You’re driving five miles over the speed limit when you notice blue flashing lights coming up from behind. A police officer pulls you over and gives you a speeding ticket. You can either suck it up and pay the ticket, like most people do, or go to court and contest it. Luckily, there’s an app that lets you contest your ticket without ever having to leave your home.
Off the Record is an iPhone and web app with an average success rate of 97%, according to GeekWire. To use the app, users take a photo of their ticket, answer a few short questions, and pay $250. The app then assigns the case to a lawyer nearby to contest it for the user. Users can message and receive updates from their lawyers through the app without having to meet their attorney in person or show up to court.
Currently, the app only handles small infractions like speeding slightly over the speed limit and running a stop sign. Most of these fines are around $150, but the app creators say it’s worth paying the $250 fee to avoid insurance premium increases that can add up over the years. If the ticket does stay on your insurance record, though, the app will refund you the $250.
According to the app, 81 percent of the time, the attorney gets the ticket waived and, 16 percent of the time, the ticket is reduced to a non-moving violation, meaning that your insurance rate will not increase, but you’ll still have to pay the fine.
The service isn’t available in every city yet, but you can sign up for email updates for when it does arrive in your city. There are also other apps that let you easily hire a lawyer for disputing traffic tickets, such as Legal Tap (for a 15-minute consultation), GetDismissed (for California drivers), and WinIt (for drivers in New York City).