Can An App Get Traffic Tickets Dismissed?
Parking tickets are a nuisance, but a citation for speeding, running a stop sign, or driving while yakking it up on your cell phone can cost you big bucks. Most drivers just pay the fine because they don't understand the legal process. But there are some apps that can help you fight and win...
Is There an App for That?
When politicians have trouble raising taxes, they often turn to traffic fines for more revenue. In New York City, 10 million parking tickets are issued every year, resulting in $600 million in fines. In California, traffic fines and court fees are the state’s second largest source of revenue, right behind sales tax. Driving solo in a car-pool lane? That’s $490 plus an assortment of additional fees, many of which have as much to do with traffic safety as the color of your house.
Those court fees are often just the beginning of the pain. The cost of traffic tickets can include higher insurance premiums, fewer opportunities to rent or own a home, and higher interest rates on loans. A significant number of traffic violation convictions may be interpreted as a sign of irresponsibility or poor judgment by lenders and employers.
Sometimes it's clear that you've broken the law. And although I have utmost respect for the men and women in blue, other cases involve the discretion of an officer who may be under pressure to meet a quota. I got pulled over once in a town that's notorious for "fishing expeditions" by the local police. The officer said he stopped me because "he thought he heard a noise."
Yet most traffic tickets go uncontested; only 5% of U.S. traffic tickets are challenged. The cost of contesting a ticket includes a day off from work, at a minimum, and it may be necessary to hire an expensive lawyer. Most people figure they have little chance of getting a ticket dismissed so they just pay it.
Traffic tickets are a pain; where there’s pain, there’s an app for it. As the cost of traffic and parking tickets has risen, so have startups like GetDismissed.com, WinIt.com, and Fixed.com. These firms offer to keep you out of court by fighting tickets for you, at a much lower cost than traditional legal representation. In fact, you never need to visit a lawyer’s office.
Apps and Websites to Fight Traffic Tickets
To get started with any of the three services, you’ll need to download a free app, or use a website to upload copies of your driver’s license and citation. Each service does things differently thereafter.
Fixed.com refers clients to local lawyers who charge as little as $150 to fight a ticket. Fixed claims to have gotten dismissals of 10,000 out of 60,000 cases it has handled in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Oakland. Plans are in place to expand the service to Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle.
WinIt specializes in parking tickets and claims to have achieved a 40% dismissal rate. WinIt handles only New York City citations, but the app has been downloaded by people in 27 states, and the company claims that 50% of out-of-state parking tickets get dismissed. Winit works on a contingency basis, charging half of any fines it helps drivers avoid.
GetDismissed, which launched in February, charges $99 to prepare a Trial By Written Declaration motion, an option that enables a defendant to challenge a traffic ticket by mail. California residents can use the app or website to download the completed forms, then mail them in to the court, along with a check for bail which is refunded only if you win. GetDismissed.com claims to have handled over 1,000 cases; but it doesn’t track the success rate of its work.
Often, the easiest way to beat a ticket is simply to show up in court. If the police officer who wrote the ticket doesn’t show up, the case may be dismissed without you having to present a defense. But it also may be continued to a later date, requiring another appearance. If one of these ticket-fixing services can spare you a day in court, it may be worthwhile.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 14 Dec 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Can An App Get Traffic Tickets Dismissed? (Posted: 14 Dec 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved