Getting a local Napa County DUI lawyer gives you your best shot at beating a DUI in the local Napa Superior Court, and protecting your driver's license at the Napa DMV. All of the other parties to your case have their own agendas: the arresting officer, the DMV, the Napa County District Attorney and the Napa County Judge. For a more detailed discussion of the police agenda, see Jake's discussion in this Top Ten Tips series: Don't Follow Bad Advice. The judge and assistant district attorney who are examining your case are both highly disciplined and experienced lawyers, and, together with the DMV hearing officer assigned to your case, all of these local DUI authorities who are about to make decisions about the outcome of your matter are guided by much broader public safety considerations than just you or your own personal hardship, family needs or future job security.
Napa County DUI attorneys are specifically hired to protect you in every practical way. Not only can the outcome of a Napa County DUI affect you for the rest of your life, but in addition, all kinds of unexpected complications in Napa DUI cases can trip you up, and all kinds of shortcuts exist making it easier for you to comply with far less pain at the end of the day; only Napa DUI lawyers are uniquely positioned to navigate you through this situation, and no one has the expertise to go it alone.
Would you perform medical procedures on yourself? Engineer your own home? Fix your own plumbing or electrical problems? Sue a big company without a good lawyer on your side? We hire professionals to address and properly fix all kinds of problems in our lives, expertly and correctly from beginning to end, with minimum confusion and stress, with maximum information and flexibility, the options and execution you need right now. Don't follow casual advice from friends or try to do this yourself; you should have a Napa DUI lawyer looking out for your own best interests and easing the consequences so that you may move on with the least stress and inconvenience.
Public defenders. If you really cannot afford to hire a private Napa County DUI lawyer, then it's almost always advisable to appear at the first court date in the Napa County courthouse and when your case is called by the judge, don't try to explain your case or circumstances or ask for a break, but rather, at the very first moment that you are permitted to speak, simply ask for the Napa County Public Defender to be appointed.
Note: Napa County public defenders do not handle DMV proceedings in Napa or elsewhere, and typically you are not permitted to speak with them prior to your first court appearance. Also, typically you have to physically go to court for the first appearance and every proceeding in your case, as opposed to private Napa DUI lawyers who go for you while you go to work or stay home. However, although public defenders get a bad rap because they typically can't spend as much time with you as compared to a private DUI lawyer, nevertheless their service is excellent and highly valued.
Representing yourself. Although you have a constitutional right to represent yourself according to the US Supreme Court's Faretta Ruling, understand that in any civil or criminal case, it is nearly always considered a mistake to represent yourself in court. This is because the other side (in Napa County criminal cases, the other side is the State of California) has its own highly trained lawyer (the District Attorney), with a bank of assistant lawyers and staff, but you don't have such support if you represent yourself, and therefore you are at a severe disadvantage. In addition, one is always biased and sympathetic to one's own personal situation, and unable to objectively advise yourself of your own best interests. This is true even for defendants who are themselves lawyers and is the fundamental reason why "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." See also the Napa County Superior Court's Faretta Waiver advisements and warnings if you still wish to consider this ill-advised alternative to affordable counsel.
If you don't see how involved and complex even a first DUI can be in Napa County without a lawyer, then click on our Napa DUI Lawyer Anatomy of a DUI on this site and see the many different directions a Napa case can go, as well as the collection of obligations, timetables and tasks to perform. A local Napa DUI attorney who can guide you through the maze of bureaucratic doo-doo, not to mention the possibility of getting charges reduced or dismissed, is well worth the expense. Your situation requires an attorney knowledgeable in the precise area of the law in which you find yourself. Consider just a sample listing of possible DUI defenses on this site by clicking on Ten Tips for Fighting a Napa County DUI. A DUI should be handled by a criminal defense lawyer who regularly defends DUI cases in your courtroom.
A private DUI lawyer will go to Napa Superior Court or traffic court for you and in most Napa County cases you don't ever have to appear. This is particularly helpful if you don't live in Napa County. A private Napa DUI lawyer should also handle the DMV case for you so you don't have to yourself (these hearings are usually litigated in the Santa Rosa or Petaluma satellite DMV offices). The value of this convenience and the possibility of a Napa DUI lawyer successfully obtaining lower or dismissed charges and protecting your driver license, is well worth a reasonable Napa attorney fee (typically in the $1500-$2500 range for any straight-forward 1st or 2nd DUI in Napa County).
Any good Napa County DUI defense lawyer will closely examine the Napa County Superior Court complaint against you and the police report completed by Napa County law enforcement, looking for any glaring or less obvious defenses, and then sit down with you for as long as you need, explain everything to you and ask you to make your own decisions after you understand the issues, likelihood of success, possible additional costs if any, and probable risks and consequences. A good Napa DUI lawyer will help you navigate the minefield of possibilities, get you through the bureaucratic mess which is present in every Napa County DUI arrest case, help you understand the multiple tasks facing you, and coordinate the timing of tasks and resolutions, to get all of this behind you from arrest to resolution with the least amount of stress and pain. See Jake's Short Video "Hire a DUI Lawyer!" here: Jake's Video Shorts.
A local DUI lawyer who lives and practices in Napa County is far better than one based in Marin, San Francisco or LA, because lawyers who regularly practice DUI law in Napa know how the Napa DMV, and how the Napa County judges and Napa County District Attorney react to certain cases, and we know the available options and procedures here in Napa County which often vary widely in different counties. For example, a standard no-defenses second DUI in Napa County is typically sentenced to thirty days of jail, but all of the time may be served by volunteering with the county if you are not otherwise ineligible. By comparison, in Marin County the typical sentence for the same charges is fifteen days instead of thirty, and four days must be served in actual custody. Napa's typical sentence for a second DUI is only ten days of jail, all of which may be served with a jail alternative. Local Napa lawyers who actually live and practice in Napa County know Napa County DUI practices and procedures.
If you don't see how the wrong DUI lawyer can be a castatrophe, click here to see an authentic Bad DUI Lawyer Email Sent to Jake complaining about a remote lawyer, missed court appearance, arrest warrant, ridiculous DMV phone hearing resulting in a two-year license suspension, total disaster.
Ask questions, and choose carefully; here's another real statement, from one of Jake's former clients: "I also wanted to share something that you may or may not wish to add to the testimonial (if you've used it). Since being in the DUI program, I've come across a wide range of folks who have had varying experiences with their lawyers. Every time someone shares a story, I am even more grateful than ever that I sought you out and that you agreed to take my case. I've heard stories from people whose lawyers won't answer any questions after court, who wouldn't appear for them in court (it's possible that they weren't allowed to I suppose) or who gave such minimal information that they have been left to navigate much of the DUI laws and DMV processes by themselves. So, thank you again for all of your help, your honesty and bluntness, and your follow up."
Don't pay extra by being fooled into hiring a smooth talking "big name" criminal lawyer based in another county like San Mateo, Marin, San Francisco or Los Angeles to whom you pay more money so that he or she can hopefully accomplish the exact same result as a Napa County DUI defense attorney, or worse yet they turn around and hire a local Napa no-name contract lawyer to appear for you. The quality of representation might be adequate but still a waste of additional money and an unwanted additional layer of people and miscommunications.
If you wish to test whether your prospective lawyer is truly knowledgeable and local, ask how many offices he/she has, where his/her primary business office is located, how often he/she appears personally in Napa as compared to other courts, when was the last time he/she physically stood in front of a Napa County judge on behalf of a client arrested for DUI, at which DMV office he/she conducts DMV hearings, and what is his/her personal understanding of a standard no-defenses DUI sentence in Napa County. The answers should be immediate, specific, and confidently provided to you.
It is much easier for you (and well worth it) if you do not have to take time off work and attend a stressful and confusing appearance in Napa Superior Court in if your DUI attorney determines that there is no other reason for you to attend. Most court appearances are boring for non-lawyers, and the first appearance following a DUI arrest in Napa County is usually only meant to trade papers and information and set new dates, not to argue anything of substance. Typically in Napa and Sonoma County you are not required to attend a misdemeanor court or DMV hearing unless there is a substantial proceeding where evidence is to be formally introduced (usually only a contested hearing or actual trial proceedings). With notarized plea forms, a defendant need not even appear for any kind of sentencing in Napa. In Marin County you must only attend sentencing if you live in Marin or a bordering county.
No, as discussed above, in most cases court appearances are strictly procedural. Unless special circumstances are present (such as a high blood alcohol level alleged, multiple priors, or a violation of probation), judges do not wish to speak to a defendant at such proceedings. Jake's clients who live 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 attorney will explain the entire process, from arrest to resolution. To begin understanding this process, 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. If requested, we .pdf police reports and other case documents to you within 24 hours after court appearances.
You can (and should) closely follow the progress of your Napa County case by regularly communicating with your DUI lawyer before and after Napa court appearances, and follow your case separately online by clicking on Resources on this site and then find your local court under "Superior Courts" by clicking on the county where you were arrested (for example, Napa, Marin, or Mendocino), and search your name. Napa Courts have an online calendar for Napa appearances which lists your name, case number, the Napa courtroom for your case. Sonoma Courts and Mendocino Courts have similar online calendars. Marin Courts have San Rafael appearances online weeks in advance.
Important!! If you have a suspended license, don't drive, and if you drive to court in Napa, you stand a chance of being arrested in regional sting operations where Napa County police agents can watch in court and radio to officers waiting to stop you when you drive away from the courthouse.
These stings typically happen at random times throughout the year and result in huge additional headaches (not to mention more jail time) for those caught. A Napa Register news article announced such a court sting in Napa County, reporting that Napa police will "have a court sting operation to bring traffic violators to court and suspend their licenses...Officers will guard their cars to make sure the violators don't drive off before their cars are impounded." The Napa DUI court sting operations have been held with increased frequency for the last few years: Napa DUI Court Stings. Sonoma County has conducted such stings for several more years: Santa Rosa DUI Court Stings. Have a Napa DUI lawyer appear for you instead.
Typically people arrested for DUI in Napa County are either released by police on their own recognizance ("OR") after being processed, or post bail to be released. Bail is supposed to be set by the jailer pursuant to a court bail schedule which lists most possible charges and the bail amount for each charge. These amounts can go up or down depending on a variety of factors relating to a case. If someone arrested for DUI is not released on OR, or cannot bail out and is due to appear in court while still in custody, then most likely bail would be set at the first court appearance, or the person arrested for DUI may be released on a more comprehensive form of OR called "Supervised Own Recognizance" ("SOR"), where the judge imposes special SOR Conditions on the defendant's release. Often a Napa County DUI attorney may take the opportunity to save an arrestee or family large sums of money by arguing that such conditions will be better for the defendant and the community than posting lots of bail money.
Sometimes, someone arrested for a DUI in Napa County may not be able to get out of jail immediately, or at all, unless they post bail. A friend or loved one can usually post 10% of the stated bail for someone who is in jail. See, for example, the San Rafael's Zig Zag Bail Agreement & Application. See also Napa's Aladdin Bail Bonds FAQ's for answers to frequent quetions about bail. See also Santa Rosa's Romelli Bail Bonds FAQ's. Some Napa County bail companies will refund money to you if you hire a private Napa DUI lawyer. Most bail companies offfer an 8% rate rather than a 10% rate (they will give you back 20% of what you paid) if you hire a private Napa DUI attorney, probably because it's more likely the case will resolve properly with a local DUI lawyer involved.
You can call or visit your Napa bail company office to inquire about its rate chart (California Department of Insurance states such fees are to be posted in a visible location in every bail bond office) and see if obtaining a DUI lawyer (or being a member of a union or the military) gets you a lower rate. Click below to see examples of the forms used by local bail companies in Napa County:
Typically, you can only qualify for the lower Napa County private DUI defense attorney rate if you act within a specified time. For example, Aladdin's lower private attorney rate is only available if the private lawyer was retained within five days of the date that the bail was issued and proof of such retention is received by the bail company within 30 days. Romelli only offeres the reduced rate if told at the time of posting bail that a private DUI lawyer has been retained already.
Good DUI lawyers will inform you that laws related to right to bail by people arrested for a DUI in Napa County are generally found in Penal Code Sections 1268-1320.5. Bail companies are regulated by the California Department of Insurance. Department regulations may be found in the California Code of Regulations at Title 10, chapter 5, subchapter 1, article 2, sections 2053-2104. You may find bail company license information and any recent enforcement actions by the Department by clicking on Bail Agent License Status, and answers to some of the more common questions by clicking Bail Faq's.
You might get a bill from the police. Some police agencies routinely mail reimbursement bills to attempt to recoup costs for arresting you! Even though you may be a Napa County taxpayer and may have already paid for the police department, the police car, and the salary of the police officer whose arrest you are now fighting, still, in these tough economic times Napa County agencies may try to bill you for reimbursement of their costs for the actual arrest incident pursuant to Government Code Section 53150. Click here to see a CHP Invoice, a CHP "Second Notice", or here to see a Santa Rosa Police Invoice.
Although an invoice pursuant to this law may be valid if emergency personnel were required to respond (for example an ambulance, paramedics or fire trucks responding to a DUI accident scene, or more CHP or Napa officers to manage traffic interruption), nevertheless, the California Court of Appeals for Napa County has ruled that an ordinary arrest for DUI is not a sufficient trigger event to require reimbursement to Napa County law enforcement under this law. See California Highway Patrol v. Superior Court (Allende) (1st Dist 2006) 135 C.A.4th 488.
A recent example. A recent CHP invoice received by one of Jake's DUI clients who was subjected to a typical, uneventful DUI arrest, states that "the defendant herein shall pay to CHP the total indicated below" listing 5.2 personnel hours and a total due of $469.33. After reviewing this client's incident, and the invoice received, Jake was outraged by the intimidating and misleading "defendant shall pay CHP" language in the invoice from an agency whose leaders are sworn to uphold and enforce the law; he advised this individual client not to pay the bill based on the facts in her case, and fired off a Counsel's Reply Letter on her behalf.
Although failure to pay may result in a debt collection lawsuit (civil, not criminal case), or may cause an item to be referred to the Franchise Tax Board or a collection agency risking a negative credit incident (many if not most people may never hear from the police agency again, especially if the arrest was in fact uneventful), such possible risks may be addressed, minimized and/or negated with vigilance and protest when the claimed debt is disputed and invalid on its face.
2011 Allende II ruling: On December 9, 2011, the Court of Appeals for Napa County DUI cases re-examined the issue of when CHP can recoup costs for DUI-related incidents, in Allende v. Dept of California Highway Patrol ("Allende II"), and upheld the CHP's latest policy, to seek cost recovery "for any incident in which an officer is dispatched to a call resulting in a DUI arrest of a driver."
To the dismay of Napa County DUI lawyers, the Allende II court embraced its "Fox Guarding the Chicken Coup" approach to when CHP can collect money from citizens whom they arrest for DUI, writing about the "wisdom of deferring to CHP expertise" in this inquiry, and noting the CHP's stated internal policy where "the CHP has instituted an internal appeal process under which arrested drivers may challenge an officer's initial determination that an incident qualifies for cost recovery. According to the evidence, "when [the CHP] send[s] out an Emergency Response Cost invoice under the CHP's Cost Recovery Program, and disputes arise over the propriety of the invoice, [it] has established procedures for investigating, reviewing, and resolving such disputes . . . ." For example, if "the dispute involves a contention . . . that no emergency response to an incident was involved, [the CHP] will put the invoice on hold and forward a copy of the invoice file (including the dispute letter) to the area office from which the incident arose. Information is requested from the area office so that an appropriate response can be made. If it is determined that the invoice was mistakenly issued, [the CHP] will cancel the invoice and inform the disputant of that fact. If the area office believes the invoice was properly issued and the disputant does not agree, or if the contention involves a dispute regarding the Government Code, the matter may be referred to the CHP's legal office. The CHP's counsel will then review the materials. When the CHP's counsel concludes an invoice was not appropriate, the charges are cancelled."
Allende II also upheld the specific formula for determining the amount of reimbursement in a Napa County DUI arrest, where "CHP calculates annually a standard hourly rate for its officers by taking the monetary wages paid to a mid-step traffic officer, adding the cost of benefits (retirement contributions, health insurance, workers compensation and Medicare contributions) and dividing that amount by an officer's "total actual working time," which includes the total number of hours an average officer works after subtracting paid time off for holidays, vacations and other leave."
Napa DUI attorneys are following these developments and are in the best position to advise someone arrested for a DUI in Napa County who subsequently receives a bill from a local police agency for the type of cost recovery described here.
You might get a bill from the hospital. Often a DUI arrest involves a blood test, because a breath test was unavailable, or because you chose the blood test rather than the breath test, or because the officer informed you (as they are required) that the breath-testing equipment does not retain any sample of the breath and that no breath sample will be available after the test which could be analyzed later by you or your DUI lawyer, and because no breath sample is retained, you have the opportunity to provide a blood or urine sample that will be retained at no cost to you so that there will be something retained that may be subsequently analyzed for the alcoholic content of your blood. See Vehicle Code Section 23614.
The fact that the police do not have access to their own medical staff, or to a paramedic response (many police agencies do have such access), does not mean that you should have to pay for alternative hospital staff to perform the blood draw while you are in state custody exercising a right protected by law which specifically states that there will be no cost to you. If you received such a bill (click here for an example of a hospital bill for blood draw), then you should discuss it with a DUI attorney before paying it. Always discuss your individual circumstances with a Napa County DUI lawyer because they may affect the actual advice given to you in your unique case.
DUI defendants should always consult with a Napa DUI lawyer about the individual circumstances of an arrest before being intimidated into paying any such invoice from Napa County, a hospital, or state law enforcement agencies.
"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