Yes, this is a criminal traffic citation. If you plea to it, you will be pleading to a criminal offense. It would be smart to speak with a local attorney regarding your options.
Yes. The SAO is the prosecutor in your NVDL case, unlike a civil infraction, where the officer is the prosecutor on your ticket. You'll need an attorney to make your life easier on this though.
Contact one of the fine traffic ticket / criminal law attorneys who responded to your question (or another local attorney listed on AVVO) Most will offer a free initial consultations. It is difficult to handle these matters with the assistance of a local attorney who is familiar with the local judges & court procedures. Good luck
This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.