersome, confusing, and time-intensive. After all, according to DMV.org, you’ll need to—at minimum—ensure that have legal proof that the ticket can be contested, that you have time to devote to (sometimes multiple) court appearances, and that you’re approaching the case using the best strategy.

As a result, as mentioned on the Off The Record site, the vast majority of drivers just choose to pay the fine. However, if you decide to contest your ticket and go to court without the help of a lawyer, Jalopnik’s Steve Lehto recommends:

  1. Reading the back of the ticket, which outlines how many days you have to respond.
  2. Entering a plea, such as Not Guilty.
  3. On your court date, dressing nice, arriving early, and pleasantly pleading your case, depending on your chosen strategy.

In the end, he emphasizes that “The bulk of the run-of-the-mill tickets get reduced in bargains like this. Why? Prosecutors often have 100 files to dispose of and time to only try 10 of them. The other 90 have to go away somehow. The lesser ones usually get the deals. But there is a lot of wiggle room in there. Every case the prosecutor can resolve by way of an agreement is one less that has to be dealt with later."

Don’t have the time or the know-how to go through the process yourself? Let’s find out what you’ll need to do with Off The Record’s app.

How Does the Off The Record App Work?

Currently only available for iOS devices, the Off The Record app works over the following steps (note: More or less, these steps also apply to their website):

  1. Take a picture of your ticket and send it in.
  2. Answer a few questions to tell them about your ticket.
  3. The company’s proprietary Smart Match platform will intelligently match one of their 250+ experienced lawyers to your ticket.
  4. You’ll pay one flat fee. If the case doesn’t go in your favor, you’re covered by their money back guarantee.

Screenshot of the Off The Record AppAfter taking a picture of your ticket and paying the one-time fee through their website or iOS app (pictured above), Off The Record will match you with an experienced lawyer who you can message at any time. Image credit: Apple Corporation

While we didn’t test the process ourselves, based on what we learned above, it seems that Off The Record’s app and website-based technology have the potential to save customers a lot of time, hassle, and frustration when contesting a traffic ticket. But does this mean they’ll always be able to completely avoid the violation from impacting your driving record?

What Are Some of the Possible Outcomes With Off The Record?

According to the company’s FAQ, they “work exclusively with traffic lawyers who have extensive experience dealing with all types of traffic matters,” which means they can contest all traffic violations, including popular ones like speeding, illegal use of the HOV lane, and negligent driving.

Regardless of the ticket type, Off The Record emphasizes that their primary goal is to get the ticket and the associated fine completely dismissed, which is most likely to occur if you have a spotless record, or if your ticket has errors or inconsistencies.

However, depending on the specifics of your case (as mentioned in the previous section), this might not always be possible. Other potential outcomes could include:

  • Non-Moving Reduction – Here, your lawyer will negotiate to have the charge reduced to a non-moving violation. This might still involve a (sometimes reduced) fine, but the violation will not appear on your driving record or impact insurance premiums.

  • Point Reduction – You’ll still have to pay a fine, but reducing the points associated with the violation could minimize its impact on your driving record.

  • Deferral – The current violation won’t appear on your record, as long as you don’t receive another one for a certain period of time. The Off The Record website indicates this is typically only implemented as a last resort.

  • School & Classes – Similarly, the state will drop the case if you agree to take some sort of traffic school or defensive driving class. Again, this is typically only used when no other options are available.

  • Committed (Case Lost) – While the company boasts a 97 percent success rate, sometimes nothing can be done to avoid the full penalty and the driving record impact of a violation.

How Much Does Off The Record Cost & What Are Their Eligibility Guidelines?

No prices were listed on the Off The Record website at the time of our research. We contacted the company for further information, but we have not yet received a response.

From an eligibility perspective, Off The Record’s FAQ indicates that their services are “available in most states and cities across the US. We’re working hard to make it available everywhere, and we add new cities each week.”

The only way to find out if they’ll be able to address your ticket is to take a picture of it and send it in through the app or website. If they can’t help (or even if they can and you simply choose not to proceed), you won’t have to pay anything.

If they can help, what will you pay? This seems to largely depend on the specifics of your case, although their FAQ emphasizes they “work hard to make sure we have the most competitive fees available anywhere. If you find a lawyer with a more competitive legal fee, let us know. We may be able to price match.”

Also, any legal fees you pay to the company do not include fines or court fees you’re assessed during the process.

OTR also offers a 100 percent money back guarantee if they’re not able to resolve your case, and you’ll know whether or not your ticket is eligible before you book your case.

If you have questions, Off The Record’s customer service department can be reached at (844) 687-2946 or team@offtherecord.com.

What Can We Learn From Off The Record Customer Reviews?

Outside of the company’s iOS app, we didn’t come across a lot of online customer feedback for Off The Record during our research.

On iTunes, the app had a total of 151 combined reviews, with an average rating of about 4.5 stars. There, most compliments appeared to revolve around effective results, ease of use, and solid customer support.

On the other hand, what few complaints there were frequently referenced no ticket dismissal and high prices.

From a company perspective, Off The Record was co-founded in 2015 by Alex Guirguis, who previously worked as a software engineer for Amazon and Golder Associates, as well as a Program Manager for Expedia.

According to an interview in GeekWire, Alex noted that OTR had its first customer 30 minutes after launching in the iOS App Store.

Off The Record vs. TIKD & Other Ticket Fighting Services

We talked earlier about the inconvenience of going to court, but the reality is that there are almost certainly at least a few traffic ticket lawyers in your area that can be hired to attend on your behalf. Going this route, CostHelper Personal Finance reports that the average speeding ticket costs somewhere between $900 and $2,500 to contest.

But it seems that Off The Record is one of the leaders in this niche, as the only other direct competitor we encountered during our research was TIKD. How do their key factors stack up?

Outside of the fact that they both promise to help you fight traffic tickets, they work fundamentally differently.

For example, with Off The Record, customers will pay a preset fee for legal services, as well as any fines or other money ordered due by the court. On the other hand, TIKD customers pay their associated fine to the company, who then “hires a qualified attorney on your behalf to challenge your ticket.” This payment can even be split into three installments.

But if any additional fines, court costs, or other additional costs arise, TIKD covers all of them. Then, if money is left over, they refund customers the difference.

How to Choose the Right Ticket Fighting Company?

Whether Off The Record, TIKD, or traditional legal counsel, WiseGeek notes that choosing representation can prove difficult, as there are many lawyers out there who focus on traffic tickets, hold significant experience, and boast “detailed knowledge of the technicalities of having a fine dismissed or reduced.”

As a result, they recommend focusing on using online consumer review sites like HighYa to distinguish the cream of the crop, as well as references from loved ones, and of course, each companies’ overall legal fees.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, Avvo.com recommends also asking the following questions:

  • How long have you been handling traffic cases like mine?
  • How many traffic cases like mine have you successfully handled?
  • What would you consider a successful outcome in my case?
  • How much will you charge me?
  • Will you appear with me in court, or will you send someone else from your firm?

What Are Our Final Thoughts About Off The Record?

At the beginning of this article, we referenced some of the inherent difficulties in contesting traffic tickets, such as the system’s complexity and the time commitment involved. But as FindLaw.com outlines, even just deciding whether or not you should contest a ticket can be a relatively involved process.

In the end—again, while we didn’t test their services firsthand, it seems that Off The Record removes nearly all of these potential roadblocks and makes contesting traffic tickets quick, easy, and competitively priced.

On top of this, the company came with almost universally positive online customer feedback at the time of our research. And even if you don’t end up counting yourself among their 97 percent success rate, they seem to stand behind their services with a 100 percent money back guarantee.

Next: Did you recently receive a ticket or become involved in an accident? Read how much your auto insurance rates might go up as a result.

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Read 146 Off The Record Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 4.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 120 4 star: 6 3 star: 1 2 star: 3 1 star:  16
Bottom Line: 86% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 146
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • Skeptical at first

    • El Cajon, CA,
    • Jul 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I’m one of those people that are hard to convince that these apps really work. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. Like many things out there I thought that this might be another outfit just trying to sucker as many people out there out of their hard-earned money.

    Well, I took a chance and WOW! Was I surprised. I thought for sure that my daughter's insurance premiums would skyrocket over a minor traffic ticket. Not only was her ticket dismissed, but we didn’t have to pay any additional fees and nothing will show on her driving record. She also avoided having to attend traffic school - although she will probably be going anyway.

    If you find yourself or someone you know in a similar situation, tell them about OFF THE RECORD. It was money well spent and I totally recommend their services!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Speed ticket over 67

    • New York City, NY,
    • Jul 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 18 years old. Got speeding ticket over 67 on Henry Hudson. My very first ticket. Very confused, I tell the story to my dad a commercial truck driver. My father submitted the ticket to Off The Record along with the payment.

    Two days later I got a reply from the lawyer explaining a few confidential information at no cost. After five months I received an email with the news - YOUR TICKET IS DISMISSED.

    MAGIC.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Worked for me

    The whole process was very streamlined and easy. The lawyer I was assigned to was very professional and very upfront with my options. I have a colorful driving record there for was told I was not going to be able to be guaranteed that I could get my speeding ticket reduced to a non-reporting violation. I proceeded anyway and my lawyer was able to get me not only report any speed but a lower fine also. I highly recommend using this as it cost me only $100 over what it would have cost me to just pay the ticket and move on. Not to mention the savings of it not affecting my driving record or my insurance. God forbid I get another ticket, but if I do, I will definitely be using this service again.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • From NO reason not to try...to dismissed!

    • California,
    • Jul 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    There's absolutely no reason not to try...Just a $99 online payment and it's dismissed! No fine, no wasted time, nothing on my record. Can't recommend Off The Record enough. They communicated throughout the process and I didn't worry at all.

    Chances are your ticket will be dismissed too. If not, I believe they offer a full refund. That's why I say there's no reason not to.

    Thank you for the help Off The Record.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Ticket for no turn signal

    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Jul 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    After getting my ticket for a non-turn signal at a left lane stop sign, I researched to find Off The Record. They offer a good price to fight your ticket. Although they didn’t take it to court, they offered this program which I paid $195 to get it removed from my record. They saved me points on my record and took care of everything. Thank you.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • It is not a scam, quite ok and convenient to use

    • New Jersey,
    • Jul 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got a speeding ticket, it provides a convenient and cheap way to have someone (should be a lawyer) to represent you to attend the court/ flight/negotiate your charge. It is relatively much cheaper than finding some other lawyer.

    The app also makes it convenient to use and communicate with the lawyer.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Not sure what I paid for here

    • New York,
    • Jun 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am not sure what I paid for here. I got a ticket for "improper cell phone use" that carried a $150 fine and 5 points on my license. I have an otherwise clean record and haven't had a ticket in at least 5 years. I paid Off The Record and it seems like all they provided was a body in court. Full fine and all the points. What a waste of money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Scam, scam, stay away from these thieves!

    • California,
    • Jun 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I paid $279 for the service from Off The Record. They are a complete scam. Stay away. They took my money and did not provide the service. In the fine print, they state that if we do not win your case but we manage to get you traffic school we keep the money. In my case, they kept promising me to win the case of refunding me the money. Before paying for their service I had traffic school. They said they went to court for me and lost an easy case. They would not refund me the money because they got me traffic school which is a fine print in the contract. Beware and stay away.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    • Oregon,
    • Jun 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    If you want to pay more for your ticket and be abused by customer support, then I highly recommend this service!

    I had to pay $150 more using this service. They called it a success because they were able to get me traffic school in California. I live in Oregon. We don't have a points system in Oregon.

    They also claimed I am not eligible for a refund because they successfully litigated my case. Even though the outcome is clearly within the bounds of their money back guarantee.

    Avoid at all cost.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    They are the worst

    • New York,
    • May 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Off The Record does not communicate well and they do nothing but take your money. All their website reviews are fake. Just get a real lawyer. I was found guilty because of them and had points and fees. Waste of time. No way they have 92% success.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Fast response and easy to communicate with!

    • California,
    • May 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I reached out to OTR days before my last extension on a speedy ticket I had received. The responded very quickly and got my case moved back to work on my case without me having to miss work to go to court. I downloaded the app and it was easy to communicate the lawyer taking my case. Any questions I had I would just message him and within minutes I had answers. Any updates to my case was known right away. The lawyer was successful and won my case so that was a PLUS! I would definitely contact OTR if I ever get another ticket, hopefully not!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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