Getting a local Mendocino County DUI lawyer gives you your best shot at beating a DUI in the local Mendocino Superior Court, and protecting your driver's license at the Ukiah DMV. All of the other parties to your case have their own agendas: the arresting officer, the DMV, the Mendocino County District Attorney and the Mendocino County Judge. For a more detailed discussion of the police agenda, see Jake's discussion in this Top Ten Tips series: Don't Follow Bad Advice. The judge and assistant district attorney who are examining your case are both highly disciplined and experienced lawyers, and, together with the DMV hearing officer assigned to your case, all of these local DUI authorities who are about to make decisions about the outcome of your matter are guided by much broader public safety considerations than just you or your own personal hardship, family needs or future job security.
Mendocino County DUI attorneys are specifically hired to protect you in every practical way. Not only can the outcome of a Mendocino County DUI affect you for the rest of your life, but in addition, all kinds of unexpected complications in Mendocino DUI cases can trip you up, and all kinds of shortcuts exist making it easier for you to comply with far less pain at the end of the day; only Mendocino DUI lawyers are uniquely positioned to navigate you through this situation, and no one has the expertise to go it alone.
Would you perform medical procedures on yourself? Engineer your own home? Fix your own plumbing or electrical problems? Sue a big company without a good lawyer on your side? We hire professionals to address and properly fix all kinds of problems in our lives, expertly and correctly from beginning to end, with minimum confusion and stress, with maximum information and flexibility, the options and execution you need right now. Don't follow casual advice from friends or try to do this yourself; you should have a Ukiah DUI lawyer looking out for your own best interests and easing the consequences so that you may move on with the least stress and inconvenience.
Public defenders. If you really cannot afford to hire a private Mendocino County DUI lawyer, then it's almost always advisable to appear at the first court date in the Mendocino County courthouse and when your case is called by the judge, don't try to explain your case or circumstances or ask for a break, but rather, at the very first moment that you are permitted to speak, simply ask for the Mendocino County Public Defender to be appointed.
Note: Mendocino County public defenders do not handle DMV proceedings in Ukiah or elsewhere, and typically you are not permitted to speak with them prior to your first court appearance. Also, typically you have to physically go to court for the first appearance and every proceeding in your case, as opposed to private Mendocino DUI lawyers who go for you while you go to work or stay home. However, although public defenders get a bad rap because they typically can't spend as much time with you as compared to a private DUI lawyer, nevertheless their service is excellent and highly valued.
Representing yourself. Although you have a constitutional right to represent yourself according to the US Supreme Court's Faretta Ruling, understand that in any civil or criminal case, it is nearly always considered a mistake to represent yourself in court. This is because the other side (in Mendocino County criminal cases, the other side is the State of California) has its own highly trained lawyer (the District Attorney), with a bank of assistant lawyers and staff, but you don't have such support if you represent yourself, and therefore you are at a severe disadvantage. In addition, one is always biased and sympathetic to one's own personal situation, and unable to objectively advise yourself of your own best interests. This is true even for defendants who are themselves lawyers and is the fundamental reason why "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." See also the Sonoma County Superior Court's Faretta Waiver advisements and warnings if you still wish to consider this ill-advised alternative to affordable counsel.
If you don't see how involved and complex even a first DUI can be in Mendocino County without a lawyer, then click on our Mendocino DUI Lawyer Anatomy of a DUI on this site and see the many different directions a Mendocino case can go, as well as the collection of obligations, timetables and tasks to perform. A local Mendocino DUI attorney who can guide you through the maze of bureaucratic doo-doo, not to mention the possibility of getting charges reduced or dismissed, is well worth the expense. Your situation requires an attorney knowledgeable in the precise area of the law in which you find yourself. Consider just a sample listing of possible DUI defenses on this site by clicking on Ten Tips for Fighting a Mendocino County DUI. A DUI should be handled by a criminal defense lawyer who regularly defends DUI cases in your courtroom.
A private DUI lawyer will go to Mendocino Superior Court or traffic court for you and in most Mendocino County cases you don't ever have to appear. This is particularly helpful if you don't live in Mendocino County. A private Mendocino DUI lawyer should also handle the DMV case for you so you don't have to yourself (these hearings are usually litigated in the Santa Rosa or Petaluma satellite DMV offices). The value of this convenience and the possibility of a Mendocino DUI lawyer successfully obtaining lower or dismissed charges and protecting your driver license, is well worth a reasonable Mendocino attorney fee (typically in the $1500-$2500 range for any straight-forward 1st or 2nd DUI in Mendocino County).
Any good Mendocino County DUI defense lawyer will closely examine the Mendocino County Superior Court complaint against you and the police report completed by Mendocino County law enforcement, looking for any glaring or less obvious defenses, and then sit down with you for as long as you need, explain everything to you and ask you to make your own decisions after you understand the issues, likelihood of success, possible additional costs if any, and probable risks and consequences. A good Mendocino DUI lawyer will help you navigate the minefield of possibilities, get you through the bureaucratic mess which is present in every Mendocino County DUI arrest case, help you understand the multiple tasks facing you, and coordinate the timing of tasks and resolutions, to get all of this behind you from arrest to resolution with the least amount of stress and pain. See Jake's Short Video "Hire a DUI Lawyer!" here: Jake's Video Shorts.
A local DUI lawyer who lives and practices in Mendocino County is far better than one based in Marin, San Francisco or LA, because lawyers who regularly practice DUI law in Mendocino know how the Ukiah DMV, and how the Mendocino County judges and Mendocino County District Attorney react to certain cases, and we know the available options and procedures here in Mendocino County which often vary widely in different counties. For example, a standard no-defenses second DUI in Mendocino County is typically sentenced to thirty days of jail, but all of the time may be served by volunteering with the county if you are not otherwise ineligible. By comparison, in Marin County the typical sentence for the same charges is fifteen days instead of thirty, and four days must be served in actual custody. Napa's typical sentence for a second DUI is only ten days of jail, all of which may be served with a jail alternative. Local Ukiah lawyers who actually live and practice in Mendocino County know Mendocino County DUI practices and procedures.
If you don't see how the wrong DUI lawyer can be a castatrophe, click here to see an authentic Bad DUI Lawyer Email Sent to Jake complaining about a remote lawyer, missed court appearance, arrest warrant, ridiculous DMV phone hearing resulting in a two-year license suspension, total disaster.
Ask questions, and choose carefully; here's another real statement, from one of Jake's former clients: "I also wanted to share something that you may or may not wish to add to the testimonial (if you've used it). Since being in the DUI program, I've come across a wide range of folks who have had varying experiences with their lawyers. Every time someone shares a story, I am even more grateful than ever that I sought you out and that you agreed to take my case. I've heard stories from people whose lawyers won't answer any questions after court, who wouldn't appear for them in court (it's possible that they weren't allowed to I suppose) or who gave such minimal information that they have been left to navigate much of the DUI laws and DMV processes by themselves. So, thank you again for all of your help, your honesty and bluntness, and your follow up."
Don't pay extra by being fooled into hiring a smooth talking "big name" criminal lawyer based in another county like San Mateo, Marin, San Francisco or Los Angeles to whom you pay more money so that he or she can hopefully accomplish the exact same result as a Mendocino County DUI defense attorney, or worse yet they turn around and hire a local Mendocino no-name contract lawyer to appear for you. The quality of representation might be adequate but still a waste of additional money and an unwanted additional layer of people and miscommunications.
If you wish to test whether your prospective lawyer is truly knowledgeable and local, ask how many offices he/she has, where his/her primary business office is located, how often he/she appears personally in Mendocino as compared to other courts, when was the last time he/she physically stood in front of a Mendocino County judge on behalf of a client arrested for DUI, at which DMV office he/she conducts DMV hearings, and what is his/her personal understanding of a standard no-defenses DUI sentence in Mendocino County. The answers should be immediate, specific, and confidently provided to you.
It is much easier for you (and well worth it) if you do not have to take time off work and attend a stressful and confusing appearance in Mendocino superior court in Ukiah or Fort Bragg if your attorney determines that there is no other reason for you to attend. Most court appearances are boring for non-lawyers, and the first appearance in Mendocino County is usually only meant to trade papers and information and set new dates, not to argue anything of substance. Typically in Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma Counties, you are not required to attend a misdemeanor court or DMV hearing with your DUI lawyer unless there is a substantial proceeding where evidence is to be formally introduced (usually only a contested hearing or actual trial proceedings). In Marin County you must only attend sentencing if you live in Marin or a bordering county.
No, as discussed above, in most cases court appearances are strictly procedural. Unless special circumstances are present (such as a high blood alcohol level alleged, multiple priors, or a violation of probation), judges do not wish to speak to a defendant at such proceedings. Clients who live in Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Point Arena, or towns in Mendocino County, rarely, if ever, come to court in typical DUI cases. This doesn't mean you'll be left in the dark about your case. A good DUI attorney will explain the entire process. To start, click here to see Jake's comprehensive Anatomy of a Mendocino County DUI flowchart. In addition, Jake's tech know-how can be very helpful to avoid the need for client travel, meetings or appearances, especially at the procedural beginning of a case. If requested, we .pdf police reports and other case documents to you within 24 hours after court appearances.
You can (and should) closely follow the progress of your Mendocino County case by regularly communicating with your DUI lawyer before and after Ukiah court appearances, and follow your case separately online by clicking on Resources on this site and then find your local court under "Superior Courts" by clicking on the county where you were arrested (for example, Mendocino, Sonoma, Marin, or Napa), and search your name. Mendocino Courts have an online calendar for Ukiah appearances several days in advance, by courtroom number, listing date, name, type of hearing, and case number. Sonoma Courts publish a daily online calendar listing name, courtroom number, case number and one charge for your case. Napa Courts have a similar online calendar. Marin Courts have San Rafael appearances online weeks in advance.
Beware the driver license sting operations. Important!! If you have a suspended license, don't drive, and if you drive to court, you stand a chance of being arrested in sting operations where police watch in court and radio to officers waiting for you when you drive away from the courthouse. These stings have been conducted in Napa and Sonoma County at random times throughout the year and result in huge additional headaches (not to mention more jail time) for those caught. The picture taken (left) by Jake was an example of such a sting operation in Sonoma County. Click here if you don't believe it! Santa Rosa Court Sting.
You might get a bill from the police. Some police agencies routinely mail reimbursement bills to attempt to recoup costs for arresting you! Even though you may be a Mendocino County taxpayer and may have already paid for the police department, the police car, and the salary of the police officer whose arrest you are now fighting, still, in these tough economic times Mendocino County agencies may try to bill you for reimbursement of their costs for the actual DUI arrest incident pursuant to Government Code Section 53150. Click here to see a CHP Invoice, a CHP "Second Notice", or here Santa Rosa Police Invoice.
Although an invoice pursuant to this law may be valid if emergency personnel were required to respond (for example an ambulance, paramedics or fire trucks responding to a DUI accident scene, or more CHP or Ukiah officers to manage traffic interruption), nevertheless, the California Court of Appeals for Mendocino County has ruled that an ordinary arrest for DUI is not a sufficient trigger event to require reimbursement to Mendocino County law enforcement under this law. See, California Highway Patrol v. Superior Court (Allende) (1st Dist 2006) 135 C.A.4th 488.
A recent example. A recent CHP invoice received by one of Jake's DUI clients who was subjected to a typical, uneventful DUI arrest, states that "the defendant herein shall pay to CHP the total indicated below" listing 5.2 personnel hours and a total due of $469.33. After reviewing this client's incident, and the invoice received, Jake was outraged by the intimidating and misleading "defendant shall pay CHP" language in the invoice from an agency whose leaders are sworn to uphold and enforce the law; he advised this particular client not to pay her bill based on the individual facts in her case, and fired off a Counsel's Reply Letter on her behalf.
Although failure to pay may result in a debt collection lawsuit (civil, not criminal case), or may cause an item to be referred to the franchise tax board or a collection agency risking a negative credit incident (many if not most people may never hear from the police agency again, especially if the arrest was in fact uneventful), such possible risks may be addressed, minimized and/or negated with vigilance and protest when the claimed debt is disputed and invalid on its face.
2011 Allende II ruling: On December 9, 2011, the Court of Appeals for Mendocino County DUI cases re-examined the issue of when CHP can recoup costs for DUI-related incidents, in Allende v. Dept of California Highway Patrol ("Allende II"), and upheld the CHP's latest policy, to seek cost recovery "for any incident in which an officer is dispatched to a call resulting in a DUI arrest of a driver."
To the dismay of Mendocino County DUI lawyers, the Allende II court embraced its "Fox Guarding the Chicken Coup" approach to when CHP can collect money from citizens whom they arrest for DUI, writing about the "wisdom of deferring to CHP expertise" in this inquiry, and noting the CHP's stated internal policy where "the CHP has instituted an internal appeal process under which arrested drivers may challenge an officer's initial determination that an incident qualifies for cost recovery. According to the evidence, "when [the CHP] send[s] out an Emergency Response Cost invoice under the CHP's Cost Recovery Program, and disputes arise over the propriety of the invoice, [it] has established procedures for investigating, reviewing, and resolving such disputes . . . ." For example, if "the dispute involves a contention . . . that no emergency response to an incident was involved, [the CHP] will put the invoice on hold and forward a copy of the invoice file (including the dispute letter) to the area office from which the incident arose. Information is requested from the area office so that an appropriate response can be made. If it is determined that the invoice was mistakenly issued, [the CHP] will cancel the invoice and inform the disputant of that fact. If the area office believes the invoice was properly issued and the disputant does not agree, or if the contention involves a dispute regarding the Government Code, the matter may be referred to the CHP's legal office. The CHP's counsel will then review the materials. When the CHP's counsel concludes an invoice was not appropriate, the charges are cancelled."
Allende II also upheld the specific formula for determining the amount of reimbursement in a Mendocino County DUI arrest, where "CHP calculates annually a standard hourly rate for its officers by taking the monetary wages paid to a mid-step traffic officer, adding the cost of benefits (retirement contributions, health insurance, workers compensation and Medicare contributions) and dividing that amount by an officer's "total actual working time," which includes the total number of hours an average officer works after subtracting paid time off for holidays, vacations and other leave."
Ukiah DUI attorneys are following these developments and are in the best position to advise someone arrested for a DUI in Mendocino County who subsequently receives a bill from a local police agency for the type of cost recovery described here.
You might get a bill from the hospital. Often a DUI arrest involves a blood test, because a breath test was unavailable, or because you chose the blood test rather than the breath test, or because the officer informed you (as they are required) that the breath-testing equipment does not retain any sample of the breath and that no breath sample will be available after the test which could be analyzed later by you or your DUI lawyer, and because no breath sample is retained, you have the opportunity to provide a blood or urine sample that will be retained at no cost to you so that there will be something retained that may be subsequently analyzed for the alcoholic content of your blood. See Vehicle Code Section 23614.
The fact that the police do not have access to their own medical staff, or to a paramedic response (many police agencies do have such access), does not mean that you should have to pay for alternative hospital staff to perform the blood draw while you are in state custody exercising a right protected by law which specifically states that there will be no cost to you. If you received such a bill (click here for an example of a hospital bill for blood draw), then you should discuss it with a Ukiah DUI attorney before paying it. Always discuss your individual circumstances with a Mendocino County DUI lawyer because they may affect the actual advice given to you in your unique case.
DUI defendants should always consult with a Ukiah DUI lawyer about the individual circumstances of an arrest before being intimidated into paying any such invoice from Mendocino County or state law enforcement agencies.
"Jake, thank you so much for the email [about the DMV win]. I'm so glad it worked out the way it did. I fully believe I would not have got this resolution without you . When this happened I was so confused on the process and my future and you really put my confusion and fears to rest . Thank you, I am forever grateful. I will recommend you to anyone found in my situation. I just can't thank you enough."
"I've been meaning to send you a note regarding our meeting and court date last week. When I left your office, I knew that regardless of the court outcome, I had a great respect for you as a person. You seem like you really care about your clients and people in general. I've never bought into the anti lawyer crap. Where would we be without people like you who stand up for our rights."
"Dear Jake, thank you so much for all your help during such a traumatic time. Beings that this was my first DUI, I was overwhelmed and confused, until I reached out for your services. You quickly made sense of the process to me and from there you guided me every step of the way, which relieved so much of the burden during this ordeal. Your professionalism and support were invaluable during this ordeal and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sincerely,"
"Jake was the lifeline we needed. His expertise and knowledge was obvious from the first interview. He went above and beyond at every turn, and supported us throughout a very difficult time. Thanks to this wonderful attorney, my husband finally stands the chance of getting back behind the driving seat sooner than we had anticipated. We will always recommend Jake unreservedly."
"I chose Jake after speaking to several other attorneys because it was made clear to me how professional he was and willing to help me to make the best out of my situation. He was very genuine and easily accessible for means of communication when I needed to talk. He helped my life become easier and more manageable after I messed up by making reckless decisions. I highly recommend Jake because he went the distance and more to help me out with my court situation and he will do the same for you!"
E.D., Rohnert Park
"Jake, Usually I am never at a loss of words. Just really don't know how to put into words how much I appreciate the help you gave me! I felt you were not only skilled at practicing law, but also showed so much kindness and compassion for my situation. You always responded back in a very timely manner which helped to relieve a lot of the stress. Got my license without a problem. "
A.H., Ukiah client, Redding, MI
"It's part of my job to give over and above customer service, but who knew it would exist when hiring an attorney especially with an unusual DUI circumstance. Jake was sympathetic to my needs and explained all scenarios of my case upfront so that I understood. He kept me up-to-date with information. Best of all, we won! Simply put, Jake is the best."
KA.D., St Helena
"I made a mistake and was arrested on a DUI charge. The stop and arrest were bad enough, but the maze of laws and requirements after the arrest were a real shock! Fortunately I hired Jake Schwartz two days after my arrest and he quickly got to work to help me retain my driver's privileges, which were never suspended. Throughout the ordeal Jake was very patient, pleasant and thorough. He always answered my questions and followed up on all issues. Through his diligence, Jake discovered several things that were not done correctly during the arrest and BAC tests. Jake represented me and got my charges reduced without me even having to appear court. At every stage of the process Jake laid out the facts and asked me how I wanted to proceed and each time I felt like I was as well informed and as well represented as I could possibly be."
D.F., Ukiah client, Santa Rosa
"After the going through the shock of getting arrested and spending the night in jail, this first-time offender was totally lost in what to do next. A friend of mine had heard of Jake, and it was the first and only call I made. He was extremely knowledgeable about my rights and what needed to be done next. He gave me options, ideas, and a timeline of what to do and when to do it. Jake saved me a lot of time and allowed me to put this behind me quicker than had I tried to navigate the maze of rules and regulations by myself. Trust the testimonials and allow Jake to put your unfortunate experience behind you."
"Once I determined that I needed legal representation, I was not sure where to turn. After researching the credentials and websites of several attorneys that handle DUI cases, I selected Jake due to the vast amount of information on his website and the fact that he exclusively works in the courts where my case was being tried. Jake was able to explain everything in a clear and easygoing fashion and helped me to make informed choices about how to proceed with my case. At all stages of my trial Jake kept me well informed, and he was able to negotiate a very favorable outcome for me. I am very glad that I chose Jake!"
"The morning that I got released from the county jail for driving under the influence, I was completely worried and stressed about what my next step should be. I am a Virginia resident and was in California on vacation and had no idea how to deal with the situation that I put myself in. After doing some research I found Jake's website and decided to give me a call for a consultation. Right from the start Jake was completely helpful with a free phone consultation which lead to me hiring him to handle my case. This was the best choice I could have made. Jake handled all of my court proceedings, kept me up to date on what was going on with my case, and managed to reach a settlement that kept me from having to travel back to California for anything. Although I made a bad decision and put myself in a tough predicament, Jake made the entire ordeal manageable, and most importantly kept me out of jail. Thank you Jake!"
"When I started this whole process with my second DUI offense I thought I was going to have a horrible long bad road ahead of me. However after searching for the right lawyer you were more than what I was looking for! You helped to make the process smooth and very clear, and without your assistance I would have been extremely less confident. With my case you helped the punishments to be the bare minimum, which was completely unexpected and gave me much relief. Your responses were persistent and quick and your answers were never short of information. Thank you so much for all the help I couldn't have gotten the results without you!"
A.I., Santa Rosa
"Thank you for all of your time and work. Being a pre-medical student, I initially feared that my future career goals were ruined and feared my life would irreversibly change due to the DUI. I was immediately put at ease about that worry, and the rest of the usual worries that may accompany a DUI, such as additional jail time, fines, etc... It was such a relief to not have to worry about any of this myself. I really got to step aside and focus on the more important things in my life, all the while knowing that things were getting done to the best of their ability. Given my circumstances, I feel I got off with the least amount of consequences possible. It was a great pleasure to work with you and if any of my family and friends have any issues that would require your service, I know exactly who to point them to. Thanks a lot Jake!"
"Thank You Jake! From our first phone call to the final solution, you put me at ease each step of the way. You made me aware of the entire process and very quickly had it resolved. Your advice was invaluable. I am very appreciative you were able to get my DUI charges reduced to a wet reckless and my DMV record cleared so that I still have full driving privileges and my real license. I am also grateful you appeared in court for me and I did not have the burden or stress of having to attend any court hearings. Your professional advice and services are superlative. I am sure I will recommend you to anyone I know and highly recommend you to those I don't know! Thanks again and again. "
"Jake, many thanks for your help throughout this situation. A DUI is a serious matter and a highly regarded and competent local DUI lawyer like Jake helps ease an incredibly stressful situation. When I met with Jake, he clearly detailed all of the complexities of the case and all of my options. It also helped to have someone representing me whom I trusted, I am not living in Sonoma County. Jake was able to work out a deal where I actually did not have to return to Sonoma, saving me an incredible amount of time and money. To top it off, Jake is a friendly guy with a great sense of humor, which definitely helps!!"
K.S., Santa Barbara
"Jake helped me move quickly through the process of resolving my DUI charge. I felt vey well taken care of and was kept informed at each step of the way as to what my options were and how the process would resolve itself. In addition he helped me reduce my sentence and ultimately turned a bad situation into a reasonable one for me. I would highly recommend his services."
M.F., Glen Ellen
"I am so happy that I found Jake to help me through my DUI. Once I received my DUI I felt helpless with no idea where I would even start. From the first phone call with Jake I was feeling better already. He made everything so smooth and easy, I don't know what I would have done without him. I would highly recommend hiring Jake to handle your DUI case he will take very good care of you. Big thanks!"
"When I was arrested on the road, I was completely panicked. I had never been involved with the legal system before and had no idea how to proceed. By pure luck, I chose to call Dave Jake Schwartz, who answered his phone on Easter Sunday! Jake not only answered my million questions (correctly, no small thing) but was a reliable and knowledgeable voice of calm and comfort all the way through this ordeal. He even made me laugh a few times! Looking back, I made some mistakes, which I have paid for, but I did not make a mistake calling Jake. Thank you, Jake!"
"First I would like to apologize for the long delay writing the review, especially in light of the tremendous outcome of my [second DUI] case. If anyone is in need of a lawyer to be represented in a DUI case, you are in LUCK being in the hands of Jake. I thought for sure I would have my driving privileges taken away for a fair amount of time and many more dollars owed to the court, DMV and DUI classes. In fact I was in a hurry to have my case settled and move forward with whatever the court decided was my "penance" owed to get my life back in order. Especially given the fact this was not my first DUI case, but thank goodness for Jake's advice and expertise. My DUI was downgraded to a "Wet Reckless" through the court and DMV! This has saved me many dollars and my driving privilege was never suspended. I highly recommend Jake to represent you with any DUI case you may have to settle and be assured you will be in good hands!"
A.R., Santa Rosa
"I was 3,000 miles from home and had no clue where to start after my arrest (I've never had to hire any attorney before). I was scared and afraid that I would be forced to either stay in California or have to keep making trips back here. I found Jake's website and saw where he talked about my situation as an out-of-state resident. I then called Jake and he immediately put my greatest concerns to rest. He calmly and confidently explained how he could navigate me through the complex proceedings of a California DUI. I felt comfortable during that first call to hire Jake on the spot and put my trust in him even though I would never end up meeting him in person throughout my proceedings. He honored that trust and never let me down. He answered all of my calls and e-mails (in detail) and made himself available during evenings and weekends. I never had to return to California for any of the proceedings --- Jake handled everything. In the end, I received the best outcome that we had hoped for. I am so grateful that I made that first call. If you are in this same situation, I urge you to call Jake. I would do it again and would recommend him to any family member or friend."
"Hi Jake, I would like to thank you and let you know that its great to have my life back because of what you were able to accomplish in my DUI case. The nightmare is over. Through yourself and your website it made the most difficult experience I have ever had in my life easily manageable. I thought that living in New York and having to deal with a DUI in California was going to cost me huge expenses and lots of personal time. I was really surprised that you (Jake) handled everything from the West coast. I was extremely happy with the outcome without ever making a trip back to California. I would recommend anyone in DUI trouble in Napa or Sonoma get in touch with you ASAP."
D.C., Tourist from NY
"Jake's commitment to availability and support is what made this whole process bearable. He was incredibly organized, timely and supportive of all my questions no matter how big or how small. At an incredibly intense period in my education, I was able to focus on finishing my thesis and enjoy graduating as opposed to worrying about legal problems and I have Jake to thank for that."
E.T., El Cerrito
I remember when I first talked to Jake. My case seemed simple and he even told me that I really did not need to hire him for my case. I was not sure what I was doing and he seemed honest and straight forward. It was the best decision I have ever made. Jake has been so helpful through this entire process. I never would have known what to do if it was not for him. He never gave me false hope or made promises he could not keep. He always kept me well informed and was able to take action immediately and with speed. Communication was amazing during this process. Hopefully I will never have to hire him again, but if any of my friends ever had this happen to them, I wouldn't let them hire anyone else. I cannot thank Jake enough for all the help he has given me and the peace of mind he gave me during this difficult time. Hiring Jake was definitely the best decision I could have made.
B.B., Santa Rosa
"Jake was very professional and helpful in assisting with my situation. Having already been convicted of a DUI out of state years ago, I was charged with a DUI and Jake was able to get a "Wet Reckless" plea bargain for me. This almost never happens if the accused has a prior DUI. The charges were reduced and I suffered no loss of driving privileges and no jail time. Additionally, my probation was shortened and my fines were reduced. All of this was done without ever having to step foot in a courtroom. Bottom line, Jake alleviated the stress involved in dealing with a mistake and helped me get my life back on track."
"You've got a DUI and time is of the essence. Don't waste it dithering over who should represent and advise you. Jake Schwartz came thru for me without promising the impossible. I got a call back ON SUNDAY in minutes followed by an appointment in plain English. Jake never bobbled the ball, and he made me feel the process was always under control. When my case was finally adjudicated and Jake's job was officially done he still stuck with me making certain all of the court's orders were complied with, EVEN THOUGH I HAD MOVED TO THE PHILIPPINES TO RETIRE. You will not get this kind of personalized service from big firms. You'll likely get a wet behind the ears kid. Call Jake."
J.C., formerly from Santa Rosa
"Dear Jake, when I realized the severity of my situation I immediately knew that I needed an attorney. As soon as I first talked to you over the phone, I felt confident and comfortable with having you represent me. You were honest with me about the possible outcomes and you remained kind and understanding toward me. You made it possible to avoid a worst case scenario, and thanks to your guidance I am now on the road to recovery."
E.D., Santa Rosa
"Thank you so much Jake for treating my case so individual as it were, what I mean by that is I had special circumstances that you quickly adapted to and gave me what I needed, and in turn felt at ease with you at the helm of the ship. From the start you were more than cordial on the phone and without hesitation offered your advice and expertise in the matter at hand; you didn't rush me off the phone or try to scare me into hiring you like I had experienced with other attorneys, it was a NO PRESSURE style that made me comfortable from the start, and for that you ROCK!! I would recommend Dave Jake Schwartz for anyone who happens to need a new "legal friend" as Jake truly represents that. Sincerely your client for life. "
"From the very first phone call and email exchange I knew that Jake was professional, reliable and highly experienced. Before I was even an official client Jake took the time to review the details of my case and helped me understand how the next days and months were likely to transpire. I felt very strongly that he was the right person to guide me through a complex and very daunting process and I was right. Jake's advice, experience and professionalism were the difference between an utter nightmare and a managable situation. My peace of mind throughout the process was worth far more than his fee. Further, the respect Jake showed me as a client made me feel like a person again and not just a case number."
J.L., Glen Ellen
"Jake knows the law! From start to finish (and beyond) he guided me through the process informing me of everything I can and cannot do. And everything I need to do. He made himself readily available and answered the same questions as needed. He's patient and professional. He worked for the best outcome in my case, making it easier to get through. And he continues to answer all inquiries after the final hearing. When the city tried to drop a bogus "predatory" charge on me Jake was ready. He sent a billing dispute outlining the law and specifics in my case. I've yet to hear a reply from the city! There's a lot to know about a DUI. I talked with other DUI lawyers who didn't know all of the law and were actually breaking laws. An attorney is a good safe way to go. And be assured, Jake will take care of you. Thanks."
R.B., Rohnert Park
"Can't really sum Jake up in words, I'll give it a shot. Jake was able to offer me the peace of mind I needed during this difficult time, and this was just over the phone! He never sugar-coated anything, made aggressive false promises, or anything of the such. Actually he was able to process my frustration and anger at myself and let me know it was going to be tough, but he was going to be right there with me...most of the time for me. I didn't have to appear in court once. Jake is a straight shooter, and that's what I needed. He is the guy you want on your side, in this situation...or ANY. Did I mention without fail he always responded to my questions-the MANY that I had. Jake is the real deal, and he cares."
"Jake is a great lawyer. He told me everything that I needed to do very clearly and made a very confusing situation much more easy to understand. Without him, I definitely would have been over-whelmed, missed deadlines, had a warrant out for my arrest, and the list of what he did for me goes on. You can tell that he cares about helping the client and not the money. I highly recommend him to anyone in need of legal assistance."
A.E., Rohnert Park
"Jake was such a comfort during my 2nd DUI case. I was so scared and did not know what to do. I called Jake and he answered immediately and explained everything that was going to happen in a way i could understand. Anytime i had a question i called and he answered right away. I showed up for my first court date so scared and ran into Jake and he took me in to stand before the Judge right away my time there was shortened by hours. Dui's are scary and tough but with Jakes help and confidence it went alot smoother. I would recomend him always. Thanks again Jake."
"Dear Jake, I cannot thank you enough for the outstanding, professional service you provided me during this arduous and difficult process. I greatly appreciate all the time, effort, and hard work that you put into the preparation of my case. In the end, I feel fortunate to have had you represent me, and because of you, I had the least possible consequences. It was a very stressful time and the process seemed difficult and long. However, you are an excellent attorney and I would definitely recommend your services to anyone in need of a competent, meticulous, diligent, and moreover you are an extremely patient and sensitive, attorney. I really cannot imagine going through this process without your counsel. Again, many, many thanks and warm regards."
G.B., Napa Client, Davis
"Somehow Jake was able to work miracles for me. He was extremely knowledgeable regarding all aspects of law that needed to be dealt with, not only the DUI. He managed to fight and beat an old hit and run case I didn't even know about, got it dismissed outright, and we avoided a second DUI conviction with some quick thinking and sharp maneuvering. He is very honest, professional and very good at communicating all the options available. Jake will definitely go the extra mile. It seemed to me that he has a passion for what he does and I felt like I wasn't just a client number, a rubber stamp defense, and a paycheck. Thanks Jake – you're the man!"
G.D., Sonoma, CA
"Jake- Just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with your service! I found out about you online- someone I knew recommended someone else, but the Yelp reviews won me over- my son's case had a twist to it, and you got him a resolution that was as good as it could have possibly been IMHO. I am happy to say you live up to ALL the good things being said about you: you are smart, compassionate, and competent- you explain what needs to be done, and the process, and then Follow Up on it. To anyone who has any doubts, I would say, absolutely Jake is the guy for a DUI!"
"Hi Jake, my only regret, other than driving home that night, was that I didn't call you sooner. I was so preoccupied with getting my license back today, that I nearly forgot about my court date yesterday. Thanks for appearing on my behalf. Everything went well at the DMV and I now have my restricted license. They asked if I had contacted their Mandatory Actions Unit, I hadn't. I didn't need to! You provided me with the exact steps to follow. Thanks again."
Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, North Bay resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.
Phone Hours: 6am - 6pm Everyday
Fax Only: (707) 540-6056
Dave Jake Schwartz, PC
California State Bar No. 138607