I have seen multiple individuals found in contempt in the new bench warrant court. Some recieve a very long period (30 days) others recieve only a weekend. What is a constant is that if you turn youself in, as opposed to being picked up on the street, you have a better chance of leniancy.
Public defenders can be very good attorneys-some are excellent. The only issue is that many are so overwhelmed with the amount of cases that they have that they may not be able to in the amount of time on your brother's case that you feel it deserves. It private attorney will be able to focus more on his case and be able to communicate more with him regarding the specifics. That can be extremely important. Whatever you decide to do, I wish both you and him the best of luck.
It is unlikely to be dropped. However, with a good counsel, he may be able to defeat the charges. An individual can be found guilty based upon police observations and their testimony about the suspects behavior. Passing the field tests is good and it sounds like a winnable case.
This is a very general question. I think it often depends upon whether the prosecutor thinks they have a strong case. However, when there is little doubt-such as having someone on video stealing something and that person refuses to take responsibility-the prosecutor will not hesitate in taking it to trial.
A public defender is a lawyer. The PD is financed through the state. Unfortunately, they are often overworked and underpaid. This is the reason that retaining the services of a private attorney is in your best interest if possible.
This is not owed until there is a civil judgment. They are trying to scare you. Many attorneys will tell you not to pay it. I will leave that up to you. If you are worried, meet with an attorney. Particularly if criminal charges are pending.
A big issue may be whether he was privately retained. If so, he likely made up a fee agreement that went through trial and a new fee agreement would be needed for appeal. If it is not that, there may be a variety of other issues.
Your impression was incorrect and you must have misunderstood something. With the ARD it is not "part of your record." However, it can be discovered. PennDOT maintains a record of it even though you were never found guilty or pled guilty. This should not be the case, but it is how it works unfortunately.