Want to get rid of your traffic ticket? There’s an app for that! The question is: Should I use an app like Offtherecord or WinIt to fight my traffic ticket? While an app may seem convenient, it is unlikely to give a person the best possible legal defense. In fact, many users of such apps end up spending money for nothing. While app-based traffic ticket services can often provide the service for a lower cost, there are several hidden costs that you might not realize at the outset. Sometimes saving on costs up front means paying a higher cost in the long run.
Here are some of the pitfalls to using an app to fight a traffic ticket:
You Won’t Get to Choose Your Lawyer
Many of the better-known apps (and some websites which use similar processes) do not let the user choose, vet, interact, or even identify the attorney in advance. Most people don’t want to hire an attorney “on blind faith” only to find out who they are once they’ve paid. An attorney with a poor reputation may not get good results. Worse, they attorney that the app “recommends” may actually be the attorney who was willing to accept the lowest rate for representation which means they may be inexperienced or expect to spend little time on the case. In the dog-eat-dog world of price wars, the cheapest attorney might win the client, but also might lose the case.
No Attorney-Client Consultation
Most of the apps aim to process as many tickets as quickly as possible. As such, there is little or no communication between the potential client and the lawyer. Users submit their information, are given a quote and then wait to hear the outcome of the case. There are no updates, no advice, and no information about the ticket itself. In some cases, users have complained that they had no idea that the ticket they received was technically a criminal offense (e.g. reckless driving). Others had no idea that the ticket carried the potential for a suspended license or how many points it was. This is little surprise given that a key component of the attorney-client relationship is missing, namely, the initial consultation.
By contacting an attorney or law firm directly, a person can request a true and thorough consultation regarding the consequences of the ticket and the defense strategy.
No Customer Service
Many of the apps have little or no customer service infrastructure in place, making it difficult for users to find out if there has been a technical issue with the app itself and how that may have affected one’s case. Who really wants an app glitch to mess up their case?
Money Back Guarantee is Not Guaranteed
Perhaps one of the biggest catches is the so-called money-back guarantee. Many apps and websites advertise that a user won’t have to pay if he/she does not win the case. But exceptions abound! For example, most will not offer a refund for tickets issued in New York City or New Jersey. There is a ton of fine print and many users have complained that they were never issued a refund in situations that seem to warrant one.
Why an App Makes Sense for Ordering Pizza But Not Fighting Traffic Tickets
Traffic laws are complicated and the implications of a conviction are numerous and long-lasting. Ordering a pizza or searching for a date carries a lot less risk. If the pizza is late or the date no-shows it results in some disappointment or maybe frustration. But an unreliable attorney who no-shows a court date (a common complaint in reviews for such apps) can mean points and a suspended license. No amount of complaining to customer service is going to make that better: the impact on one’s driving record and auto insurance can’t be fixed overnight.
A person with a traffic ticket must understand how the points and fines can impact them. Drivers deserve to have regular and consistent updates on the details of their case, what options are available to them, and what is reasonable to expect. For example, a person with a ticket for speeding 45 mph over the limit is unlikely to get the ticket dismissed; more realistically, it could be reduced to a lesser speeding ticket or other moving violation. An app-based attorney is not likely to explain such details upfront before accepting (or rejecting) a case.
Who Should I Contact for Help with My Traffic Ticket?
If you or someone you love has been ticketed for a traffic violation in New York or New Jersey, contact a law firm directly. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law are experienced traffic ticket attorneys who will answer your questions and explain the consequences of your ticket. They will work with you to ensure that you are getting the best possible result and communicate with you at each step along the way. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation about your case.