Yes, a Napa County DUI is serious and complicated. Don't act on casual advice to fight this by yourself (see, Ten Tips for the First 48 Hours: Don't Follow Bad Advice), or even worse, don't simply walk into court alone to "accept responsibility" and ask for leniency. Many people believe that a case may be dismissed or penalties avoided or reduced because they've never been in trouble before, or because they will face substantial hardship if convicted, but it just doesn't work that way. Understand that the court does not see alleged DUI offenders as victims regardless of the degree of hardship that would be suffered with a DUI conviction. Rather, it is legal issues which make the difference in most cases. Napa DUI lawyers are prepared for a variety of aggravating factors which can make a DUI case much worse, and lawyers seek out and utilize a variety of legal defenses which can make a DUI case much better. Only lawyers are specifically trained to identify and employ all of these factors and defenses on your behalf to successfully reduce or dismiss a DUI case, or soften the blow.
In addition, there are also piles of legal issues, bureaucratic tasks, and huge inconveniences in every DUI case which a local Napa County DUI lawyer can help you to navigate, or completely avoid. If you don't see how involved and complex even a first DUI can be in Napa County without a DUI lawyer, then click on Anatomy of a Napa DUI on this site and see the many different directions a Napa DUI case can go, as well as the burdensome collection of obligations, timetables and tasks to perform. And don't drive to court with a suspended license; click to see the Napa Court Sting. Have a DUI lawyer go for you instead.
Will your absence be noticed by the court or required by your Napa DUI attorney? No, in most cases court appearances are strictly procedural. Unless special circumstances are present, judges do not wish to speak to a defendant at such proceedings and your absence or presence will go unnoticed. Clients who live in Napa, St. Helena or elsewhere in Napa 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 Napa County DUI lawyer will explain the entire process. To start, click here to see Jake's comprehensive Anatomy of a Napa 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. Jake routinely makes available to our clients the police reports and other DUI case documents after court appearances.
You can (and should) closely follow the progress of your case by communicating with your attorney before and after Napa court appearances, and following your case separately online by clicking on Resources on this site and then find your local court under "Courts" by clicking on the county where you were arrested (for example, Sonoma, Mendocino, or Napa), and search for your name. Sonoma Courts have a case history summary online, typically a few days before your first court date, listing case number, charges, and the first (or next) court date and time, as well as the assigned Judge in your Napa DUI case. Napa Courts and Mendocino Courts have daily online calendars. Marin Courts have San Rafael appearances online weeks in advance.
A good local Napa DUI lawyer will get you the best resolution, properly handled with the least stress and confusion, which is well worth a reasonable fee. If you already know you cannot afford to hire a private lawyer, then consider requesting a public defender. Click on Ten Tips for the First 48 Hours after Arrest on this site for a more detailed discussion about getting a DUI lawyer. Watch our Napa DUI lawyer Video Short discussing why to hire a lawyer. Consult with a Napa DUI lawyer about your specific case.
"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!"
"Jake, I initially thought I could find my way through this maze by myself, but after talking to you, I appreciated the advantages of dealing with someone who had done this many times before. You laid out the situation and the possible outcomes clearly and logically and gave me a few options relating to possible outcomes. As I went through the process, I realized that I could never have done this without your hand-holding. This was made even more evident when you managed to get the charge and the penalties reduced (though my daughters tell me that "wet reckless" is a term that I won't live down!). Thank you for your help in a difficult situation. You exceeded my expectations."
"Today is a bright and sunny day... now that I have my license back... without your experience and help I would not be on the road... your competent judgment and advice saved me unimaginable grief and anxiety and I do appreciate the "hand holding" you provided when I needed it most. You are communicative and have excellent "people" skills, qualities I consider essential in an attorney. I found your rates reasonable and your DMV experience irreplaceable. I learned a lesson I will never forget; when dealing with the DUI process and DMV one should always have a good attorney. You are the attorney I would most recommend in these cases."
"On New Year's Eve, my 22 year old son drank at a party and then foolishly drove his car. He was stopped by the Highway Patrol and he got a DUI. Thus began our journey into the unknown depths of legal proceedings, paperwork, deadlines, the court, judges, District Attorneys, the DMV, AA meetings a host of intimidating processes. Without Jake as our attorney, we would have been totally lost. Jake is a professional and he knows what he's doing. He successfully navigated all the obstacles for us. For a very reasonable fee, he met with us personally, kept in touch, reviewed our case, told us what to expect, and represented my son in court. All came out well in the end, and we have Jake to thank for it. The words above are sincere and heart felt. Thanks again, Jake, for all you did for us. "
"Having never experienced anything like this in my life, the anxieties and fears were constantly on my mind. Experiencing the arrest, the booking, the fingerprinting and the mandated four-hour wait before being released, I was unsure of what to do. I searched the Web and located Dave Jake Schwartz's site. The amount of information I found there, the complete description of what to do, when and the logical next steps eased some of my concerns. I immediately called him, and within a few minutes I knew I was in competent hands. I followed his instructions and, just as he stated would happen, the entire situation was satisfactorily resolved. I highly recommend Jake as your attorney should you face a similar situation for yourself, a family member or a friend."
J.A., Napa DUI Client, Danville, CA
"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."
R.H., Napa DUI Client, Detroit, MI
"I cannot imagine going through a DUI conviction and hearing without the help of Jake. As a Sonoma county resident and teacher who had never had so much as a speeding ticket before my incident, I had no idea how harsh and process-oriented the penalties that accompany a first time DUI would be. Jake was calm, always responsive (answering emails and calls within minutes most of the time) and most importantly, highly qualified to handle my case. I never once had to appear in court and his handling of my case made the experience as stress-free as a DUI conviction can be. I highly recommend his services and believe that his fee is very competitive and fair in exchange for the services, insight, and expertise he offer."
K.K., Santa Rosa
"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., Napa DUI Client, NY
"Do it the right way! No matter what background you have or no matter what your friends tell you; this is one of the most serious matters in your life, and unless you are an attorney yourself, get an expert like Jake (who is local too), to guide you through this! The complexities and timeliness of a DUI conviction are crucial, and every detail matters, so if you can get through the process faster, more efficiently, and maybe even with less punishment, Jake is there for you. Not only is he reliable and knowledgeable in this area, but he's always there when you need him (text /email /phone) and he's a nice guy too! A lot of people wander lost through the courts, jail, DMV, insurance, and DUI classes, and suffer even longer as a result of not knowing the ins and outs of the process. There were people in my DUI class mocking me for getting an attorney, yet they didn't even know you could be driving again (restricted of course) in 30 days! Jake will clearly lead you through it and if you do your part it's almost over before you know it! You already slipped up once, don't do it again; get the right guy to help you out. Thanks Jake! And yes, I am a real client."
K.W., Santa Rosa
"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 DUI Client, Davis
"Hey D.F., thanks for having the statute forwarded to me. It appears to me that your California DUI lawyer [Dave Jake Schwartz] has done an outstanding job. I am confident that the statute to which you are pleading no contest is not something that would cause Illinois to suspend or revoke your license. Your lawyer couldn't have done a better job given the circumstances. You ought to name your firstborn after him"
Attorney Paul Heinrich, Geneva, Illinois
"Thank you to Jake for all of his hard work in resolving my case. I was met with an incredible amount of fear and uncertainty when I received my DUI in Napa. Living across the country, I had no idea how I was going to manage my case back in California. Hiring Jake proved to be an excellent decision. His knowledge, expertise and willingness to take his time and answer all of my questions put me at ease and gave me the confidence in him I needed. He handled my case from start to finish without me ever having to return to the state. I would recommend Jake to anyone who finds themselves facing DUI charges."
"If you’re looking for a Napa DUI Attorney who will get you the best possible outcome at your court appearance then I would highly recommend Attorney Jake Schwartz. Jake was straightforward throughout the whole process from start to finish and came thru on everything he said he could do for me. He provides a website for free that will answer just about any question you can think of. His services didn't stop at the end of the court hearing, he continued to answer questions and help guide me to regain my license and get back my life again. I am truly grateful I found him and can’t thank him enough."
F.W., San Mateo
"My nightmare began after I attended a wine country holiday wine tasting event. I was arrested for a Napa DUI on my way home. When I finally made it home I was numb and in shock because nothing like this had ever happened to me before. Fear of the unknown descended on me and I realized I was going to need expert help. I found Jake on the net. He personally answered the phone on a Sunday morning. He took the time to go over my situation in detail. Jake took care of all the details for me and attended all hearings for me. Jake also expertly negotiated lower penalties which if imposed would have meant loss of my job. He is an excellent attorney who will go that extra mile for his client. Thanks again for all your excellent help Jake. I highly recommend you as the attorney to hire for representation."
"Situation: No pants, no shoes, driving a borrowed car with a BAC of 0.15% and no license on me. End result because I hired Jake: No community service, no jail time aside from the initial 5 hours in the Napa drunk tank, the 0.15% excess blood alcohol charges were dropped. I had my wrists slapped, paid a ticket, my driver's license was suspended for only 30 days, and I am privileged (err... required) to meet new, interesting people in DUI class for 3 months. During our first conversation, Jake's first inclination was to challenge the validity of the traffic stop thereby throwing out the case altogether. Given the great deal he negotiated, it wasn't worth challenging with my situation but it was refreshing to know that Jake explored every option available. Jake also handled every possible administrative hassle of the case including: appearing in court on my behalf, filing the necessary paperwork with the DMV… and much more. In a nutshell: Jake's retainer fee was money well spent."
M.M., San Jose
"I was on vacation in Napa, and made the mistake of getting behind the wheel after having had too much to drink. This was an absolute catastrophe for me, putting my job and the security of my family at risk. I found Jake from his testimonials online and gave him a call. Jake was honest and direct about what options we would likely have… and he had a clear process to get us focused on the best possible outcome for my situation. I knew right away that I had found the right person to help me work through this, and I made the decision on the spot to retain Jake. This is my second time dealing with a situation like this, and I can say Jake’s professionalism, candor, and availability throughout the process are top notch. He followed through meticulously with every document, appointment, court date, expectation... you name it. He secured a fantastic result given my situation and was great to work with. Jake is the real deal, call him and you won’t regret it. "
M.A., Napa DUI Client, Houston, TX
"Jake did more of an amazing job not only in representing me but also offered advice, kind words of encouragement, and reassured me everything would work out, and it did! I now not only consider Jake a friend but a compassionate and honest person! I'm entering treatment now, that was never court ordered. I know who I am and what my problem is only because of the guidance of Jake. He only advised me, never demanded or judged. My DUI that I was charged with was dropped to a "wet and reckless" because of his thorough and restless work he did for my case."
"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
"I am an attorney in Los Angeles and when my 20-year old son was charged with a DUI in Rohnert Park, I searched for the best attorney to handle the case. We were fortunate to find Jake who knows the law, the prosecuters, judges and DMV personnel which makes a difference in handling a DUI case involving a minor where the law is essentially zero tolerance. Jake was always available to answer questions, was honest, straightforward and put our minds at ease that we would get the best results possible. To our amazement, Jake was able to negotiate a full court and DMV dismissal so there is no criminal conviction, license suspension or insurance hit. Thank you, Jake, from our entire family!"
B.I., Father of Son Charged with DUI
"Having Jake as my attorney was a massive stress relief in a very difficult time. His knowledge of the process and thorough explanations of any questions I had allowed me to understand everything that was happening and what needed to be done. That understanding was key in settling the emotional roller-coaster that came with the experience coupled with the matrix of rules and regulations. He had the right solutions and he got me back on the road as quick as possible. Hopefully you never have to go through this, but if you do, Jake is who you want in your corner."
A.S., St. Helena
"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."
"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
"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."
"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."
"I am so thankful to have hired Jake as my lawyer. He handled the entire situation for me and really put me at ease through the entire process. He made everything as easy as possible for me and was able to calm my nerves. Thanks to Jake I never had to step foot in a courtroom and I always felt like I was in great hands!"
A.G., Los Angeles
"Hey Jake, You did what I thought wasn't possible and got my charges reduced. No jail time and reduced fines. I really appreciate your hard work. I hope nobody I know ever has the unfortunate instance of getting arrested for a DUI but if so I know who I'll recommend. Thanks again Jake!"
S.K., Rohnert Park
"No one is immune to a DUI. The process of getting through it is daunting and overwhelming. Initially I thought I could represent myself, but then I realized that there was no way I knew enough to get through it gracefully. I searched many a DUI Lawyer web site, but Jake had everything well documented on his web site. Also, he made sure that if some information was not there, he would update it right away. This is how he works: Thorough, efficient, extremely knowledgeable, and he knows the next step. He got me through it, represented me in court, and after my probation successfully ended, he helped me win an Expungement, which is no easy thing to do! Now I can get on with my life!! Thank you Mr. David Jake Schwartz! You are the best!"
R.L., Rohnert Park
"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!"
"After being arrested, I knew that I needed an attorney to protect my rights and ensure the best possible outcome. I did some research and found Jake's website, which contained an incredible amount of information. It completely clarified the process for me. Romelli Bail Bonds further endorsed Jake. I sent Jake the pertinent details of my situation and was pleasantly surprised when he called me back first thing the next morning. After speaking with him, I knew he was the right attorney for me. He took care of every detail, from dealing with the DMV, to getting my conviction reduced to a wet reckless. It was the best possible outcome with the least possible stress. He also provided me with clear and complete instructions on how to proceed after my conviction so that I could get my license back and put the incident behind me as quickly as possible. I am extremely grateful to Jake and would strongly recommend him to anyone facing a similar situation. He is very responsive, extremely knowledgeable and efficient. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome, or a finer attorney. Thanks again for everything."
T.V., 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!"
"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
"Jake - Thank you so much for turning a very unfortunate situation into a positive life lesson. From the minute I called for your assistance to the final hearing - you have been a friend, a cheerleader and my amazing attorney. Mistakes do happen and you taught me that I would survive and I did! Thank you for your kindness, compassion utmost professionalism and your expertise in DUI law!! If you are looking at this site because you need help out of your situation - call 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. "
"When I got my DUI I felt like society’s outcast, humiliated and with no one to turn to for support. Jake came to my rescue, guided me expertly through the whole complicated process, and resolved my case with a minimum of embarrassment and financial loss. I felt confident I had someone who was truly looking out for my interests, was non-judgmental, and knew his business better than anyone in Sonoma or Napa Counties. I could not have been in better hands."
A.B., Daly City, CA
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, Wine Country 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