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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32 Consumer Reviews for Off The Record

Average Consumer Rating: 4.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 25 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  6
Bottom Line: 81% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 32
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  • Simple..Effective..Sweet

    • Redmond, WA,
    • Oct 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm really happy with Off The Record and my attorney who fought the ticket on behalf of me. This was my first ticket.

    I found this website and the process is so simple. It's easy to use. I got connected with my attorney within a short span of time. The attorney kept me posted about the updates and got this cleared off.

    It's worth to give a shot for your cases/tickets with Off The Record.

    I would say the price also seems to be reasonable. It would be good if they reduce it a bit more.

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

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  • Problem solved!

    I got unfairly tagged by a red light camera making a right turn on red. California tried to fine me over $800.

    These guys made the ticket go away quickly and easily. Incredibly professional and easy to work with! Highly recommended.

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

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  • Impressive

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Oct 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    When I found this app, I came in with an open mind thinking I had to deal with going to court for my speeding ticket. But I can say that they have the best on their side. I highly recommend this great app.

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

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  • Off The Record is worth every penny

    • Beaumont, CA,
    • Oct 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    So I have had 4 or 5 speeding tickets in the last 8 or 9 months, and every time I have tried one of these ticket fighter websites, and every time I have lost. Maybe it's because they all cost only $100 or because all they do is write a declaration, they don't even offer your money back if you lose, so you end up paying the $300 or $400 fine plus the $100 price for them to write.

    Now with Off The Record, they charged me around $300, guaranteed my money back if I lost, so I paid it plus my fine, which was $300 and some change. The lawyer emailed me right after signing up and welcoming me and offered any help I needed. He kept me informed every time they went to court and the outcome, and at the end of it all, they where the first and only company to get a speeding ticket of mine dismissed. They are absolutely a 100% legit, awesome company, and it's TRUE what they say, "you get what you pay for," so no wonder they are so cheap.

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

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  • A very valuable service

    • Seattle, WA,
    • Oct 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Off The Record was able to have a ticket dismissed that never should have been issued and would have impacted my already very expensive insurance rate (I am a 19-year-old man). Not only was the ticket unfair, but I would not have been able to contest it in person myself, as I have moved out of state. I am so grateful for the service and recommend it highly.

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

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  • Legal help

    • Fife, WA,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'd like to say thanks to Off The Record for the job they do for all the people who turn to them, especially for those truck drivers who are on the road working hard days and nights making American economy one of the greatest, for protecting them and providing real help. Great job, great communication. Alex Guitguis is fantastic!

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

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  • Extremely happy with the service!

    • New York,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This was a very easy experience and I am extremely happy with the outcome. They did exactly what they said they would do and got my ticket dismissed. I will definitely be using them again and recommend them to all my family and friends. I suggest you guys use it too if you catch a ticket.

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

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  • Great job!

    • Tacoma, WA,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is the second time I've had to use Off The Record, and for the second time, they've done a great job! I don't even want to imagine what my insurance rates would be without Off The Record. A $556 ticket gone! Just like it never happened! This group of professionals are simply the best! Don't hesitate to use them.

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

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  • Awesome

    • Florida,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am very happy I chose this company. They are friendly professional and very affordable. Please use them, don't try fighting it on your own or just paying the cost. They did a very good job and I will always use them if I am ever in a situation.

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

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  • Absolutely excellent

    • Katonah, NY,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received a ticket for speeding in a work zone. Normally, I would have protested the ticket myself in person, but since it was 3.5 hours from my house, I decided to give Off The Record a try. I was skeptical because the price was so low and I checked local lawyers that started at $600. Off The Record at under $200 seemed amazing and possibly too good to be true. They took care of everything from a 4-point speeding ticket to opening a door unsafely, which is a $100 ticket with no points. Thank you!

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

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  • 4-point speeding ticket knocked down to 0

    • Massachusetts,
    • Oct 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got a speeding ticket on I90 for speeding. I used the Off The Record website to find if it worth fighting the ticket. Eventually, I paid the fees and voila, a lawyer handled all the stuff from there. I just had to pay the fine and give my driving history to the lawyer.

    The website doesnt accept PDF, hence I had to use personal email. That is the only part I kind of didn't like.

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

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