If you are convicted of a DUI in Mendocino County or anywhere else in California, you will likely be ordered to complete a California-licensed drinking driver DUI Program ("DDP"), now simply called the "DUI Program." The best Mendocino County DUI attorneys will explain to you that the DUI program is a series of once-per-week, two to three-hour classes consisting of an "Education Curriculum" with videos, lectures and group discussions including resource materials on DUI law, court requirements, substance abuse and problem drinking. Extended programs for higher alcohol levels or multiple DUI convictions include additional individual and group counseling as well as community re-entry activities.
Classes are typically held morning, afternoon and evening most days of the week; usually the DUI program will allow you to pick the day of the week and the time of day, and attend that same class weekly until completion. The court is required to order DUI program enrollment and completion in nearly all DUI cases (see "Court Probation" in Tip #6 in this section of Mendocino County DUI Lawyer: Easing the Consequences of a DUI). Your Ukiah DUI lawyer should tell you that timely enrollment (typically within 21 days of a DUI conviction) and completion is required by the court in order to avoid an arrest warrant for failure to comply with sentencing orders after a case is over, and also required separately by DMV in order to regain driving privileges at the earliest opportunity.
Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties each have only one DDP. Usually DDPs have a waiting list to enroll, so if you wait too long then your required suspension period will be longer than necessary. If you are arrested for driving on a suspended license due to a DUI, typically the penalty risk is severe and expensive including a 10-day minimum jail sentence and loss of restricted work or hardship driving privileges.
Before the 2020 COVID pandemic, online classes were generally unavailable to California residents. An awesome Ukiah DUI lawyer like Jake was able to obtain a rare online DUI program allowance from the court for certain kinds of cases or clients in certain situations (see, principally, "Non-California Residents" at the end of this discussion), but the California DMV did not recognize online DUI program enrollment or completion for purposes of reissuing a driver license following a DMV suspension due to a DUI conviction, and since most people prioritize getting their license back, the online program was not an option in most cases.
However, since the closing of DUI programs and the first re-openings following the onset of the 2020 COVID pandemic, a number of specifically licensed online DUI programs have been approved by the California DMV. Be sure to confirm a DUI program is licensed by the state of California and approved by the California DMV to provide DUI license suspension relief upon enrollment and completion, or else a license suspension might not be lifted. Click here for a partial list of known and Local Licensed Online DUI Programs (rev. 7/2020), and here for a listing of all California Licensed DUI Programs.
First Offenders Six-Week Wet Reckless Program (SB 1176): 12 hour Education Program. Note that this program does not qualify most drivers for early restricted license privileges (See Veh. Code Sections 13353.7, 23538(b)) unless, per Veh. Code Section 13353.2(e), your Mendocino DUI attorney also wins the separate DMV administrative hearing (Veh. Code Section 23103.5(e)).
First Offenders Three-Month DUI Program (AB 541): 30 hours Education Program and Group Counseling. This is the most common DUI program ordered for first offense Mendocino County DUI convictions (Veh. Code Section 23538(b)(1), H&S Code Section 11837(c)(1)).
First Offenders Extended Six-Month DUI Program (AB 762): 45 hours Education Program and Group Counseling. Many counties require this intermediate extended first offense DUI program for cases where alcohol levels were alleged at or above 0.15% (Veh. Code Section 23578).
First Offenders (and Multiple Offense Wet Reckless Offenders) Extended Nine-Month DUI Program (AB 1353): 60 hours Education Program and Group Counseling. This program is typically ordered for first offense refusal cases (refused to give chemical sample at time of arrest), or first offense cases where alcohol levels were alleged at or above 0.20%, and for Mendocino DUI cases with prior offenses alleged where the new case resolves as a "Wet Reckless" (Veh. Code Section 23538(b)(2), 23103.5(f)(1), H&S Code Section 11837(c)(2)).
Multiple Offenders 18-Month DUI Program (SB 38): 78 hours Education Program and Group Counseling. The Group Counseling component of the program combines 52 hours of weekly group process sessions with individual interviews every other week. The final six-month phase of the program consists of the Community Re-entry component with one-hour group sessions once per month and four hours per month of community re-entry activity. This is the most common DUI program ordered for multiple offense Mendocino County DUI convictions (in other words, new DUI case with prior DUI conviction(s) within 10 years of new arrest--10 year period measured from arrest date of old case to arrest date of new case). (Veh. Code Section 23542(b)(1)).
Multiple Offenders 30-Month DUI Program (SB 1365): 30-months of Education Program and Group Counseling. This program is offered in very few counties (not Mendocino County or any other North Bay county) and may be a significant alternative to increased jail time in certain multiple offense DUI cases (Veh. Code Section 23548(b)).
Client Comment: Jake, at enrollment they told me to sign up for the 9-month class because my alcohol levels were above .20%, and the DMV might not give me back my license after 30 days if I don't sign up for the longer class required by DMV, but after sentencing you told me to sign up for the shorter class. What should I do? Jake's Reply: DUI program "counselors" often believe that it's up to the DMV which class you take, but the law authorizes the Court to make the decision which class is required for first offenders, not the DMV. In your case I was able to get the high blood alcohol allegation dismissed and the shorter class ordered, so even though your counselor says it would be safer to take the longer (more expensive) class, he is absolutely wrong in your case. Following his advice would have landed nearly twice as much money for the DUI program, and cost you three times the number of classes, so I'm glad you checked with your friendly Mendocino DUI lawyer before following his directions.
Timing is critical to getting your driving privileges back. Be sure you are eligible for your license to be returned on the first possible day. Typically, the best way to do this is sign up immediately for drinking driver program classes ("DDP") once a suspension begins. Click here for Mendocino County's DUI Programs, or here for Napa's DUI Program, or here for Marin's DUI Program, or here for Sonoma County DUI Program information.
As discussed in Tips #1 and #2 above, if you had a valid California license prior to this Mendocino County incident, and you are age 21 or older, and you have never been arrested or suspended for an alcohol- related driving incident before, and there is no allegation that you refused to give a breath or blood sample at the time of Mendocino County arrest, then in most cases you may obtain a restricted IID breath machine license immediately, or a "work" license (allows driving to, from, and in the course of employment, and to and from the DUI program classes) in a misdemeanor DUI case after the first 30 days of the DMV suspension, once Ukiah DDP has confirmed with Sacramento DMV (by transmitting a Form DL 107) that you are already enrolled in DDP classes, an IID breath machine has been installed, and you have an SR-22 insurance document (see "insurance" in tip #3 above) on file with the DMV. Once you complete the DUI program, the Ukiah DDP will confirm completion with Sacramento DMV by sending a Form DL 101), and assuming a valid SR22 and no other stops or suspension issues, a full unrestricted license is the final resolution.
If you live or work in a county other than Napa, talk to your lawyer or the DDP program about transferring to the most convenient program, such as Santa Rosa, Napa, San Rafael, Vallejo, or one of many programs in San Francisco. Typically every county has at least one licensed program, and many counties have more than one program.
You can find early contact information on this site by clicking on Resources and then under "DUI Compliance" click on one of the DUI Program links. Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Solano, Mendocino and all the state-licensed DDPs are listed. You may also use the tool below.
Be prepared and know what you're doing. In Mendocino County you must sign up in Ukiah, Willits or Fort Bragg within 21 days of sentencing if you have not already done so. Take all of your papers when you go to enroll. Take a check for the initial fee. Before you enroll, ask your Ukiah DUI attorney which program length is correct, rather than relying on information or "advice" from the DUI program staff. You may risk DMV rejecting re-licensing or other bureaucratic messes by enrolling in the wrong DUI program without competent legal advice from a Mendocino County DUI lawyer. You must start classes within 21 days of enrollment. 9 CCR 9848 Monthly payments may be made on the DUI program fee. Be sure to keep your Payment Receipt. Programs are required to offer a sliding scale for fees depending on ability to pay. 9 CCR 9879.
Client comment: "Jake, I survived DUI class initiation. It's kinda funny that they said everything you said they would; it was scary. I thought a few times that they were going to deny me."
Client comment: "As you said would happen, when I went to sign up for the DUI classes I was told it didn’t matter how the court ruled in my case, it is what the DMV has as my BAC when I was arrested that matters...I just told the social worker I would check it out and only signed up for the three-month course." Jake replies: In this client's case, the DUI program was absolutely wrong in its interpretation of applicable law, and, coincidentally, would have collected more money from my client if he had followed the misleading advice from the program official rather than the correct advice from his DUI lawyer.
Client comment: "Thanks for the letter and the instructions on how to proceed. I went to my DUI orientation class yesterday...I believe I was the only person in a the very full room who had not lost their license. I sat next to a woman with a heavy Russian accent who told me a bit of her story. At the end I concluded that either [a] she had been taken advantage of and had a truly terrible lawyer, or [b] she was lying convincingly. I gave her your name in case it was the former but she said that it was a done deal. There were lots of people who asked questions indicating that they had been misinformed or underinformed by their lawyers. The DUI Program staff people stated repeatedly that DUI lawyers don't know the law around this and call them with questions every day. I have to say, I knew the right answers to any questions that pertained to my own situation, though I did not offer this information. Thanks for helping me through this. I have not yet but will definitely write a recommendation for you to post on your incredible website if you like. Your resource lists and links are so extensive and detailed, they would make a social service agency proud."
Be sure you can supply your Mendocino County superior court case number, and a Form H-6 driver license history which you can obtain for a nominal fee at the DMV prior to enrollment (always make copies to leave at home). You should be permitted to enroll as long as you bring these materials or a court minute order sentencing document. (see, State Letter Re: Enrollment Documents). If you hired a Mendocino County DUI defense lawyer to handle your DMV hearing, then typically the Santa Rosa DMV already sent a copy of your H-6 printout to your DUI lawyer and you may ask him/her for a free copy. If there are further questions about your ability to enroll, call your DUI attorney while you are still at the DDP so that you can minimize stress and inconvenience.
Client comment: "After that they gave me a hard time about where I got my "H6" form and acted like it wasn't good enough. In the end, it worked. (I used the DMV record you emailed with my case # written on it). They were somewhat flexible on the schedule. For somebody like me it sucks no matter what... at least it will be over in 10 weeks. They also pushed out my first class a bit to help assure I'd have my restricted license to get me to and from the classes on my own. I just wanted to let you know, so you could share with other clients who may ask specific questions."
DUI programs are notorious for failing to offer financial needs assessments even though they are required to do so.
Client comment: I told them I couldn't afford the $550 fee, and the lady said "you are required to pay this down payment of $200, and just let us know if you think you'll be late on the rest; we can work something out."
Client comment: I told them what you said about a sliding scale, but the counselor told me there is no such program unless I'm pregnant.
You cannot be denied participation in a DUI program just because you can't pay. This is so because completion of the DUI program is required by the court to comply with its orders, and by DMV to re-obtain your driver license, and it wouldn't be fair if such requirements could only be satisfied by those who can afford it. Programs are required to post a notice at each location at which program services are provided, in a location visible to all participants and to the general public, informing them of the option to request a financial assessment to determine ability to pay.
The specific government regulation covering this area is contained in 9 CCR 9879, which states that "The program shall not deny services to a participant if, based on the results of a financial assessment, the program determines that the participant is unable to pay..." Note that there is a minimum fee of $5 per month, and the program may charge you regular fees up to the time that you asked for the assessment (assuming they are complying with these rules).
If you have asked for a financial assessment, and provided the required proof of income/inability to pay, and you feel that the review by your program was not fair or adequate, then you may request a review by the department that regulates these programs: "A participant may request the Department to review a financial assessment conducted by the program, in accordance with this regulation. To do so, the participant shall submit a written request to the Driving-Under-the-Influence Program Branch, Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, 1700 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814."
The DUI programs in Mendocino County typically consists of two hours of class and two hours of movies for at least 6 weeks (classes can extend to 12 weeks or 9 or 18 months depending on type of conviction) much of which can be compressed into less weeks if participant and program scheduling allow. Some programs are more flexible than others, and most offer daytime and late afternoon/evening schedules.
Typical First Offender Class Schedule. Various programs offer various schedules. The Sonoma County schedules listed below provide some examples of what you might expect in Mendocino County: First Offender Class Schedules.
Click here to see typical examples of a standard first offender DUI program:
Click here for examples of a typical extended first offender 9-Month Class Schedule (Weds/Fri Eve) for first offenders with over .20% blood alcohol or refusal cases; or the first year of a typical multiple offender 18-Month Class Schedule (Thurs/Fri Eve).
Approved absences are permitted: 2 for wet reckless program, 5 for first offender program, 7 for the extended first offender program, and 10 for the multiple offender programs. 9 CCR 9876. Absences must be made up prior to completion of the program. Participants may submit prior written requests for absences (unless unable to do so) for any of the following reasons: military service, work requiring travel, personal or family illness, incarceration, recovery, personal or family extreme hardship, or vacation. 9 CCR 9876.5.
The DUI program may dismiss participants for a variety of alleged failures set out in 9 CCR 9886. Although the some of the Mendocino drinking driver programs will normally work with you on necessary absences if you contact the program in a timely fashion (i.e. prior to the absence), still, the Mendocino County DUI programs and the rules they enforce can be tough. You must show up on time (they often close their doors at start time and do not allow late attendance). You will be turned away or your enrollment terminated if you have alcohol on your breath or are otherwise under the influence. However enrollment at the Ukiah, Willits or Fort Bragg office, and completion of their whole program, is mandatory to return your driving privileges to normalcy, so you should be prepared to follow the rules and meaningfully participate.
If you are terminated from a Mendocino DUI program, you should receive a termination letter. For example if it is alleged that you failed to attend or contact the program, then you may receive a Non-Contact Termination Letter from the Mendocino DUI program, or if you are terminated for having alcohol on your breath (9 CCR 9874), then you may receive a Sobriety Failure Termination Letter. In most cases, these letters are also transmitted to the court where a Judge will decide whether to call you in for a possible violation of probation or other action. Typically, the DUI program will simultaneously transmit to DMV a Dl 101a Notice Of Non-Compliance, which, in turn generally results in a DMV "Order of Suspension" Letter, etc. Contact your Mendocino DUI attorney promptly to see about a re-referral, especially if this is your second or higher DUI. Rules on re-referrals vary among counties.
Mendocino County DUI lawyers understand that many DUI program staff and administrators are not as informed about applicable laws and regulations as they think they are; some of the most stubborn operators and staff have been encountered in North Bay DUI programs, but their often rigid practices and decisions may be modified or reversed by DUI lawyer intervention, sometimes with assistance from state regulators required to formally explain correct practices to intransigent programs. For example, according to 9 CCR 9876.5, you and your Ukiah DUI lawyer may be able to provide proof to the Mendocino County DUI program of a legitimate qualifying absence and apply for a retroactive leave of absence (prior to two years from the date of your last attendance (9 CCR 9886(f)), where the Mendocino County DUI program can correct a wrongful (or mistaken) termination and reinstate you in good standing with the DMV and court without you having to return to court. The state agency listed below may be contacted by your Ukiah DUI lawyer if the Mendocino County DUI Program is unresponsive in such a situation. Click here to see a list of the Regulations Governing DUI Programs, and here to see applicable Health And Safety Code Sections 11836-11838.
DUI programs are accountable in court, where their decisions may be challenged, and at the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Substance Use Disorder Compliance Division, Driving-Under-the-Influence (DUI) Unit, which licenses and performs compliance monitoring on all DUI programs in California (located at MS 2602, P.O. Box 997413, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413, (916) 322-2964) where DUI programs are regulated by state administrators. Don't allow yourself to be intimidated or suffer unnecessary consequences of inaccurate advice from DDP staff who may not fully comprehend the applicable law, and who are not motivated by your personal circumstances. The DDP and the courts can make inadvertent mistakes, or set policies which focus on their own agendas, but which often may be clarified, corrected or challenged. Your attorney is the best source of legal advice in this area.
Client Comment: Jake, my DUI program counselor told me that while I am on my three years DUI probation, I am not allowed to transport alcohol, even in the trunk of my car. You never told me about this, is it true? Jake's Reply: No, I'm glad you checked with your DUI attorney; every case is different, which is why program "counselors" should not give legal advice which may not apply in your case. Although some DUI sentences in Mendocino County do include prohibitions on alcohol possession and use (typically multiple offense cases or first offenses with very high alcohol levels), most first offense sentences, including yours, do NOT prohibit possession (or transportation) of alcohol.
Client Comment: Hi Jake, I hope all is well. I had a quick question about my terms of probation. During a recent DUI class an instructor said that as long as you are on probation you are prohibited from drinking alcohol under any circumstances. I'm curious if this is true as it does not seem to be indicated in my sentencing order. I'm wondering in the instance that say a friend is driving and is pulled over for a minor violation and the officer learns I'm on probation and asks if I had been drinking and I say I had, would this be a probation violation? Thanks for your time, just want to make sure I am following all terms. Jake's Reply: Your DUI "instructor" is wrong on the law. Although all Mendocino DUI sentences should include prohibitions on any alcohol in your blood when driving, and some DUI sentences do prohibit alcohol use at any time (typically multiple offense cases or first offenses with very high alcohol levels), most first offense sentences, including yours, do NOT prohibit consumption of alcohol if no driving is involved, so you were absolutely right to check your own sentencing orders before believing such generalized statements of law, and very smart to confirm your suspicions with your friendly Mendocino DUI lawyer.
Client Comment: Jake, my DUI class teacher claimed that since I now have a DUI, if I am in the car with someone who is pulled over and charged with a DUI, I will get another one. Is this true? Jake's Reply: Your DUI class "teacher" is wrong on the law; aside from heightened penalties if you get a new DUI conviction, the only change in rules which you suffer after a DUI conviction is that during your three-year probation period only, you are not permitted to drive with any alcohol at all in your blood. But no one is ever subject to a DUI arrest as a passenger in a vehicle unless suspected of interfering with its operation (like grabbing the steering wheel). You can’t drink and then drive, but you can be a passenger with no personal criminal risk related to the conduct or condition of the driver. It's really dumb to suggest otherwise.
People are often told by DUI program staff they may not enroll in a DUI program until convicted of a DUI, or at least until the separate DMV Admin Per Se hearing process is completed. This is incorrect (see the Department Letter Re: Pre-Conviction Enrollment) and following such advice may lead to a longer driver license suspension period than required by law. With proper documentation (typically the DMV H-6 driver license printout which may be obtained for $5 by going to any DMV field office before trying to enroll in a DUI program) anyone may "self-enroll" without papers showing a court conviction or DMV administrative decision. The Sonoma County DUI program has a Program Waiver to facilitate early enrollment when there is some question regarding type of enrollment. If you receive any legal advice from a DUI program, or if you believe you were wrongfully terminated from the Mendocino County program in Ukiah, then contact a Ukiah DUI lawyer to discuss alternatives and remedies.
If you live in a state other than California, then talk to your Mendocino County DUI defense attorney about the possibility of either waiving the program altogether, or satisfying the requirement with an approved Online DDP Program for nonresidents only (these programs will not satisfy DMV requirements but may satisfy court requirements so discuss this option with your local Mendocino County DUI or DMV lawyer before relying upon any other advice.
"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