Will This App Get Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed?

Category: Reference

Getting a parking or traffic ticket is 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…

Fight Your Ticket? Yes, There's 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. Although I had done nothing wrong, I felt lucky to escape without a ticket.

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.

A few years ago, 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 ticket, or show up in court. OffTheRecord 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. If a ticket is dismissed, the fee is 50% of the fine you would have paid.

OffTheRecord says they have a 97% success rate. The website isn't quite clear on what "success" means, but they do offer a list of possible outcomes, which include: Full Dismissal, Amended/Reduced to Non-Moving Violation, Ticket Points Reduced, or Deferral. In the latter case, deferring a ticket means that the court will expunge the ticket if you don’t get another one for a certain period of time. If you're not sure if you should fight your ticket yet, you can call or email your ticket to them. They'll go over your options and help you decide whether it makes sense to fight the ticket.

WinIt specializes in both parking and traffic 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.

You can start by taking a picture of your ticket, or use the app to search for a ticket associated with your license plate. Submit any evidence that may help your case, and the WinIt team will inspect your ticket for errors. From there, they will handle your dispute, and update you every step of the way. Winit won’t charge a fee unless your ticket is totally dismissed. The fee is just 50% of the fine you would have paid.

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 helped to dismiss "tens of thousands" of California traffic tickets over the past decade, but it doesn’t advertise the success rate of its work.

DoNotPay is billed as The World's First Robot Lawyer, and offers to help humans “fight corporations, beat bureaucracy and sue anyone at the press of a button.” In addition to fighting parking tickets, DoNotPay can help you cancel any service or subscription, help you negotiate a car lease, initiate chargebacks, create a power of attorney, fight robocalls and email spammers, deal with identity theft, reduce your property taxes, and a long list of other legal issues.

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 "Will This App Get Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed?"

Posted by:

24 Jan 2022

Happy for anybody to fight a ticket or penalty if they believe they are innocent, but to avoid on a technicality or by being a persistent pest... how about you accept responsibility, or even better, keep us all a bit safer by not breaking the road rules.


Posted by:

24 Jan 2022

I just read a lengthy article on a town in Georgia, that is making a killing on traffic tickets.I think the Name of the town was Bradbury, or something similar. It is located on State Road 22. They went from a one-man full-time police officer, and several part-time officers, to a much larger full-time force. People are being warned away, and it was said that the federal government might come and oversee the town's management.

Posted by:

24 Jan 2022

I'm with Phil — if you're really innocent, then that's OK, but an app to help you break laws with impunity? Perhaps you can tell us how an app can help us get away with murder, Bob? No, if you don't want the laws campaign to get them changed, but they're here to protect us. That speeding ticket might save a child's life. Shame on you, Bob, you shouldn't be encouraging people to use apps to help them break laws!

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is nothing of the sort. Please read the article again, or at least the comments posted after yours.

Posted by:

Brian B
24 Jan 2022

Bob, I had to raise an eyebrow at this subject, and your treatment of it.

Speeding, running a stop sign, or driving while yakking it up on your cell phone, are all serious, potentially life threatening, breaches of the law. These breaches are all done voluntary and with the knowledge that they are against the law.

Posted by:

Sarah L
24 Jan 2022

Maybe that is an East Coast thing — but traffic fines are set to give people an incentive to drive safely and park in legal spaces. A parked car uses space that might have better uses. So price to rent a space or use one temporarily needs to be high enough to keep people moving. A moving violation is serious, it means bad, accident prone driving. The state, county or city keeps all the roads up, and that is expensive. Accidents cost the local government money, reviewing and replacing damaged property.
Traffic engineers try to make the city safe for driving, but human behavior is tough to change, even when the changes are to keep folks alive. We are in a period of rising traffic fatalities — time to be more attentive while driving.

Posted by:

25 Jan 2022

It has been proven many times over that "speeding" laws in metropolitan by-ways cause more accidents. It is NOT the absolute speed but the difference between the fastest drivers on the roadways compared to the slowest (or maybe even those who keep exactly at the posted speed limit). In the southern California highways, we make almost every morning commuter a low breaker every morning! Even grandma from Pasadena has to drive way above the posted speed limit if she wants to attend her grandkids next birthday alive.

Posted by:

25 Jan 2022

"low breaker" should have been "LAW breaker".

How would BobRankin be so knowledgeable about the intricacies of ticket beating?????
Thank you Sir, for the information.

Posted by:

Jim Shaneman
25 Jan 2022

We're all entitled to making s boo boo, now and again, and Bob. this was one for you. Encouraging lawbreakers to mess with scofflaw entities is no way to promote safety and personal responsibility as a driver. As it's said: Don't do the crime, if you can't pay the fine, or something like that.

Posted by:

Ernest N. Wilcox Jr.
25 Jan 2022

What follows is my opinion:

I've read several people complaining about Bob telling us how to 'beat the law'. That is NOT how I read this item. I take it that none of these people have ever been wrongly accused of anything. I try to follow the rules when I am out driving, and I fervently hope that I am never wrongly accused of speeding, illegally parking, or of being guilty of any other infraction you can think of, but the truth is that many people do get wrongly accused, and I for one am very grateful that there are sources of help for those of us to whom this happens. If someone gets out of a citation due to some technicality, the law is still the law. The police must adhere to the law, the same as the rest of us. That includes how they do their jobs. If a police-officer incorrectly completes a citation, and the recipient gets out of paying the ticket, don't blame the citizen for being wise enough to get expert help or of being observant, blame the officer for failing to do his/her job correctly, even if that expert assistance is an app that you can download to your phone. Don't forget, if you are caught speeding, illegally parking, or committing any other infraction of the local traffic laws, and the officer who caught you does his/her job correctly, there is nothing you can do to get out of paying the piper, so again, put the blame where it belongs. After all, these 'technicalities' are included in our laws to protect us from being wrongly or improperly accused. If a defendant 'gets off' on a technicality, rejoice. The law is doing exactly what it is intended to do.

Bob, I thank you for all the invaluable information you make available to us (your readers), and the unbiased manner in which you present it. I for one think it is very good to know there is help and that I am not alone if I get into trouble.



Posted by:

25 Jan 2022

Bob is not encouraging people to shun responsibility. He is encouraging people to fight unjust tickets which is obvious from his context. I live in CA and, depending on the city, various methods of ticketing amount to extortion. People will not fight and the fees added onto tickets exceed the amount of the ticket fine. For example, a $100 fine can end up being a $400 ticket. Cha-ching. The highest taxed state keeps taxing more to pay expensive pensions for govt. workers. I'm not anti-police but I AM anti-extorsion of money from people at an intersection where a camera substitutes from an actual police officer.

Posted by:

25 Jan 2022

I find some of these comments rather naïve. Tickets are not for punishing a crime, they are for making money for a jurisdiction. In my state, the ticket may be only $150, but the "court cost" is $280, which runs it up. $280 is a week's pay for many who are on minimum wage. Traffic tickets and their costs have gotten out of control. It is nothing more than sending a man with a gun and a badge out to rob the public. I always feel sorry for Jesse James when I see a State Trooper stopping somebody for a chicken poo violation. Poor Jesse only had a gun...
We need to rein in ticket costs, danger to officers, who are often shot at traffic stops, and quotas. No officer should have to write tickets. "Serve and Protect" does NOT mean stealing from the public.
There has to be a better way.

Posted by:

25 Jan 2022

Jesse James was a murderer. Too far a reach. As a retired traffic cop of 30 years here is my experience. Out of all the traffic stops I made, I only cited 40% of them and either warned or assisted them in some way. For speeders the first thing I asked was "Is there some sort of emergency?" Less than 1% had an actual emergency. On a weekend night I could find drunk drivers in groups of 5-10 (no kidding) all I could do was stop the worst one. I averaged 3 DUI's a night on weekends. If someone was in jeopardy of losing their license they were always advised to talk with DA before trial to see if there was some lee-way for a reduction of the charge. For those who had extensive records it was an indication that there were numerous violations all written by other officers from other departments. Of the thousands of tickets I wrote I can only recall 2 offenders that I cited more than once. One I caught twice in one year on his birthday for DUI after his birthday party. I had to endure insults and aggression while trying to keep the highways safe for everyone. And yes I cited people for driving too slow. When asked if I was meeting my quota for the month, week, year, I always replied "We don't have a quota anymore. Now I can write as many tickets as I want."

Posted by:

25 Jan 2022

Yes, there are maniac drivers who should get heavy fines for endangering other drivers. But as Sean and Alex said, governments are using fines as a profit center. I would call it legalized extortion.

Sure, blowing thru a red light or driving 50mph OVER the posted speed limit is one thing. But, should changing lanes without signaling cost you $500? In California, they are building new court houses with the money they get from traffic fines. The list of charges even say something like "additional $240 fine for court construction".

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