Can This App Get Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed?

Category: Reference

Parking and traffic 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. Check out these apps and learn how you can use a bit of cyber to fight your ticket...

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." He poked around the outside of the car, checked the tread of my tires, and my turn signals. Finding nothing amiss, he sent me on my way.

traffic ticket apps

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.

Last year, I got a parking ticket in New York City. I parked next to a meter, fed it the required amount, and returned 15 minutes later to see a ticket on my windshield. It turned out I was in a commercial zone, but the sign was half a block away and obscured by construction scaffolding. I took pictures, and submitted a form to contest the $115 fine, but the judge said "Tough luck, buddy. You shoulda seen the sign." If I had known there was an app to help me fight the ticket, I might have had a different outcome.

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, WinIt, and OffTheRecord. 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.

OffTheRecord refers clients to local lawyers, and is available in most cities across the US. You snap a photo of your ticket, answer a few questions, and get matched to an experienced lawyer. No need to mail in your ticke, or show up in court. OTR says their goal is to get your ticket - and fine - completely dismissed. If that's not possible, your lawyer will attempt to get the ticket reduced to a non-moving violation that doesn't go on your driving record or impact your insurance premiums. If your ticket is not successfully resolved, in most cases you'll get a full refund.

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. Often you'll be given the option to plead guilty to a lesser offense. If you don't take the offer, you case will be continued to a later date, requiring another appearance. If you don't have good evidence to support your claim of innocence, a judge is not likely to take your word over the arresting officer.

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...

 
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Most recent comments on "Can This App Get Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed?"

Posted by:

David
19 Jul 2019

The latest craze in several places is mating plate readers and lasers to allow automatic ticketing. Cut out the middleman and just send the ticket out. Gold mine.


Posted by:

Don Vlack
19 Jul 2019

There is no such thing as a quota. But God help you if you don't make it!


Posted by:

Stephen
19 Jul 2019

Yes, Bob, the judge was correct in so far as the City allows for the signs to only be in 1 (maybe 2) for a given block. One has to check pretty much the whole place.In the future, go to http://www.nycdot.info/ and then select Parking Signs from the GIS options on the right side of the screen. Go to the area you plan to park in and youi will be able to look up what the parking rules are for that stretch. Another option would be to use Google Map's Street View for the block and look for the parking signs. Remember, what is prohibited or allowed on 1 side of the street might be different from the other side of the street. Another thing to be aware of: The most restrictive option is at the top of the pole, and then things open up as you move down. You could easily find 3 or 4 signs on a pole.
As for any given ticket/summons, check that the address shown for the infraction is correct. And if the ticket/summons was hand-written instead of machine-printed, then confirm your plate type is correct (e.g., personal and not commercial or vanity).


Posted by:

John S
19 Jul 2019

You stated, "...use a website to upload copies of your driver’s license and citation." What could possibly go wrong? I regard my driver license as a very personal piece of private information; what guarantee would I be able to get that insures such very personal information stays private beyond the service with whom I am using?


Posted by:

Stephe
19 Jul 2019

"...but a citation for speeding, running a stop sign, or driving while yakking it up on your cell phone can cost you big bucks"

All the above could result in somebody's child getting killed — you seem to condone such behavior — shame upon you, Bob!


Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
19 Jul 2019

I've only had a couple of tickets in my lifetime. One was for speeding in a 15 mph zone which I didn't think I was doing. I took time off from work to appear in court and dispute the charge, even though I didn't expect to win since it was the cop's word against mine. Sure enough, the judge believed the cop. But at least I made the cop waste a few hours to show up in court, and made the judge spend ten minutes on a case which he thought was a waste of the court's time.

The other ticket was for violation of a "no right turn on red" sign, in which the newly-placed sign was almost invisible to see. It was clearly a ticket trap, with a police car stationed conveniently nearby to catch unsuspecting people turning. I complained to CalTrans, and I took photos of the hidden sign, as well as photos of other locations which had multiple easily-visible signs for comparison purposes. Then I went to court prepared to make a big stink. The police officer never showed up, so the ticket was dismissed. Shortly thereafter they fixed the sign location and added other signs, so I effectively ended that trap.

If I ever get another ticket, I'll definitely consider using the apps you've described. Bottom line: If you think the ticket is illegitimate, do whatever you have to do to challenge it. Even if you lose, you'll feel like you've done the right thing.


Posted by:

Sarah L
20 Jul 2019

Bob, traffic laws are meant to keep people alive. Drivers, passengers and innocent pedestrians near those drivers yakking it up on their cell phones. If you get a ticket for that, I advise paying it and taking it as a sign from the universe that you have to stop talking on the phone while driving, before that serious crash. The distracted driver has caused an increase in traffic fatalities, after traffic safety people were enjoying several years of steady declines due to excellent road design, seat belts, air bags, children's car seats and constant drive safely/do not drink programs.

The funds from tickets usually go back into traffic policing or the court system, which people clearly need, if your approach is the universal one.

If you do feel you ought to have your ticket reconsidered, then go to court on the court date and talk with the judge. You just might learn something, if it is your first moving violation.

A cavalier attitude to safe driving is what pushes the invention of devices to stop your car because you do not realize you are about to crash into the car in front of you. Not all cars have these features yet. The cavalier attitude is also increasing traffic deaths across the US, about which I do hope you are not cavalier.


Posted by:

Fred Roller
20 Jul 2019

As a retired traffic cop I wrote a lot of citations, but they only compromised 25% of all the traffic stops I made. 75% were given written or unwritten warnings. when someone was in jeopardy of losing their license I always advised them to appear on the court date and talk to the District Attorney in the courtroom before court convenes. More than likely they would reduce the charge to a lesser charge or a non-moving violation.
Most large police departments have "court officers" who stand in for the arresting officers and if you were expecting an immediate trial or dismissal because the arresting officer did not appear you will be very disappointed because the case will be postponed and a trial date will be set several months later. The arresting officer will then appear at trial. If you think you are inconveniencing the officer, you are not, they are usually getting paid over-time. The court is being inconvenienced and if found guilty you will be also charged for the officer's pay in addition to the fine and court costs.
As for Judges believing the officers over the defendants, stop and think how many times the officer has appeared in the judges court on maybe hundreds of cases. More than likely they are very familiar with each other and the judge will take into account previous cases he brought to the court and the veracity of the officer compared to the defendant.
I never had to meet a "quota", if anything I was discouraged from writing too many citations. The amount of citations written compared violations committed is less than 1%. (Where is a cop when you need one.)
When asked by a violator if I was trying to meet my quota, I replied, "We don't have a quota anymore, we can write as many tickets as we want now."
The department I worked for did not profit from traffic tickets, all the fines went directly to the state school fund.
I don't see any advantage to any of the above apps other than more costs to the defendants.


Posted by:

Asteriks
20 Jul 2019

"Bob, traffic laws are meant to keep people alive."

No, they're not.

“We all speed, yet months and months usually pass between us seeing a crash,” [Lieutenant Gary Megge of the Michigan State Police tells Alex Mayyasi]. “That tells me that most of us are adequate, safe, reasonable drivers. Speeding and traffic safety have a small correlation.”

… The reason speed limits may remain low … is that cities and police departments use traffic citations as a revenue generating tool. As Bowman says, when speed limits are artificially low, it’s easier to give out citations and pull in fine revenue.

… Lt. Megge stated that he believes speed traps to be a “big problem” and counter to police officers real role of altering dangerous behavior. In a Detroit News article about a number of towns ignoring state law by not reviewing the speed limits on stretches of their roads, Megge said that he believes the communities did so in order to avoid revising speed limits upwards. This allows them to keep collecting ticket revenue on “artificially low” speed limits.

https://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-speed-limit-really-is-just-number.html


Posted by:

Asteriks
20 Jul 2019

More:

In the space of five hours, one day in March 2015, one single radar of the Danish police on a tiny part of the Copenhagen highway earned (sic) so much money that it made headlines in the press of Denmark. But what was telling was not that the authorities had earned two million Danish Crowns ($290,000!) in less than a quarter of a day, it was that … there had not been a single traffic fatality at that point that day, let alone a single accident.

There cannot be 35 different ways of interpreting that piece of news. If it doesn't suggest that speed limits have little to nothing to do with safety and are a scam — or at the very least that they are (far) too low — you can call me King Alfred the Great.

Not only is there a clear racket associated with the radar scheme — if this does not fit the definition of the word extortion, than what meaning does that word have? — but governments of all states and countries and on all territorial levels could be charged with going against their raison d'être (the protection of the populace) and making the road more dangerous for all.

What is the first cause of mortality on highways throughout the world, and certainly throughout the West? Contrary to what many seem to believe, it ain't speed (speed kills, right?).

It is drowsiness.

It is sleepiness.

What causes sleepiness, or drowsiness, if it ain't a sleep-inducing speed limit (or, rather a sleep-inducing slowness limit)?

What people do not realize is that the expression "speed limit" is a perfect example of George Orwell's . For every person (rightly) ticketed for speeding, you get 499 people ticket for not driving slowly enough.

Another thing that people do not realize is that the vast majority of people who get tickets for "speeding" (sic) don't do so because they have been careless or unconscious or dangerous or scofflaws. On the contrary, most of the time they have been perfectly responsible.

Indeed, the very reason that the vast majority of drivers are ticketed is PRECISELY because they had NOT been "speeding" (as in "acting carelessly"); they had been adopting the speed, or the tempo, of their vehicle to the realities of the road. In other words, they were ticketed for… acting responsibly, perfectly concentrated and conscious of their environment, with their eyes fixed on… the road!

Think about it.

Responsible driving for any person using his brains and common sense, is
1) looking primarily at the road and
2) watching out for moving entities
(other vehicles, pedestrians, animals, etc…) —
which signal the presence of humans or other living beings.

What the Allyagottado folks demand is for us to
1) look primarily at the interior of the vehicle
(the dashboard and its various tachometers) and
2) watch out for fixed objects (traffic signs, etc),
lifeless objects with no soul.

Which way of driving is the most intelligent?

Which of the two drivers is more caring for his fellow beings?

https://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-allyagottado-folks-and-sleep.html


Posted by:

Asteriks
20 Jul 2019

Paragraph correction:

… What people do not realize is that the expression "speed limit" is a perfect example of George Orwell's Newspeak. For every person (rightly) ticketed for (truly) speeding, you get 499 people ticketed for not driving slowly enough. …


Posted by:

BobD
21 Jul 2019

I have dashcams, one facing forward, one backward.
They have GPS.
They're not perfect, but they are irrefutable.
I haven't verified their record, but I suspect the cameras would show that I roll through stop signs onto empty roads at 5 MPH.


Posted by:

barry
17 Aug 2019

Fred Roller I think your full of you know what , police every where have always had quotas. next you are all partners with the state , the city , the judge , the crown, you are all paid from the same fund . you all have the same agenda , money.


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