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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100 Consumer Reviews for Off The Record

Average Consumer Rating: 4.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 83 4 star: 5 3 star: 1 2 star: 2 1 star:  9
Bottom Line: 88% would recommend it to a friend
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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
  • Great experience

    • Long Beach, CA,
    • Jan 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Thanks to Off The Record for doing such a great job helping me clear my ticket. I was really bummed out after receiving a ticket for failing to stop on a railway. I really wasn't sure if they were going to be able to help me, but I'm glad I went with them. I saved so much money, it's unbelievable!

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

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  • Speeding ticket - Darien, Georgia

    • Georgia,
    • Jan 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I found their advertisement online while scrolling thru my Instagram account, so I decided to give a try. After paying the modest fee, an attorney promptly responded, spoke to me at length and handled my situation with the utmost professionalism just as he assured me he would.

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

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  • Easy and stress free

    • New York, NY,
    • Jan 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Looking into the ticket that my brother got I knew the dollar amounts would rack up quickly. Long Island is just an expensive place like that. Always wanting to fight tickets, and hearing about off the record from VINwiki, I quickly sent them a picture of the ticket. I got an estimate in minutes and was quickly paired with an attorney. It was so easy that everyone should fight their tickets.

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

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  • HOV violation ticket

    • Seattle, WA,
    • Jan 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got the HOV violation ticket on I-405 S and the fine was $136. Since I didn’t want it going on my driving record, I decided to pay $200 for Off The Record and I was right. I was very satisfied with how quickly and clearly my case was handled. I feel like the representatives behind Off The Record were very helpful and helped answer any questions.

    My attorney was Jacques and he was so nice and responsible. He answered all of my questions and gave me a lot of helpful information. Thank you so much!

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

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  • Awesome service

    • Dix Hills, NY,
    • Jan 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I unfairly received a speeding ticket for 94 in a 55 in Suffolk County, New York from a state trooper. I contacted an attorney who specializes in traffic tickets - he came up first on my Google search and had a glitzy website. He told me he couldn’t help as he has never had good success in Suffolk.

    I started looking into other attorneys and their reviews. Then, I came across Off The Record. It sounded great - guaranteed results and they match the best attorney for the court. I signed up on New Year's Eve around 6 pm. I paid a reasonable fee of $250 and the attorney called me before I even completed sending my info. He gave me specific instructions to sign a consent form and to obtain my driving record - which was clean, from DMV and to send him a copy.

    He said he would take care of it the same week. I was surprised because the court date wasn’t for two more weeks. The first business day after New Year’s Day, I received an update and email saying he got the speeding ticket thrown out and reduced to "following too close" with a much reduced fine and number of points. Wow! He did a great job. I didn’t even have to go to court. Just paid the fee, sent a picture of the summons, and spoke with him on the phone.

    Don’t waste your time trying to do this on your own - have someone that specializes in traffic ticket magic at the specific court, and save time, money, and aggravation. Seriously, it couldn’t have been easier. I would definitely use them again, but I hope I never need to.

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

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  • Involvement of Off The Record

    • Fremont, CA,
    • Jan 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Off The Record should not only provide a platform to communicate and web portal. They should have an internal panel and check whether the case is being handled appropriately.

    It's about being an intelligent and smart platform instead of just being a mere postman or postal service.

    In my case, I was promised initially to get the ticket reduced to four. But later on, I was bluntly told no, that's not going to happen. So for me as a customer, there is no second check from Off The Record whom I am paying directly. The attorney can end the cases per their discretion.

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

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  • Speeding ticket

    • California,
    • Jan 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I would like to thank Kroger Law for getting my ticket dismissed. They are an amazing and very trusted firm.

    1) Very trusted.

    2) Respond fast.

    3) Great attorneys.

    Well done Kroger Law Firm.

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

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  • I trusted my 110 mph ticket on Off The Record...didn’t disappoint.

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Jan 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was on my way to work at 3:55 am on a Tuesday morning when I got a speeding ticket for going 110 mph in a 65 mph zone...yeah, I know, what was I thinking? But, anyways, when I got pulled over, I kindly explained to the officer why I was speeding and she reduced the speed to a 97 mph. Now going 31 mph+ over the speed limit is a court appearance, so yes, the officer told me I had to appear in court and plead guilty. She said if I plead non-guilty (basically, contest the ticket), she would appear in court. I didn’t know what to do. Now keep in mind that I had just got off a speeding ticket two months prior to this, so taking a BDI course was not an option. Afraid of what was going to happen if I just "wing it" in court, I decided to look for a professional - I sought after a traffic attorney.

    Off The Record was the cheapest option. I only paid $50 and an attorney reached out to me within an hour. I explained to her my case and she said I didn’t have to show up to the court hearing and that she’d take care of everything. I was shocked that she decided to handle my case for $50 considering I didn’t just get your average speeding ticket. I was talking to other traffic attorneys, and the price they wanted me to pay was at least $350.

    So, the outcome? My attorney pled no contest at the court hearing, and during the arraignment - was able to get me NO POINTS on my license; however, I do have to pay $500 (fine and court cost COMBINED) and take a 4-hour in-person driving school. I can live with that. Money comes and goes. It could have been a lot worse had I not used Off The Record, as I could have obtained 4 points and/or got my license suspended. Overall, I am happy with the outcome. Highly recommend.

    Moral of the story: Always use Off The Record when caught speeding...or just don’t speed I guess.

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

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  • Made my ticket go away

    • Tacoma, WA,
    • Jan 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got a ticket for going 11 over. Mind you, I had just hit the point where all my tickets fell from my record. I was devastated and didn’t want to have this one go to my insurance. I immediately started looking for someone to fight it for me and found this app! I read reviews and decided why not pay them $200 and if they win I saved $70 and my insurance from going up (ticket was $270) or I get $200 back and pay my ticket. I gave them the information they needed and forgot about it for a couple of months. When it came time for my court date, I made sure they were still attending, and they said yes, and later that day told me they had gotten my ticket dropped! I was SO happy! Saved $70 and my insurance didn’t have to know! I told my fiancé the lesson learned here is to always pay them to fight it for me, haha.

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

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  • Terrible service

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

    The lawyer didn’t even attempt to fight it all the way. They took my case only to let me know after that the jurisdiction doesn’t reduce speed or fines because of judge's orders. Also, I did not get a refund as promised. Get a lawyer the traditional way.

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

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great experience

    • Orange County, CA,
    • Jan 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Great experience overall, very affordable. I would definitely recommend!

    Off The Record made me feel at ease with the entire process. They kept me up to date with my citation, and I never felt like I needed to be present in court for anything. I wish I would’ve used them for prior citations!

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

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