It would be a big mistake to represent yourself. Attorneys don't even represent themselves when they get into hot water. If you don't have the funds to retain an attorney, you can request a public defender at your arraignment.
This is indeed a problem for you nephew. Since he has an attorney, I suggest that he direct his concerns to his attorney. I can tell you that lawyers on this forum (generally) do not like to answer questions when a person is lready represented. It's bad form to undermine or question an attorney's performance who is already imbedded in a case. That said, your nephew can always fire his attorney and hire a private lawyer if he's not satisfied. He would of course need money to pay for a private...
Whether you hire a private defense attorney or public defender, you would absolutely benefit form having an advocate. Since you are right on the cusp, there is a very good chance your attorney can get your charge reduced or dismissed altogether. I would not suggest going it alone.
I agree that this will make no difference. I hope you have an attorney to assist you with this. I also do not recommend dealing with the DMV on your own. The DMV hearing is totally unrelated to the criminal action.
It's always a good idea to at least consult with an attorney because you may be entitled to more than you believe. There are many attorneys that don't "only" take million dollar cases. Although most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency, having one negotiate on your behalf usually pays for itself and then some. Because you suffered scars, there is a change of permanent disfigurement. I wouldn't go it alone. Good luck.
That should be a good lesson: don't speak to the police without a lawyer present. As far as your confession goes, Attorney Bogan is correct. You cannot be convicted on a confession without more. You also cannot be arrested without probable cause that a crime was committed and you comitted the crime. The police will no doubt investigate.
If you weren't arrested, then you should have nothing to worry about. You'll get a demand in the mail ordering to pay something. You don't need to pay it, especially because the property was returned and wasn't damaged. They will not come after you because it will cost them more to do that. A civil demand has no legal force. However, if you don't pay it, they'll probably continue to bombard you with these letters.
The police can search anywhere they have reason to believe the parolee has access to. Case law is clear that people who live with parolees cannot "reasonably expect privacy" in shared areas of the residence. That being said, the police cannot search areas that are occupied or controlled exclusively by the cotenant. If the doors don't have locks, the search was probably justified.