There is always a chance - pds are, after all, highly experienced criminal attorneys. Get one or hire one-you defiantly need it. Don't forget to requet your aps hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Note-a pd can't help you with DMV. Just a consideration.
Generally, speedy trial rights are individual rights of an accused. However, there are certain very fact specific circumstances where a trial can be continued over a defendant's objection and beyond the speedy trial period. It sounds like this situation might be one of those. Contact the attorney and ask him. If nothing else, you may have an appellate issue later.
They are correct. There is no "expungement" in California. The best you can do (assuming a conviction) is get a post conviction dismissal. Your arrest and conviction will still appear, but with a notation saying they've been dismissed. You can petition for factual innocence, however it's a very tough standard to prove and almost never works. Unlike Juvenlie cases, there are no other options (that I'm aware of - please AVVO attorneys feel free to comment if I am incorrect here). Of course,...
I agree with my collegues. Why plead? There are a multitude of options you don't know about that an experienced attorney does. Get advice before you plea. If you can't afford an attorney, get the public defender to help you.
Most likely nothing. If the police weren't called, the criminal justice system hasn't activated. I have never seen or heard of anyone getting in trouble later for not paying the civil demand. What the consequences are for your visa I don't know. But criminally, you can safely ignore it.
Generally, the statute of limitations for Felony cases is 3 years, so you're way outside the SOL. That said, for certain fraud cases, the sol is "tolled" until the crime is actually discovered. Tolling refers to an extension of the SOL. It may be, if the fraud has been going on for 30 years but was only discovered recently, that this person could still be prosecuted. Without more facts, however, it is impossible to say.