1FF it seems that you generally have some type of issue with the advice I give. Read through the thread and take a look at post #37. It seems like maybe my advice helped, I don't know, maybe I'm retarded though or offering bad advice. I'm not going to argue Attorney Costs/Courtroom Procedure/Police Procedure/Legal Defense with you. I do this shit for a living and have been doing it for a while. Unless you have some type of qualifications I don't know about, I don't see how your advice is valid in this case.
I will tell you straight up, if you are guilty of a traffic offense and you hide behind an Attorney, you are nothing more than a Little Pussy in my mind. Be accountable for your actions. I would have cut the OP a break, that is me. If the Officer is within the confines of the law to write the OP a ticket, then so be it. If you read my earlier advice asking the OP to speak with the Officer before blowing a bunch of money on a guy wearing a suit, carrying a briefcase, it looks like it is going to work out for the OP, which is what I wanted. I don't want to see a 17 year old kid get jammed up for spinning the tires.
Owning up to your mistakes or errors in judgement is the only way to live my man. This wasn't an involved case, and it would be very easy to prove. Lawyers have a place, one being if you are Not Guilty, or another being if the case is too complex for you to understand on your own. Spinning the tires is pretty simple dude, you either did it or you didn't.
In the post you jumped on I was talking to another MM member who also thought my advice was retarded. This member, "always" hired an Attorney to get him off his charges. It sounds like this member wasted a lot of money that could have been spent on mods.
DRIVING IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT. There is a serious lack of accountability in this country. I'm not sure if you have kids, but I will pose a scenerion to you. You live on a quiet street and your young children ride there bikes out in front of your house. A young driver pulls up in a muscle car, bakes the tires, and proceeds to take off at a high rate of speed. You children are scared, crying etc. The driver gets pulled over and ticketed. You go to the trial as a witness. The driver hires an Attorney and sits at the defendant table silently. The Lawyer speaks for him trying to punch holes in a pretty cut and dried case. Maybe he gets him off, maybe he doesn't, you are going to be livid seeing him sit there. On the flip side the driver accepts responsibility on his own for his actions, comes over and apologizes to you and your family and takes his punishment like a man. You are more apt to respect that individual, and that individual is more likely to get the picture and not do it again.
In this particular case I do have an issue with your advice. Advising anyone facing more than a minor traffic violation ( reckless driving. 6pts, $500fine, and sky rocking insurance rates is not minor ) to not pursue expert advice from a lawyer is just wrong. Sure, he did luck out in this case and had an officer willing to accept a bribe in exchange for wiping but that is awfully crooked. You can attempt to defend that action any way you want but if the officer feels he might have over exaggerated the ticket then it should be wiped and if he feels it wasn't than it should stand. This should never be decided based upon how much someone donate to the precinct. In fact, if it were me I would go to court with that info and have the ticket dismissed without paying a penny ( with the help of a lawyer ).
My advice comes from personal experience. I deal with lawyers on a monthly basis working for in investment firm, I have gotten in my fair share of trouble growing up, and have dated multiple lawyers. By no means am I an expert but I'm educated beyond the average American because of my experiences.
I do agree with you that if you lawyer up over minor traffic offenses (ie speeding, passing in a double yellow, running a stop sign/red light) it is less than honorable and you should just pay your fine, take your slap on the wrist, and learn your lesson but that isn't the case for this particular example.
Is this case that simple? Was he driving recklessly? Was it intentional? It was bad enough for the officer to track him down miles from the scene but minor enough that he was let go and willing to dismiss it later. That hardly seem plain or simple. There are plenty of argument to be made from that and those who are unfamiliar with the law might not know their options, which is why you hire a professional to represent you.
I 100% agree with your last paragraph. Driving is a privilege and there is a serious lack of accountability by people on the streets. I bitch all the time about this and joke around with my friends asking if there is even a driving test anymore because it seems at least half the drivers on the road aren't familiar with the proper procedure for operating a motor vehicle (which I notice even more so being in a motorcycle). On top of that you have the tens of millions of people who feel they don't need to be insured because they can't afford it and my response is just what you said, driving is a privilege and if you can't meet the requirements the you don't deserve to drive.
As for your scenario, if you are caught speeding through a residential zone you deserve the fine and should accept the consequences of your actions. I already stated above that I agree with that.