It seems since you don't want to waste your time dealing with the ticket and don't mind paying then getting an attorney to handle it for you is the best way to insure it is handled correctly. the other 3 options will save you money but may take more of your time and could require additional court appearances to be sure it is dismissed.
I would opt for number 3 although many attorneys would want to do number 2 first. Oh and they can't force you to identify the driver. The only question to be answered is was it you.
Always best to be represented. You might be able to find a high-volume traffic attorney who will take the case for the $250 you mention. Best to get an attorney and make sure it's handled properly.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--19 years experience. Law Offices of Jay S. Finnecy
The Best thing to do if the driver in the photo is not you is just represent your self. I say this because it can take you about 1-2 hours but save you $300-700 from hiring counsel. Yes i'm saying you don't need an attorney for this ticket if it wasn't you. They will only ask if it was you in the photo, you can not be forced to say who the person actually is.
Don't get me wrong our office and many others would love to have your business and represent you. but if you have the time to go then do so, as this is a quick fix.
Option #3 should work, as many judges will dismiss at arraignment when it's clearly not you. If the hassle of court is too much, then yes - a traffic ticket attorney can and will handle this. It's their bread & butter.
The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.
You have no obligation to identify the driver. If you have the time go ahead and appear on your own behalf, (I am not going to direct you to a lawyer when I believe you do not need one). It may be an entertaining experience. Otherwise you can send in the affidavit leaving the identification section blank. I would cross it out to make it clear that it was not a mistake.
If you do appear, do not lie and say that you do not know who the driver is, simply say that you choose not to identify the driver.