It is much easier for you if you do not have to take time off work and attend a stressful and confusing appearance in Sonoma Superior Court in Santa Rosa if we determine that there is no other reason for you to attend. In Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Solano Counties, you are not required to attend a court or DMV hearing with your attorney unless there is a substantial hearing where evidence is to be formally introduced. Marin County used to require you to attend any sentencing but now allows your DUI lawyer to appear for all proceedings just like most cases in Sonoma County.
You can (and should) closely follow the progress of your case by communicating with your attorney before and after Santa Rosa 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 Sonoma DUI case. Napa Courts and Mendocino Courts have daily online calendars. Marin Courts have San Rafael appearances online weeks in advance.
Beware the driver license DUI sting operations. Important!! If you have a suspended license, don't drive, and if you drive to court in Sonoma, you stand a chance of being arrested in one of Sonoma County's sting operations where Santa Rosa and Sonoma County police agents watch in court and radio to officers hiding in the shadows nearby, 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 (including impounded vehicle and more jail time) for those caught. Click here if you don't believe it! Santa Rosa Court Sting. This photograph was taken by Jake outside of his office, just one block from the courthouse, on December 21, 2010, as CHP and Santa Rosa Police Department motorcycle cops waited for radio descriptions of suspended licensees driving away. According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, in an article questioning such aggressive tactics, 10 people were arrested that day, and the police have continued these stings at least a few times per year ever since then. One DUI client told his Sonoma County DUI lawyer about a similar sting at the DUI program classes. A recent Napa Register news article announced such a court sting in Napa County. Have a local DUI lawyer appear for you in court instead of risking new charges.
If you failed to appear for a DUI court date pursuant to a promise to appear which you signed at the time of your original DUI arrest citation by Sonoma County law enforcement, then typically in misdemeanor cases the Santa Rosa Superior Court Judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you bailed out of jail at the time of the DUI arrest, then usually you must obtain a "Letter of Reassumption" of bail from your bail company (showing that the bail company agrees to resume its bail bond guarantee to the court on your behalf) before you or your Sonoma DUI lawyer can successfully place you on the court's calendar to remove the warrant, reinstate the bail, and resume your case. Some Sonoma bail companies charge additional fees for the letter of reassumption, and some do not. Click here for examples of an Aladdin Letter of Resumption, Romelli Consent to Reinstate, and Wally Jacobsen Bail Reassumption.
Sometimes a judge wants to put you in jail for failing to appear when ordered or promised. To minimize the chances of being remanded (taken into custody) if you were to appear in court to clear a warrant, retain the services of a local Sonoma County DUI attorney instead. A Santa Rosa DUI attorney can often quickly place your matter on the "clear warrant calendar" and then appear for you and explain why you failed to appear, so that you do not have to personally appear with all of the stress and inconvenience, and risk going to jail. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, then click here to see the local Sonoma County Clear Warrant Policy for appearing in court to clear an outstanding warrant and resume a pending criminal matter; if you cannot afford the convenience and expertise of a local lawyer, then when you first appear, before you say anything else, you should ask the judge to appoint the Sonoma County Public Defender to assist you before the judge decides how to handle the warrant, your bail and custody status, and the remainder of your case.
Typically people arrested for DUI 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 the Sonoma County 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 you and your case. If you were not released on O.R. and you appeared in court while still in custody, then most likely bail was set at that time, or you may have been released on a more comprehensive form of O.R. called "Supervised Own Recognizance" ("SOR" or "Conditions of Pre-trial Release"), where the Santa Rosa judge imposed special SOR Conditions on your release. Often a Sonoma County attorney may be able 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 more money for bail.
You can find much more detailed information about bail, lawyers and court appearances on this website at Tips for the First 48 Hours: Hire a Lawyer.
"Do not look any further for an attorney! Read just a few of these thank you and testimonials and recognize that Jake is the man. He is not too expensive and the outcome is well worth the cost for counsel. Jake knows the law and what he is doing when he represents you. Being from out of state I was extremely worried about logistics, time, and cost of my penalties for my huge mistake. After the first time I spoke with Jake, he was reassuring and confident and I carried that with me up to sentencing where my charges were reduced and my penalties were manageable. Whatever it takes, secure Jake Schwartz if you find yourself facing a DUI anywhere in Sonoma County."
"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
"If you find yourself on this page please read all the testimonies here. I myself ended up in a dire situation facing very serious consequences for a second offense. In a state of panic, I contacted several attorney's immediately, after a night in jail and without giving it enough thought, and hired the first one to answer . . . It however didn't take me long to realize that I made a serious mistake. This particularly after finding Jake's extensive and well thought-through website. I subsequently fired my first attorney after speaking to Jake. Few, if any in Sonoma County have such an extensive knowledge as to the law/DMV/Court System, etc., and how to deal with what you have to go through in all aspects. Jake put my fears to rest and thoughtfully and carefully guided me through all the "hoops," and on a second offense there are alot of them. Jake was instrumental in helping me with the best possible outcome, given the severity of consequences and penalties. So don't fool yourself. If you are here and have yet to call Jake, then do so. You owe it to yourself even if you already have retained a lawyer. I highly recommend Jake and I am very grateful for his sincerity and the concern and care he afforded me. Way to go Jake."
C.O., Glen Ellen
"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
"Jake is one of the easiest men to talk to; I never wanted to call a lawyer in my entire life but hearing from him was not only easy but relieving. I asked the impossible of this man and he pulled it off. There is absolutely no other person I would trust with my legal proceedings than him. Jake, you're made of Magic!"
M.L., Santa Rosa
"Jake was a life saver!! Making that phone call the morning after getting my DUI was the best thing I could have ever done after this horrible experience. I called in tears when Jake assured me that I was going to get through this and that is wasn't the end of the world, which was how I was felt after being in jail all night. I was almost done with my two year school program when this happened so I was not able to miss any school or I would not graduate, Jake handled everything so I didn't miss any school for court reasons. I suggest you have Jake on your team to get you through this experience because there was so much information I had no idea how to handle or really understand. Jake is honest, so easy to talk to, great at explaining your options so you can understand them and always answered any of my questions along the way for he was always available by email or phone. So don't waste another minute debating if you should have Jake represent you as your DUI Attorney, pick up the phone and do it!! Jake knows the ins and outs of this area, the process, the courts, DMV and will get you through this awful experience with the best results and outcomes. Thank you Jake."
A.C., Santa Rosa
"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
"Freaked out after getting my first ever DUI, I scoured the internet for information. Of course there was so much information and misinformation. What I knew was that I needed help navigating through the court system as well as the DMV system and I decided there was no way I was going to attempt to get through this alone. Thankfully I found Jake on Yelp.com. After reading every single one of the positive reviews, I knew I had to meet with him. Not only did he call me within minutes of my email, on a Saturday no less, but assured me that I would get through this just fine. The most important thing for me because of the type of work I do is that I keep driving was for as long as possible. I couldn't take time off work or work from home until the end of the year when things in my industry quiet down. Jake was able to do that as well as time everything perfectly so that I was able to get my restricted license back in time to drive to my first DUI class. It was a huge relief to be able to pay a reasonable fee to have someone who is trustworthy, kind, knowledgeable and effective. I would recommend anyone who is even hesitating for any reason to pull the trigger and just let Jake do the heavy lifting on your case. You will sleep better and be able to focus on your work and family without wondering daily if you are doing the right thing at the right time with regard to the courts and/or your driver's license."
"While visiting Sonoma I stupidly indulged in excessive wine tasting and ended up crashing my car (no one hurt thank goodness), getting arrested for DUI and spending a night in jail. I've never been in jail before, much less arrested, so after my release I was humiliated and confused. I did not really understand the charges I was facing, and I soon learned that the sanctions I was facing, even as a first-time offender, could be severe including additional jail time. I was scared. I then surfed the internet, found Dave "Jake" Schwartz’s website and found a host of excellent information regarding how the DUI process works and how an out-of-state resident might handle it. Now much better informed, I contacted Jake and his soothing manner on the phone convinced me to retain him. After returning to New Mexico, we continued to communicate on my case as it wound its way through the court. And the case resolution was a great result, one count dropped and no additional jail time! And he was able to get the court to agree that I could take my DUI school in my home state. I never had to return to California, but when I do I would like to meet Jake and thank him in person."
"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 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!"
"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
"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."
"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."
"Thank You Jake. You took the time to explain my options and the court's decision, so I could understand them. Your are an excellent lawyer. I got my charges reduced. I did not get my license suspended. I did not have to take a DUI class and you saved me a lot of money in fines. Thanks again Jake, you did a great job."
T.Y., Las Vegas
"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
"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."
"If you get arrested for DUI in Sonoma County, you WILL need an attorney. You will need an expert on the DMV and the Courts. You need to hire Jake. I found Jake to be a very competent, experienced, friendly lawyer who helped me navigate me through all of the challenges presented by my getting a DUI. Jake's website is extremely comprehensive. It accurately defines all aspects of the DUI. After reading through his web site and seeing how well each issued was addressed, choosing Jake to represent me was an easy decision. He is an expert on DMV issues and does all he can to minimize your time off the road. Jake represented me in court. I never had to appear. His court experience is extremely valuable. Jake is friendly, understanding and very responsive. He is a very methodical, meticulous and conscientious attorney. If you find yourself on Jake's website, then it is time to call him. You will not regret it. In fact, you will be glad you did. Thanks 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
"From the moment I was arrested for a DUI I had no idea what I needed to do or how I was going to do it. I am a New York resident and was arrested in Sonoma County, California. After first speaking with Jake he put my mind at ease and reassured me that it was not the end of the world like I had felt. He helped me through every step of the process and explained everything very simply all along the way. He even helped with what I needed to do in New York since this was an out of state incident. Jake, thanks for all the help and as much as you helped I hope I won’t need your help again."
B.P., New York
"Thank you so much Jake for all of the hard work you did for my case. This was definitely the best experience I have ever had with an attorney. Not only did you work hard to bring me justice and peace of mind, but did so with complete integrity and competency. I will happily recommend you to anyone who needs someone to represent them and fight for their rights. You are awesome!"
"Jake, Thanks for all of your help. You have made this a smooth and organized process. While this event was a horrible situation for me, the phone call to you the morning after my DUI was the best thing that I could have done. While it has been a pleasure working with you on my case, please don't take offense when I say that I hope we never have to work together again."
"The only DUI attorney that matters is Jake. Forget any others, as Jake is the only truly qualified DUI attorney in Northern California - perhaps the entire state. I had my fears completely eased by Jake's experience, tenacity, focus and dedication. I felt like I was his only client and that I mattered to him, not financially, but empathetic ally in my legal situation. Sharp, friendly, warm spirited, great sense of humor. I endorse Jake of my own freewill and have had no monies paid to me for these statements. So there."
"After a hellish evening in Santa Rosa, I was unsure where to turn. My DUI, on a day that was supposed to have been a romantic getaway, had become a nightmare. I turned to Jake, and he took care of everything I could have asked for, allowing me to move on with my life. I didn't have to come up to Santa Rosa a single time, and he helped me get a great outcome, with a reduction of charges and lower fines and classes. Thanks for all the help, Jake! I would absolutely recommend him to anyone."
D.R., San Francisco
"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
"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
"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."
"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."
"Jake Schwartz is the man! The worst part of getting the DUI was the unknown. I had no idea what to expect or do. From the very first phone call, before I had even hired him, Jake was giving me sound advice and explaining the details that I needed to know. I didn’t have time to think and stress about legal paperwork, court dates, or what I was going to have to do to get through this. I didn’t have to, Jake had me covered. It was essential I continue driving for work until my busy season cooled off. Jake made this happen. I would recommend Jake to anyone who has received a DUI in Sonoma County. I almost don’t regret my DUI for the pleasure of working with Jake Schwartz. Thanks for everything Jake!"
"I am sure many folks out there are in a similar situation to the one I was in a few months back: overwhelmed, depressed, and panicked. Trust me: You need to call Jake Schwartz. At the very least, you will benefit from talking to an experienced lawyer like him. And if you decide to hire him, he will give you the time, energy, and support you deserve. You might really luck out like I did - Jake was able to get my DUI knocked down to a Wet Reckless. Hiring Jake was the best decision I made after my admittedly stupid decision to drive after drinking. He saved me so much time, money, and stress!"
J.S., Santa Rosa
"During the extremely stressful experiences that my DUI and Violation of Probation presented to me, Jake truly stood out as someone who not only cared for my well-being but was also entirely effective and successful in advocating for my best interests. I would recommend him highly, and I am grateful for what he brought to what I first felt was a hopeless situation."
B.D., Santa Rosa
"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
"It is difficult to put into words, just how professional and efficient Jake has been throughout this process. He has not only proven to be expert at DUI law, he has shown he will go above and beyond the efforts of most attorneys, and it shows in the results! Jake has been both extremely patient and supportive and has treated me with respect, making a very challenging time a lot less difficult! He deserves the upmost regard and I would not hesitate to recommend him! Thank you Jake."
L.C., Rohnert Park
"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."
"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
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, Sonoma County resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of Sonoma County 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
CA State Bar No. 138607