Driving is a key element of the Mendocino County prosecutor's and Ukiah DMV's DUI case against you. If the government cannot prove that you were driving beyond a reasonable doubt in the criminal court case (or at Ukiah DMV the administrative law burden of proof is easier for the government, often called "by a preponderance" or "more likely than not" or "by 51%"), then your case may be a winner. You should discuss your specific matter with a Ukiah DUI attorney.
If someone else drove, not you, then this DUI defense is much stronger if you and the actual driver both stated at the time of initial contact with law enforcement that you were not the driver, and if the actual driver is still available to testify in your defense in a Mendocino County courtroom or at the Ukiah DMV. Note that this is not a new defense and the prosecutor will often fight hard against your Ukiah DUI lawyer because they know it is unlikely anyone else at the scene was tested for being over the DUI alcohol limit, so if they lose you then they lose the whole case.
Any good Mendocino County DUI attorney will tell you that even though it may be that no officer saw you driving, the Mendocino County District Attorney and the Ukiah DMV may introduce circumstantial evidence (as opposed to direct observation) of your driving, typically with facts such as you were found in the driver's seat, the vehicle is registered to you, the keys were in your pocket, the vehicle hood was warm to the touch, the seat was adjusted for your height, your own admission to driving, etc...
Although this was not always the law, it is true today that in California, circumstantial evidence of driving can support a DUI conviction and DMV suspension in the same way as direct evidence. Of course, if the police did not see you driving, but someone else did (for example, a roommate or relative, or someone who called 911 regarding "erratic driving"), then again, this type of evidence would support a DUI conviction and DMV suspension, although such witnesses would be subject to close scrutiny on cross examination if there is any doubt regarding the identity of a driver, or time of driving, as discussed below.
If you drove but had been parked or stopped for a long time (more than a couple hours) before law enforcement arrived, then your Mendocino County DUI lawyer should explain to you that additional issues may come into play. (See for example "3-hour Presumption" discussion in Tip #7, below, where both the Mendocino County District Attorney and the Ukiah DMV must establish a time of driving, and more fundamentally, was it reasonable at the time for Mendocino County law enforcement to believe at the time of arrest that you were DUI when driving hours before?).
"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