This appears to be a complicated and fact-specific case. Therefore, without more facts, the questions you ask are hard to answer. Find a criminal defense lawyer who represents clients in your area and explain to that lawyer all facts. Perhaps finding an attorney who represents individuals in federal court in criminal actions is the best for you.
Probably not. The statute of limitations refers to the time period the Commonwealth has to file a charge. Your question should be is there a "Rule 600" (i.e. speedy trial) violation? Rule 600 provides that the defendant must be brought to trial within a year of the charge (assuming you are out of custody). However, there may be days that are excluded from the one year because you or your attorney asking for continuances or pretrial hearings, or your admission into a preadjudication program...
A conviction for underage drinking will affect your teaching career. Hire counsel. Plead not guilty. The magistrate judge may be able to accept you into a special program which if completed may end in no conviction on your record. Do whatever you can to avoid a conviction. Again, hire counsel.
You will not automatically be enrolled in ARD. You will have to tell the MDJ at the preliminary hearing what you want to do with the case. Then a couple months later, you will be in court. It is always best to hire an attorney to guide you through the process. Also, an attorney will review the documents to see if ARD is your best option and, if so, what the consequences will be if you are accepted into the ARD program.
Andrea Mertz, Reading, Berks County
Failing to appear will get you a bench warrant. ARD most likely will be withdrawn and a bench warrant issued if you don't appear for the ARD hearing. If you are arrested, even for a minor arrest,the police most likely Will see the detAimee and put you in jail until pa comes to get you after the extradition hearing. I suggest you hire counsel in Pa and deal with your issues up hear.
ARD is a diversionary program diverting the first time offender away from a conviction. So, if asked, and if on ARD, no conviction. ARD IS A DISPOSIION THAT DOES NOT EQUAL A CONVICTION. You were not convicted. Answer no if asked have you ever been convicted.
I practice in Reading, PA (Berks County). I can tell you that there is a program called ARD that MAY be available to him. ARD is for first time offenders. ARD includes, among other things, highway safety classes, a drug and alcohol intake, fines, license suspension and court costs. However, if he applies and is accepted to the ARD program, and completes it successfully, then his record for this offense will be expunged and he will never have to say he was convicted of this DUI.