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 134 Off The Record Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 4.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 114 4 star: 5 3 star: 1 2 star: 3 1 star:  11
Bottom Line: 89% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 134
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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 service to help completely dismiss ticket

    • California,
    • Sep 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    On 1/2018 I got a ticket with multiple violations, searched around the internet and this one has the most detail and confidence and simple process with guarantees.

    I upload the ticket and after filling in a small form and paying the fee was all needed to be done, no more steps after that, all the way until the tickets are dismissed on 9/2018.

    This gave me peace of mind at the beginning immediately, and it is worth every penny after everything is done!

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

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  • Commercial driver

    • Murrieta, CA,
    • Oct 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Off The Record got my ticket dismissed in just a few short weeks. As a commercial truck driver, traffic school wasn't an option for me. My class A license is my livelihood and I can’t have any negative items on my driving record. My lawyer from Off The Record went to court for me and was able to dismiss my ticket with no additional fees or moving violations on my driving record. I most definitely would use them again and recommend them to my friends and family. Thank you Off The Record.

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

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  • Completely satisfied

    • Puyallup, WA,
    • Oct 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was professionally treated and very respectfully. The cost of getting my ticket removed from my record was twice as much as the ticket, but the insurance rates would have increased far more than that. I will not hesitate to use OTR again if necessary.

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

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  • Stop/red lights

    • Lowell, MA,
    • Oct 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Very professional service that is easy to work with and supported by great attorneys. This is the service to use for those who are unable to commit the time needed to prepare and fight a ticket. Well worth the very reasonable expense!

    I was soo nervous about getting points added to my license. Since I drive a company corporation car, I already pay high car insurance in the past. Today, and by far, this was the best choice I made. If you do the math, it's better to pay, I think it was $400, than to miss a day of work, pay court parking, risking the judge to say you are at fault, insurance going up (or taking time to do traffic school) - too much of a headache and time.

    All I did was send a pic of my ticket, gave a little info of what happened, and done. A month later I got the good news - my case was dismissed. No points on my license, no day off work, no school traffic, insurance price is the same. Thank you guys.

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

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  • Speeding ticket mitigation in Athens Clarke County, GA

    I was very pleased with the help I received from my Off The Record attorney, as I was facing steep fines and also points on my license from two speeding tickets issued to me in the exact same location in Athens, GA. I feel that the officers issuing those tickets were somewhat predatory. My attorney, Mr. Fargione, was able to successfully represent me in court, resulting in reduced fines and no points on my license. I am very grateful.

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

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  • Give it a try

    • Georgia,
    • Oct 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm glad I gave Off the Record a try. I had a very knowledgeable lawyer. At the time I was between jobs and Uber/Lyft was my only source of income, not to mention already paying $200 worth of insurance for two cars, and got a speeding ticket and a failure use turn signal, which would have kicked me off the driving platforms had they stuck to my driving record. My lawyer got the failure to use turn signal dismissed and the speeding ticket reduced so that it never leaves the courthouse, meaning it's not reported to the DMV, etc. As a result, my driving record wasn't affected nor did my insurance rate increase. I say it was worth the $250 I paid to secure a lawyer and I only paid $73 for the reduced speeding ticket and court cost. I'll $323 total, which was worth the piece of mind I have going forward.

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

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  • Traffic ticket dismissal

    • San Bernardino, CA,
    • Oct 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I researched all the companies and found Off The Record to be the simplest. Simply snap a picture of your ticket, answer a couple of questions, and they take it from there. No statements to write and mail, nothing to notarize. They kept me informed every step of the way as the court process may take several months. My ticket was dismissed, and I was very pleased. I will use them again and will tell all of my friends.

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

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  • Completely dismissed

    • Los Altos, CA,
    • Oct 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The speeding ticket was dismissed. No points, no traffic school. Great job, and I highly recommend Off the Record. I was kept advised of what was going on and then notified of the dismissal.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    My case was dismissed!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Oct 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Thank you Jessica! I don’t know how you did it, but you got the case dismissed! That means a lot to me - were I to pay the ticket, it would have been over $500.00. No point for my insurance and no traffic school. I would highly recommend you and your company to anyone with traffic tickets! Thanks again.

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

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  • Beat my speeding ticket

    • California,
    • Oct 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received a speeding ticket and I remembered hearing about Off The Record. So I gave them a try. Very easy and smooth process to upload information, etc. I paid the fee, then sat back and waited; they gave me updates during the process. Then they contacted me after the scheduled court date and let me knew that my ticket had been dismissed. I highly recommend them; it’s worth it.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    The best

    • Queens, NY,
    • Oct 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I heard about this app, but quite honestly, was very skeptical Being from NY and knowing how it’s almost impossible to beat a ticket, let’s say I had my doubts.

    I totally was blown away with the app. They kept me informed step by step and the got my ticket dismissed.

    I am telling everybody I can about this app. Simply the best!

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

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