If you are convicted of a DUI in Sonoma County or anywhere else in California, you will likely be ordered to complete a California-licensed drinking driver DUI Program ("DDP"), now simply called the "DUI Program." The best Sonoma County DUI attorneys will explain to you that the DUI program is a series of once-per-week, two to three-hour classes consisting of an "Education Curriculum" with videos, lectures and group discussions including resource materials on DUI law, court requirements, substance abuse and problem drinking. Extended programs for higher alcohol levels or multiple DUI convictions include additional individual and group counseling as well as community re-entry activities.
Classes are typically held morning, afternoon and evening most days of the week (see sample Sonoma DUI class schedules below); you may pick the day of the week and the time of day, and attend that same class weekly until completion. The court is required to order DUI program enrollment and completion in nearly all DUI cases (see "Court Probation" in Tip #6 in Sonoma County DUI Lawyer: Easing the Consequences of a DUI). Your Santa Rosa DUI lawyer should tell you that timely enrollment (typically within 21 days of a DUI conviction) and completion is required by the court in order to avoid an arrest warrant for failure to comply with sentencing orders after a case is over, and also required separately by DMV in order to regain driving privileges at the earliest opportunity.
Nope, these are generally unavailable to California residents. An awesome Santa Rosa DUI lawyer like Jake may be able to obtain a rare online DUI program allowance from the court for certain kinds of cases or clients in certain situations (see, principally, "Non-California Residents" at the end of this discussion), but the California DMV does not recognize online DUI program enrollment or completion for purposes of reissuing a driver license following a DMV suspension due to a DUI conviction, and since most people prioritize getting their license back, the online program is not an option in most cases.
First Offenders Six-Week Wet Reckless Program (SB 1176): 12 hour Education Program. Note that this program does not qualify most drivers for early restricted license privileges (See Veh. Code Sections 13353.7, 23538(b)) unless, per Veh. Code Section 13353.2(e), your Sonoma DUI attorney also wins the separate DMV administrative hearing (Veh. Code Section 23103.5(e)).
First Offenders Three-Month DUI Program (AB 541): 30 hours Education Program and Group Counseling. This is the most common DUI program ordered for first offense Sonoma County DUI convictions (Veh. Code Section 23538(b)(1), H&S Code Section 11837(c)(1)).
First Offenders Extended Six-Month DUI Program (AB 762): 45 hours Education Program and Group Counseling. Many counties require this intermediate extended first offense DUI program for cases where alcohol levels were alleged at or above 0.15% (Veh. Code Section 23578).
First Offenders (and Multiple Offense Wet Reckless Offenders) Extended Nine-Month DUI Program (AB 1353): 60 hours Education Program and Group Counseling. This program is typically ordered for first offense refusal cases (refused to give chemical sample at time of arrest), or first offense cases where alcohol levels were alleged at or above 0.20%, and for DUI cases with prior offenses alleged where the new case resolves as a "Wet Reckless" (Veh. Code Section 23538(b)(2), 23103.5(f)(1), H&S Code Section 11837(c)(2)).
Multiple Offenders 18-Month DUI Program (SB 38): 78 hours Education Program and Group Counseling. The Group Counseling component of the program combines 52 hours of weekly group process sessions with individual interviews every other week. The final six-month phase of the program consists of the Community Re-entry component with one-hour group sessions once per month and four hours per month of community re-entry activity. This is the most common DUI program ordered for multiple offense Sonoma County DUI convictions (in other words, new DUI case with prior DUI conviction(s) within 10 years of new arrest--10 year period measured from arrest date of old case to arrest date of new case). (Veh. Code Section 23542(b)(1)).
Multiple Offenders 30-Month DUI Program (SB 1365): 30-months of Education Program and Group Counseling. This program is offered in very few counties (not Sonoma County or any other North Bay county) and may be a significant alternative to increased jail time in certain multiple offense DUI cases (Veh. Code Section 23548(b)).
The best Santa Rosa DUI lawyers understand that timing is critical to getting your driving privileges back. Be sure you are eligible for your license to be returned on the first possible day. Typically, the best way to do this is sign up for the DUI program classes once a court or DMV-generated suspension begins. In Sonoma County, there is only one DUI program, located in the South West corner of Coddingtown Shopping Center in Santa Rosa. Click here for Sonoma County's Santa Rosa DUI Program Website and click here for the Sonoma County Map And Court Flyer handed out at sentencing, and here for more information on the Lengths, Costs And Requirements (and see this discussion below for sample schedules). At enrollment, participants are typically asked to fill out and sign an agreement containing more scheduling and information. Click here for a Sample First Offender Agreement.
Click here for Sonoma County's Santa Rosa DUI Program Web Page and click here for the Sonoma County Map and Court Flyer handed out at sentencing, and here for more information on the Lengths, Costs and Requirements. At enrollment, participants are typically asked to fill out and sign an agreement containing more scheduling and information. Click here for a Sample First Offender Agreement.
If you must attend the 18-month multiple offender program then you will discover that the Sonoma County DUI program has satellite programs in various outlying cities where you may complete the latter segments of the DUI program. For example the Petaluma location is 1360 North McDowell, and the Guerneville location is 16390 Main Street. Click here for Napa or Marin DDP information.
As discussed in Tips #1 and #2 above, if you had a valid California license prior to this Sonoma County incident, and you are age 21 or older, and you have never been arrested or suspended for an alcohol- related driving incident before, and there is no allegation that you refused to give a breath or blood sample at the time of Sonoma County arrest, then in most cases you may obtain a restricted "work" license (allows driving to, from, and in the course of employment, and to and from the DUI program classes) in a misdemeanor DUI case after the first 30 days of the DMV suspension once Santa Rosa DDP has confirmed with Sacramento DMV (by transmitting a Form DL 107) that you are already enrolled in DDP classes and once you have an SR-22 insurance document (see "Insurance" in Tip #3 above) on file with the DMV and pay the reinstatement fee at a DMV field office. Once you complete the DUI program, the Santa Rosa DDP will confirm completion with Sacramento DMV (by transmitting a Form DL 101), and assuming a valid SR22 and no other stops or suspension issues, a full unrestricted license is the final resolution.
Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties each have only one DDP. Mendocino has two. Usually DDP'S have a waiting list to enroll, so if you wait too long then your required suspension period will be unnecessarily longer than the mandatory 30 days. If you are arrested for driving on a suspended license due to a DUI, typically the penalty risk is severe and expensive including a 10-day minimum jail sentence and loss of restricted work or hardship driving privileges.
Any good Sonoma DUI attorney will tell you not to drive if you don't have a driver license. But Sonoma County law enforcement actually have funding to perform license stings on persons attending the DUI program classes discussed here.
Client comment: "The police did a sting after class last week and arrested anyone coming out of class who was driving on a suspended license and didn't have their restricted license. Maybe something you want to pass on to people. I would never drive to the class without first having the restricted license but I guess they arrested about 7 people."
If you live or work in a county other than Sonoma, talk to your lawyer or the DDP program about transferring to the most convenient program, such as Ukiah, Napa, San Rafael, Vallejo, or one of many programs in San Francisco. Every county has at least one licensed program, and many counties have more than one program.
You can find early contact information on this site by clicking on Resources and then under "DUI Compliance" click on one of the DUI Program links. Sonoma, Napa, Marin and all the state-licensed DDP's are listed.
Be prepared and know what you're doing. In Sonoma County you must sign up in Santa Rosa within 21 days of sentencing if you have not already done so. Take all of your papers when you go to enroll. Take a check for the initial fee. Before you enroll, ask your Santa Rosa DUI attorney which program length is correct, rather than relying on information or "advice" from the DUI program staff. You may risk DMV rejecting re-licensing or other bureaucratic messes by enrolling in the wrong DUI program without competent legal advice from a Sonoma County DUI lawyer. You must start classes within 21 days of enrollment. 9 CCR 9848. Programs are required to offer a sliding scale for fees depending on ability to pay. 9 CCR 9879. Programs offer monthly payments to accomplish the DUI program fee. Be sure to keep your Payment Receipt.
Client comment: "Jake, I survived DUI class initiation. It's kinda funny that they said everything you said they would; it was scary. I thought a few times that they were going to deny me."
Client comment: "As you said would happen, when I went to sign up for the DUI classes I was told it didn’t matter how the court ruled in my case, it is what the DMV has as my BAC when I was arrested that matters...I just told the social worker I would check it out and only signed up for the three-month course." Jake replies: In this client's case, the DUI program was absolutely wrong in its interpretation of applicable law, and, coincidentally, would have collected more money from my client if he had followed the misleading advice from the program official rather than the correct advice from his Sonoma DUI lawyer.
Client comment: "Thanks for the letter and the instructions on how to proceed. I went to my DUI orientation class yesterday...I believe I was the only person in a the very full room who had not lost their license. I sat next to a woman with a heavy Russian accent who told me a bit of her story. At the end I concluded that either [a] she had been taken advantage of and had a truly terrible lawyer, or [b] she was lying convincingly. I gave her your name in case it was the former but she said that it was a done deal. There were lots of people who asked questions indicating that they had been misinformed or underinformed by their lawyers. The DUI Program staff people stated repeatedly that DUI lawyers don't know the law around this and call them with questions every day. I have to say, I knew the right answers to any questions that pertained to my own situation, though I did not offer this information. Thanks for helping me through this. I have not yet but will definitely write a recommendation for you to post on your incredible website if you like. Your resource lists and links are so extensive and detailed, they would make a social service agency proud."
Be sure you can supply your Sonoma County Superior Court Case Number, and either the court order showing your referral, or a Form H-6 driver license history which you can obtain for a nominal fee at the Santa Rosa or Petaluma DMV prior to enrollment (always make copies to leave at home). You should be permitted to enroll as long as you bring these materials. (see, State Letter Re: Enrollment Documents). If you hired a Sonoma County lawyer to handle your DMV hearing, then typically the Santa Rosa DMV already sent a copy of your H-6 printout to your lawyer and you may ask him/her for a free copy. If there are further questions about your ability to enroll, call your attorney while you are still at the DUI program office so that you can properly and timely accomplish your enrollment while minimizing your stress and inconvenience.
Client comment: "After that they gave me a hard time about where I got my "H6" form and acted like it wasn't good enough. In the end, it worked. (I used the DMV record you emailed with my case # written on it). They were somewhat flexible on the schedule. For somebody like me it sucks no matter what... at least it will be over in 10 weeks. They also pushed out my first class a bit to help assure I'd have my restricted license to get me to and from the classes on my own. I just wanted to let you know, so you could share with other clients who may ask specific questions."
For some people it is critical to get signed up the day that you go for your first visit. If your DMV administrative process (not court) resulted in a mandatory first 30 days suspension (most people), and that period is over or nearly over, then early DUI program enrollment will increase the likelihood of the DUI program filing proof of enrollment with DMV in time for you to be eligible for your restricted license right at the end of the first 30 days suspension rather than suffering more suspension time than required.
But the Sonoma County DUI program states that, "Only the first few people will have intake appointments the same day as orientation. The remaining invdividuals will schedule an intake appointment for a later date. You are not fully enrolled in a DUI program until you complete an intake appointment. A proof of enrollment certificate, required to obtain a restricted license, will NOT be issued to the DMV until you complete this appointment."
Good Santa Rosa DUI lawyers advise most clients whose first 30 days of the administrative suspension started more than two weeks prior to the first visit, to arrive at least 2-1/2 hours early (every county is different; this information is only known to be true for the Sonoma County DUI program). The number of people showing for enrollment varies day to day and week to week, and the number of people enrolled on a particular day varies as well.
Client comment: "I'm all set up with the SR 22 and am enrolled with DUI classes. Good thing you told me to show up 2 hours early - they only enrolled the first two people!"
Client comment: "Jake, I got enrolled in the program and have the SR22 now. Thanks for the tip to get there early. I was #3 of 5 enrolled that day. I got there 2 hours early; I remember the next guy arriving about 20 minutes later and the last lady maybe 10 minutes after him. Most of them showed in the last 30-45 minutes. Total of about 27 people. Everyone else will be enrolled next week. Just nice to not have to go back."
Client comment: "Hi Jake, I was the first to arrive for the enrolment, almost two hours early, and it was worth it. They only accepted 4 people for the intake and all others were going to be scheduled for after March 26 (three weeks later). I am now enrolled and also have an S-22. I expect to pick up my restricted license on March 12, in time for my first DPP class on March 15. As an aside, I'm glad I picked up the H-6 ($5) at the DMV. Just one thing less to think about while I waited.
Client comment: "Jake, I think you asked that I let you know anything interesting about the DUI class. I arrived 2-1/2 hours early, at exactly the same time as two others. About 1/2 hr later, a fourth person showed up. About 45 min before "the doors unlocked," some lady came out demanding to know the first three arrivals. (She was a counselor there). Long story short, they took the first four out of about twenty, the first three arrivals being 2-1/2 hours early (the rest given an appointment weeks later, so depending on timing, their restricted licenses will undoubtedly be delayed). This would be most important information for those trying to get a restricted license right after their first 30 days expired and before the classes begin."
Note that this timing tip is only applicable to the Sonoma County DUI program; if you are enrolling in a different county, then it is best to check ahead for your selected program's enrollment practices, including allowable dates/times, whether appointments are available/required, what forms of payment are accepted, and other initial documents and requirements.
The Standard First Offender ("3-month") DUI Program in Sonoma County typically consists of two hours of class and one hour of group meeting per week in Santa Rosa for ten weeks, plus one orientation meeting and one exit interview. A participant who successfully enrolls the first week at orientation (by being one of the first 4-8 people to arrive -- usually requires showing up at least two hours early) and begins classes the following week, can complete the program in 12 weeks (including the 15-minute mid-program interview) if there are no missed weeks.
Typical First Offender Class Schedule. The Santa Rosa DUI program is available in three-hour blocks of classes, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., weekdays Monday through Friday. The three hours consists of one two-hour "Education Module," and thereafter, one one-hour group meeting. Participants typically pick one three-hour block of time on a chosen day, and go to that class at the same time and day each week. The following link shows a sample set of available times during the week: First Offender Class Schedules (there there are at least two weekly sets available, and of course they change, so examine all of the current schedule sets at enrollment and then select your individualized schedule). Below are links providing examples of past client class schedules which they selected.
Click any link below to see actual examples of Sonoma County's standard first offender DUI program class schedules (subject to change):
Typical Extended First Offender, and Multiple Offender Class Schedule. Click here for examples of Sonoma County's typical extended first offender 9-Month Class Schedule (Tues Eve), 9-Month Class Schedule (Weds Eve), and 9-Month Class Schedule (Weds Late Morning) for first offenders with over .20% blood alcohol or refusal cases; or the first year of a typical multiple offender 18-Month Class Schedule (Thurs/Fri Eve Including Guerneville), or another 18-month Class Schedule (Mon Eve in Santa Rosa), or 18-month Class Schedule (Tuesday Eve in Santa Rosa), or 18-month Class Schedule (Fri Eve in Santa Rosa).
Missed Classes. Approved absences are permitted: 2 for wet reckless program, 5 for first offender program, 7 for the extended first offender program, and 10 for the multiple offender programs. 9 CCR 9876. Absences must be made up prior to completion of the program. Participants may submit prior written requests for absences (unless unable to do so) for any of the following reasons: military service, work requiring travel, personal or family illness, incarceration, recovery, personal or family extreme hardship, or vacation. 9 CCR 9876.5.
The DUI program may dismiss participants for a variety of alleged failures set out in 9 CCR 9886. Although the Santa Rosa drinking driver DUI Program will normally work with you on necessary absences if you contact the program in a timely fashion (i.e. prior to the absence), still, the Sonoma County DDP and the rules they enforce can be tough. You must show up on time (they often close their doors at start time and do not allow late attendance). You will be turned away or your enrollment terminated if you have alcohol on your breath or are otherwise under the influence. However enrollment at the Santa Rosa office, and completion of their whole program, is mandatory to return your driving privileges to normalcy, so you should be prepared to follow the rules and meaningfully participate.
If you are terminated from the Santa Rosa DUI program, you should receive a termination letter. For example if it is alleged that you failed to attend or contact the program, then you may receive a Non-Contact Termination Letter from the Santa Rosa DUI program, or if you are terminated for having alcohol on your breath (9 CCR 9874), then you may receive a Sobriety Failure Termination Letter. In most cases, these letters are also transmitted to the court where a Judge will decide whether to call you in for a possible violation of probation or other action. Typically, the DUI program will simultaneously transmit to DMV a Dl 101a Notice Of Non-Compliance, which, in turn generally results in a DMV "Order of Suspension" Letter, etc. Contact your Sonoma County attorney promptly to see about a re-referral, especially if this is your second or higher DUI (Sonoma County does not typically allow calendaring a re-referral for a first DUI). Rules on re-referrals vary among counties. Sonoma County will re-refer some terminations with a simple over-the-counter request at the court clerk's office.
Sonoma County DUI lawyers understand that many DUI program staff and administrators are not as informed about applicable laws and regulations as they think they are; some of the most stubborn operators and staff have been encountered in North Bay DUI programs, but their often rigid practices and decisions may be modified or reversed by DUI lawyer intervention, sometimes with assistance from state regulators required to formally explain correct practices to intransigent programs. For example, according to 9 CCR 9876.5, you and your Santa Rosa DUI lawyer may be able to provide proof to the Sonoma County DUI program of a legitimate qualifying absence and apply for a retroactive leave of absence (prior to two years from the date of your last attendance (9 CCR 9886(f)), where the Sonoma County DUI program can correct a wrongful (or mistaken) termination and reinstate you in good standing with the DMV and court without you having to return to court. The state agency listed below may be contacted by your Santa Rosa DUI lawyer if the Sonoma County DUI Program is unresponsive in such a situation. Click here to see a list of the Regulations Governing DUI Programs, and here to see applicable Health And Safety Code Sections 11836-11838.
DUI programs are accountable in court, where their decisions may be challenged, and at the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Substance Use Disorder Compliance Division, Driving-Under-the-Influence (DUI) Unit, which licenses and performs compliance monitoring on all DUI programs in California (located at MS 2602, P.O. Box 997413, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413, (916) 322-2964) where DUI programs are regulated by state administrators. Don't allow yourself to be intimidated or suffer unnecessary consequences of inaccurate advice from DDP staff who may not fully comprehend the applicable law, and who are not motivated by your personal circumstances. The DDP and the courts can make inadvertent mistakes, or set policies which focus on their own agendas, but which often may be clarified, corrected or challenged. Your attorney is the best source of legal advice in this area.
Client Comment: Jake, my Santa Rosa DUI program counselor told me that while I am on my three years DUI probation, I am not allowed to transport alcohol, even in the trunk of my car. You never told me about this, is it true? Jake's Reply: No, I'm glad you checked with your Santa Rosa DUI attorney; every case is different, which is why program "counselors" should not give legal advice which may not apply in your case. Although some DUI sentences in Sonoma County do include prohibitions on alcohol possession and use (typically multiple offense cases or first offenses with very high alcohol levels), most first offense sentences, including yours, do NOT prohibit possession (or transportation) of alcohol.
Client Comment: Hi Jake, I hope all is well. I had a quick question about my terms of probation. During a recent DUI class an instructor said that as long as you are on probation you are prohibited from drinking alcohol under any circumstances. I'm curious if this is true as it does not seem to be indicated in my sentencing order. I'm wondering in the instance that say a friend is driving and is pulled over for a minor violation and the officer learns I'm on probation and asks if I had been drinking and I say I had, would this be a probation violation? Thanks for your time, just want to make sure I am following all terms. Jake's Reply: Your DUI "instructor" is wrong on the law. Although all Sonoma DUI sentences should include prohibitions on any alcohol in your blood when driving, and some DUI sentences do prohibit alcohol use at any time (typically multiple offense cases or first offenses with very high alcohol levels), most first offense sentences, including yours, do NOT prohibit consumption of alcohol if no driving is involved, so you were absolutely right to check your own sentencing orders before believing such generalized statements of law, and very smart to confirm your suspicions with your friendly Sonoma DUI lawyer.
Client Comment: Jake, my DUI class teacher claimed that since I now have a DUI, if I am in the car with someone who is pulled over and charged with a DUI, I will get another one. Is this true? Jake's Reply: Your DUI class "teacher" is wrong on the law; aside from heightened penalties if you get a new DUI conviction, the only change in rules which you suffer after a DUI conviction is that during your three-year probation period only, you are not permitted to drive with any alcohol at all in your blood. But no one is ever subject to a DUI arrest as a passenger in a vehicle unless suspected of interfering with its operation (like grabbing the steering wheel). You can’t drink and then drive, but you can be a passenger with no personal criminal risk related to the conduct or condition of the driver. It's really dumb to suggest otherwise.
Client Comment: Jake, at enrollment they told me to sign up for the 9-month class because my alcohol levels were above .20%, and the DMV might not give me back my license after 30 days if I don't sign up for the longer class required by DMV, but after sentencing you told me to sign up for the shorter class. What should I do? Jake's Reply: DUI program "counselors" often believe that it's up to the DMV which class you take, but the law authorizes the Court to make the decision which class is required for first offenders, not the DMV. In your case I was able to get the high blood alcohol allegation dismissed and the shorter class ordered, so even though your counselor says it would be safer to take the longer (more expensive) class, he is absolutely wrong in your case. Following his advice would have landed nearly twice as much money for the DUI program, and cost you three times the number of classes, so I'm glad you checked with your Sonoma County DUI lawyer before following his directions.
People are often told by DUI program staff they may not enroll in a DUI program until convicted of a DUI, or at least until the separate DMV Admin Per Se hearing process is completed. This is incorrect (see the Department Letter Re: Pre-Conviction Enrollment) and following such advice may lead to a longer driver license suspension period than required by law. With proper documentation (typically the DMV H-6 driver license printout which may be obtained for $5 by going to any DMV field office before trying to enroll in a DUI program) anyone may "self-enroll" without papers showing a court conviction or DMV administrative decision. The Sonoma County DUI program has a Program Waiver to facilitate early enrollment when there is some question regarding type of enrollment. If you receive any legal advice from a DUI program, or if you believe you were wrongfully terminated from the Sonoma County program in Santa Rosa, then contact a Santa Rosa DUI lawyer to discuss alternatives and remedies.
If you live in a state other than California, then talk to your Sonoma County DUI lawyer about the possibility of either waiving the program altogether, or "self-enrolling" in a DUI program (meaning that the court will not require any compliance date for enrollment or completion), or attending an equivalent program in your home state, or satisfying the requirement with an approved Online DDP Program for nonresidents only; online programs will not satisfy California DMV requirements to lift license suspensions, but may satisfy Santa Rosa Court probation requirements, so it is important to discuss options, consequences and solutions with your local Sonoma County DUI attorney before relying upon any other advice.
"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