If you plead guilty or no contest to a violation of VC 23152(a), you have to make sure that the provision of the "alcohol" is stricken. Otherwise the DMV will suspend your license. You should discuss your case with your attorney as there maybe nuances that members on this board, which may affect your case to which we are not privy.
How much time are you potentially facing? Potentially a long time depending on your priors and how the DA charges the case. You need to have a consultation with an attorney to flesh these details out if you want an informed assessment.
It sounds like the attorney you spoke with actually does know actually knows what they are talking about. The two week continuance the attorney was talking about was asking the court to put the matter over for entry of plea and IDC (Identification of Counsel).
It depends on the jurisdiction. Most jurisdictions allow the defendants to apply for an expungement through the probation department. Be advised that trying to get an expungement through the probation department takes a lot longer than having an attorney petitioning the court directly.
One reason for requesting the APS hearing is that you should get your discovery through the DMV before your arraignment. Looking at your post, it would appear that your DMV hearing officer will be Wing Su at the Capitola DMV. Mr. Su is one of the more "reasonable" DMV hearing officers but he is by no means a push over.
If the stop was made by the CHP, you would be able to get a copy of the MVARS, Mobile Video Audio Recording System, to show that you did not blow threw two stop signs if...
You can sue the trucking company for your out-of-pocket expenses on the theory of negligence. You don't need a cause of action for the lack of insurance. I would recommend suing in small claims court if your case is as cut and dry as you suggest.