According to Sonoma DUI lawyers, most people consider staying out of jail to be the highest priority, second perhaps only to wanting a complete dismissal of charges or preserving driving privileges. While it is true that most misdemeanors in California carry a risk of up to six months to one year in jail, nevertheless an informed Sonoma DUI lawyer should tell you that a typical Sonoma County DUI sentence in a case with no prior convictions and no aggravating circumstances, usually results in two days of jail, all of which usually may be served with jail alternatives rather than actual incarceration. See Jake's Video Short "Am I Going to Jail". Even two days is not required by law, and sometimes a local Santa Rosa DUI lawyer can avoid such a sentence altogether. Your DUI attorney should discuss your specific exposure with you so that you understand the realistic gravity of your unique case.
If your blood alcohol was relatively high (over .15%), or there was any kind of collision in your DUI case, or the district attorney alleges that you refused to provide a sample of your breath or blood after a DUI arrest, or other aggravating factors or charges are present in your case, then you may be at risk for an additional three to ten days of jail or more in any subsequent Sonoma County DUI sentencing hearing. (CVC 23578). An allegation of speeding 20 to 30 mph over the limit (depending on what kind of roadway) coupled with an allegation of reckless driving while over .08 (or .01 if under age 21) exposes you to a potential additional 60 days in county jail. (CVC 23582). DUIs with a minor passenger (under age 14) in the vehicle adds at least 2 days jail and up to ninety! (CVC 23572).
Your Sonoma County DUI lawyer will argue any compelling circumstances in your situation, and any legal weaknesses in the prosecutor's case, with the goal of dismissing your case, or negotiating the charges and penalties in order to reduce or eliminate the jail sentence. Further, time-served jail credits may reduce sentenced jail time; if you were not released immediately after arrest and therefore you spent time in the Sonoma County (or other local) jail, then tell your Santa Rosa DUI attorney how long, and we may be able to obtain credits against any subsequent Sonoma County jail sentence.
If your arrest occurred during a time when you were on probation for a prior DUI conviction (see the "Court Probation" discussion in Tip #6 above), then the best Sonoma DUI lawyers will tell you that you may be at risk for substantially more jail time for a violation of probation (VOP) in that case (theoretically up to six months or more but typically 10-45 added days of jail) at the time of sentencing on the new DUI matter. Although DUI lawyers are laser-focused on keeping you out of jail, a VOP on a recent prior DUI case may invite a district attorney to insist on actual confinement rather than jail alternatives.
If this is your second or higher DUI and you decide you want to acknowledge an alcohol problem in your life, then you may wish to consider jail alternatives such as the new Sonoma County DUI court (see below) or residential treatment (see "Self-Help" resources on the Resources page of this site), not only for confronting abuse or addiction, but also for giving your Sonoma County DUI lawyer an extra tool to try to eliminate or shorten any jail sentence.
Most counties, including Sonoma, offer "Work Release" or sheriff's alternative work program ("SWAP"), which is a jail alternative to actual incarceration following a DUI conviction, where, instead of actual incarceration behind bars, you are permitted to apply for and perform designated community service with the county in Santa Rosa or elsewhere, under the supervision of the Sheriff's Department or Probation Department. Sonoma County requires DUI offenders to successfully contact the work release program within 10 days of sentencing, or else you may lose the opportunity to perform this sheriff-supervised community service and would be required to turn yourself into jail for actual incarceration. You may call, or report within 10 days of sentencing to the Probation Department in Room 104-J on the first floor of the Sonoma County Superior Court building in the courtyard near the Criminal Clerk's office and just outside the Jury Room hallway.
This program is available in most cases as long as you successfully contact the program within 10 days of sentencing and are accepted into the program. Certain allowances are made for legitimate physical limitations. Ask your Sonoma DUI attorney how a "Light Duty Doctor's Letter" may result in an accommodation and your transfer to a separate volunteer center program rather than the Sheriff's work crew. Certain allegations in your matter or in your past may prevent your being permitted to participate in Sonoma County's work release jail alternative, even after being referred by the court, such as an arrest (not even a conviction) for battery against a significant other, co-habitant, or peace officer, or resisting arrest, or other violent crimes. In such cases, your DUI attorney may be able to help you appeal a denial, or advocate for additional alternatives. Click here for Sonoma County's DUI offender eligibility guidelines and other Work Release Details, and here for Additional Eligibility listings.
Once a DUI offender has been accepted into the work release program, you must be absolutely sure of what is expected of you and how to successfully stay in compliance. If you do not precisely comply with each of the court's sentencing orders, and all of the Work Release program's requirements, including sobriety, and timely contacts and performance, then you may receive a Work Release Termination Notice, a copy of which would be sent to the Sonoma County court, informing you of the termination and a turn-in date to report to Sonoma County Jail to complete the remainder of your sentence in actual custody. If you do not report as directed, then a bench warrant would likely issue for your arrest.
If you receive this notice, or you are informed of an outstanding arrest warrant because of a Work Release termination, or other failure to report, then you would be well-advised to seek the advice and assistance of a Sonoma County DUI lawyer. A Santa Rosa DUI attorney may be able to avoid or recall an arrest warrant and then get you re-referred to a jail alternative, depending on your circumstances, so that you are not required to spend time behind bars in a jail cell following a Sonoma County DUI conviction.
In Sonoma County, typically you can simply report on your "turn-in date" (your Sonoma County DUI attorney should coordinate this date with you to avoid scheduling conflicts; the date will be indicated on your sentencing order) at either the North County Detention Facility (FOR MEN ONLY) by the Santa Rosa Airport (2254 Ordinance Road, last right turn off Airport Blvd before the Sonoma County Airport), or the Main Adult Detention Facility (FOR WOMEN ONLY) next to the Sonoma County courthouse (2777 Ventura Avenue, likely where you were first booked if you were brought to the county jail). Not a guarantee, but nearly everyone is released in a matter of hours if your remaining DUI sentence is four days of jail, or two days of jail, or just one day. This is also called "book, print and release" (for a one-day sentence) or "book and midnight release" (for a two, or four-day sentence). In this scenario, such individuals do not change clothes or see the inside of a cell, but rather they sit quietly in a secure waiting area until released, either very quickly, or immediately after midnight.
Some Real Life Descriptions of How It Works. The most experienced and best Sonoma County DUI lawyers understand this "book and release" policy very well, as it has been the standard operating procedure here for many years. However, clients are often understandably nervous about reporting to jail, so Jake always asks clients to send descriptions of their experiences for others (like you) to read before deciding whether to take advantage of this nearly universally easy way to get a handful of jail days accomplished without actual cell time.
Real Sonoma DUI Client Accounts of "Book & Release," or "Book & Midnight Release" (oldest to newest):
Example #1 "Book & Release" (Male) first-hand experience related by a first offender with 1 day of jail remaining to serve on a Sonoma County DUI (2-day sentence with one day credit Jake obtained for this client at sentencing, arguing he already spent time in jail on the night of arrest prior to bailing out, and thus only had one day of jail remaining to serve at the time of turn-in -- only one day to serve enjoys the "book, print & release" procedure): "I did the jail turn-in on 5/29 as instructed. Got there around 6:00 p.m. and mostly sat around reading my book with occasionally being called over for questions (while the deputy filled out forms), fingerprinting and photo. They released me about a quarter to nine (2-1/2 hours later)."
Example #2 "Book & Release" (Male) first-hand experience from a Santa Rosa DUI first offender with a 1 day of jail remaining: "Hi Jake, I turned myself in to the North County Detention Facility on Friday, and the process went just as you said it would. I checked in around 6:40, and they booked me a few minutes after 7:00. They took my iPhone, but I was allowed to keep my wallet. I was printed and my photo taken, and then I sat in an open waiting area for close to 2 hours. I was released at 8:54 PM. The whole process was as painless as could be. Now I just need to ride out the last two months of my license suspension/restriction and finish paying my fine to Sonoma County. Thanks again for your help in this matter."
Example #3 "Book & Release" (Male) first-hand experience from a Santa Rosa DUI first offender with a 1 day of jail remaining: "Everything went as well as it could. I arrived there at 6:15 and had to wait until around 7 before actually being taken in. I brought a book that they let me bring in with me which really helped pass the time. They held me until around 9:10 at which time I was released. All in all it went well and definitely was the best choice considering my options, thanks for suggesting this to me!"
Example #4 "Book & Release" (Female) first-hand experience (brief voice message Jake received) from a Santa Rosa DUI first offender with a 1 day of jail remaining: "Hey Jake, just wanted to give you feedback on the jail processing; it was 45 minutes, in and out."
Example #5 "Book & Midnight Release" (Male) first-hand experience with a Sonoma DUI jail sentence which was supposed to be 4 days including 1 day alread served, but turned out to be 5 days: "Hey Jake, I just wanted to let you know how my turn in went up at North County Detention last night. I got there 20 before 7. I only brought my ID and they had all my paperwork there. Of course being it is this county of ours, they didn't have my one day credit on file. I was down for 5 days instead of 4. But the lady doing my paper work said I would be a midnight release, so of course I kept my mouth shut and said ok. I got out right at midnight. Everyone else who was there for DUI or traffic violations was a midnight release. The only person who got checked in had a 14 day sentence for driving with a suspended license. So I just wanted to let you know how it went. I served 5 days in 5 hours. Oh and there is no TV or anything to read, so you get the enjoyment of staring at a wall. I will take that over 5 days anytime. Thanks again for all the help, I hope this helps give other clients hope if they decide to turn in instead of doing community service."
Example #6 "Book & Midnight Release" (Male) first-hand experience with 4-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "Hi Jake. Just wanted to touch base with you. Last night I checked myself in to the North County Detention Facility as directed, and they did in fact let me out 1 minute after Midnight. I want to thank you for helping me through this, as I was extremely nervous about the possibility of being kept in jail over the weekend. From the very first meeting we had, you insured me that I would not be going to jail. I hope there's a way that other people can read this so it can help them through the process as well."
Example #7 "Book & Midnight Release" (Female) first-hand experience with 2-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "I arrived at Jail slightly nervous and hoping for a simple intake/outtake procedure, similar to what Jake had prepared me for. He was right in that overall, the experience was pretty painless. You simply show up at 7pm and check yourself in. I waited in the lobby and read my book for 2 hours since it was so crowded and they finally checked me in around 9:30pm that Friday. The only tips I can offer are bring a book for the lobby and some quarters for a locker for your valuables (they cost 50 cents). If you are married make sure you do NOT wear your wedding ring because they will make you take it off and put it in a little envelope that they keep securely up front. I trusted them but it still made me nervous to have to take it off and leave it behind. Thankfully, I got it back upon release with no problems. (They will also take all jewelry and keep it up front so don't wear jewelry). I think Jake told me this ahead of time but I came straight from work and had forgotten. Once they check you in and pat you down, they will take you back to the jail waiting room. You do not go in a cell and you do not have to change clothes. I was fingerprinted and photographed and sat in a waiting room watching MTV (they had made me put my book and glasses in my locker). Make sure you eat dinner as I got hungry towards the end but overall it is very simple. Just be patient and polite to all the personnel at the jail. I noticed that when people asked too frequently when they were going to get out, the officers became aggravated. Others that had been processed in with me at 7pm were released at midnight but I was released at 1:30am because there was some sort of huge Meth sting earlier that night and it was quite crowded in the waiting room. If you remain calm, polite, and cooperative you'll be fine. As a side note, I heard Jake's name thrown around a few times in the jail waiting room and only heard positive reports. You are working with a very helpful and experienced lawyer."
Example #8 "Book & Midnight Release" (Female) first-hand experience with 2-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "I reported to the Santa Rosa facility by the airport as you suggested at 6:45 p.m. and everyone there was very nice and polite. They already had all my information on file so I only signed one form stating that I could not leave the building until I was released. They informed my friend who drove me that he could not wait with me, but he could return shortly after midnight to pick me up. I put my things in a locker and sat in a waiting area until about 12:15 a.m. and then I went home. All things considered, I've had more stressful evenings at home with my teenager. It seems this is a standard procedure. You were right to warn me against pot or alcohol on my breath; there were 5 guys who came in obviously having been drinking, and they were immediately taken into custody."
Example #9 "Book & Midnight Release" (Female) first-hand experience with 2-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "I have never been to jail... and had no idea what to expect. I showed up at 6:45 p.m. on a Friday. There were about 20 people already there in the waiting room. I walked in, went up to the front desk, and gave them my name. They told me to sit and wait. There were people there who had long sentences and people who come every weekend. Those people were called up first. They call up one person at a time to enter this little area and to go through a metal detector (I would recommend to bring quarters to keep your belongings in a locker, or keep them in your car). I was one of the last people to be called into the room on the other side. Everyone who was there for midnight release was called in last. It was really easy, and no big deal whatsoever; they told me ahead of time that I would be released at midnight. I sat in a chair for a couple of hours, in a room with other people all there for the same reason. The officer even brought me a magazine to read. The worst part about it was the extreme boredom. The whole situation was extremely routine. I was released at about 12:05 a.m."
Example #10 "Book & Midnight Release" (Male) first-hand experience with 2-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "I arrived at 6:45pm and was told to wait. At first I thought they would keep us in the lobby all night, but eventually they called people one by one to walk through the metal detector. The cop who searched me for weapons kindly informed me I "wasn't going in," which was reassuring. So I sat and read my book until midnight. Make sure you bring a book and a thick sweatshirt to use as a buffer against the awful plastic chairs and walls. Two people went to the wrong jail and had to wait until midnight only to be transported back downtown. Yet another reason to have hired a lawyer... I was released just before 12:15am. I cannot stress the importance of a book enough."
Example #11 "Book & Midnight Release" (Male) first-hand experience with 2-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "I was terrified of the possibility of jail time. Unfortunately, my case was pretty open and shut and I was sentenced to two days. I showed up at 6:45 pm, checked in, and was told right away that I would be an "after-midnight release." I sat in waiting room, read a book, and messed with my phone. After an hour, I was called up to verify some facts then told to sit in the same waiting area. 20 minutes after that, I was put through a metal detector. It was kind of like going through airport security. The guards let me keep my book and coat (although, I suggest bringing a heavier coat because it gets cold in there). The room held about 20 guys, and those called into custody already knew the guards from a larger sentence. By 9 pm, there were just seven of us waiting around until after midnight. At around 12:10 am I was called up to collect my belongings, called a cab, and went home. I am glad to have had a lawyer like Jake walk me through this process because it is a complex process between the DMV and court system. Everything went as well as Jake said it would. Jake was professional, courteous, and can explain things simply."
Example #12 "Book & Midnight Release" (Female) first-hand experience with 2-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "Well it went as good as turning yourself in could go... It was quite interesting, to say the least there are some CHARACTERS up in the booking area. From one guy singing random songs from the drunk tanks nearby, another beating his arm against the glass & then kicking the door... Trust me it was anything but boring. I also had a group of Gang/Mob wives next to me talking about all sorts of crazy things & when they started taking people upstairs to the cell around 12am, they tried to befriend me thinking I was going in for a while with them. I have never been so grateful to leave a place LOL! They just kept me in booking until around 12:30am. I have never sat in such uncomfortable seats but what can I say it was better than actually being in a jail cell. Thank you for all you have done making this process so unbelievably easier! So next step I get my license … I already have my SR22, already enrolled & attended my first DUI class this past Thursday & it's actually bearable. The teacher is quite hysterical & let's just say unique :)"
Example #13 "Book & Midnight Release" (Female) first-hand experience with 2-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "Everything that Jake arranged for me and all of his instructions I followed to a "T"... I booked myself into the Sonoma County Jail where I was unsure if I would be able to handle the process of being locked up. Fortunately it was just as Jake explained to me, and it really wasn't that bad of an ordeal. I showed up at 7pm and went in the back for booking at 8:30pm then watched t.v. in a big room with other people who were there to serve time as I was. The sheriff's deputy's were very professional and treated people with respect. It seemed to be pretty busy that Friday night and finally I was released at 12:05am. I am happy to have the jail time behind me and can continue my weekly DUI classes which have not been bad either. I actually look forward to them and will definitely have something to take away from this experience. Thank you Jake, I would not have been able to navigate this ordeal without your expertise."
Example #14 "Book & Release" (Male) first-hand experience with 4-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "I just did my "time" at the North County Detention Center. Jake told me to check in at 7pm, and I would be released at 12:05. I got there a little early, 6:30, checked in, and was told I was scheduled for Book & Release. The officer said he got off at 10pm, and if my documents came back promptly from the DOJ after fingerprinting, he would release me before the end of his shift. (By the way, after you check in, you cannot go back to your car, or outside at all. It is officially considered an escape attempt. So don't forget to lock your car and bring whatever you need.) I was ushered into the waiting area. The building itself is pleasant, and the waiting area is spare but comfortable. I was allowed to bring a book. The officers were very congenial. At 9pm, after being there only 2 1/2 hours, I was released."
Example #15 "Book & Release" (Male) first-hand experience with 2-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "I was serving 1 day of a 2 day sentence with 1 credit for time served the night I was arrested. I arrived at the detention facility at about 6:30 PM, 30 minutes prior to my booking time. I was booked in around 7:15 PM and told I was scheduled for "book and release", which was reassuring. Other folks were told there were scheduled for the "book and midnight release" (probably longer sentences). For others in my situation, I would recommend arriving about 30 minutes early, as I was the first to check in and the first released, around 9:40 PM. The room got quite busy later, probably 20 or so folks being booked in. A little stressful going down to the jail again, but really worked out just fine and exactly as Jake said. Bring a book and some warm clothes."
Example #16 "Book & Midnight Release" (Male) first-hand experience with 4-day Sonoma DUI jail sentence: "Hi Jake, Just a quick story about my turn in for anyone worrying about this experience as I was: I arrived at the North County Detention Facility at about 6:40 pm for a 4 day jail sentence. I was very freaked out about the possibility of spending the weekend in jail, but almost immediately after stepping inside I relaxed. The deputies were very kind and respectful. They asked for my last named and gave me one sheet of paperwork to fill out. It seems they already had all my records from court on file - they didn't ask me for any of the documents I brought with me, not even ID. When I brought the paperwork back up the deputy asked me if I knew about the process I was about to go through. "It's just the book and release?" I nervously asked. He said yes, that I would go through the process of booking and then have to wait until I would be released just after midnight. He said "It usually gets pretty boring around here after 10 because everybody leaves." I waited in the visitor area of a very spacious room with about 15 other guys, and the deputies started calling people to go through the booking process at about 8:30 pm. I was directed to the back of the same spacious room, through a short divider and a metal detector, was processed, and told to sit in one of the chairs and wait. Four of the guys were released at 9:30. I assumed they had shorter sentences than me, maybe a day or 2? The rest of the guys were either transported to another facility or dressed up in jail fatigues and processed into the jail. By 10:30 I was the only one remaining. At about 10:40 a female deputy walked by and asked me if I was bored and wanted a book or something. Another deputy told me he had today's newspaper and asked if I wanted it to read it. I said sure. He said you don't got much else to do except sit here for an hour and a half, and handed me the paper. The atmosphere was very casual. Two deputies were chatting off in another room, one was reading at a desk, another went into an office close by and was watching a movie on the computer. So I sat and read the newspaper until midnight. At 12:01 am I was called to the front of the room, given my belongings and told I was free to go. I walked to the airport which is about 5 minutes away and called my ride home. Overall it was a huge relief that the experience was so surprisingly easy and painless, pretty much from the moment I walked through the facility doors. The thing that I was most anxious about in the days leading up to my turn-in was if the deputies were going to be nasty, unhappy people that wanted to cause me suffering. But actually almost the opposite was true. All of the deputies were polite, courteous, and respectful, and even compassionate (there was a homeless looking guy that was sleeping and took a while to move from his seat, and the deputy was very patient and gentle). Anyways, thanks for setting everything up! "
Although the releases described above, minutes or hours later without actual incarceration in a cell, is the nearly universal experience, still, as with everything in life and law, there is no guarantee in your specific case that you will avoid jail. Ask your Sonoma County DUI lawyer how this process might work for you, and please, if you elect this easy alternative, email Jake your own account so that other people facing a Sonoma County DUI can gain the same comfort and information as you have.
Even if this is your second or higher Sonoma County DUI, or this is your first DUI but additional factors are present so that you are currently exposed to 30 days or more of jail, good Santa Rosa DUI lawyers know that Sonoma County typically allows limited creative solutions to actual incarceration or to minimize the effects of incarceration on home or job. For example, the ankle bracelet (home confinement) and weekends (jail Friday night through Sunday morning) both allow you to go to work during the day and could save your job. Work furlough (work during the day, jail every night) may not be offered any longer due to budget constraints. A secure continuous remote alcohol monitor ("CAM" or "SCRAM") device (the ankle monitors pictured here) added to a sentencing scheme may convince a judge in a particular case to allow such alternatives to jail even in relatively bad cases.
It is critical to discuss alternatives with your local Sonoma County DUI lawyer prior to sentencing so that proper details are accomplished to maximize your ability to take advantage of such alternatives. Because of certain minimum jail requirements to qualify for the program, your Santa Rosa DUI attorney actually adding a day of jail to your sentence could be the difference between staying at home in your own neighborhood, or staying in a Santa Rosa jail cell.
Click here for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Electronic Monitoring Program flyer, and here for the Electronic Monitoring Program Sample Application (rev. 2013, still good as of 3/1/18), and here for Typical Added Documentation, and here for Additional Background Information about the program. Depending on the context and manner in which electronic monitoring is obtained by your Santa Rosa DUI attorney, or ordered by the court, the application and monitoring may be done through the Sonoma County Sheriff's office (typically post-sentencing), or by the private company contracted by the county, the BI company (typically pre-trial). Click here to see the pre-trial BI Company CAM Pre-Trial Court Flyer.
(Click here to see an older form (no longer used), but still useful for additional information and context if you are a convicted DUI offender in Sonoma County and interested in the Sheriff's EMP program: Sonoma County Electronic Confinement/Work Furlough Info And Sample Application).
A good Santa Rosa DUI lawyer will inform you that there are important requirements if you are convicted of a Sonoma County DUI and wish to take advantage of this jail alternative: you must be sentenced first before you may apply, there cannot be any warrants or holds, no pending cases, and you must have a permanent residence. Additional common requirements for a DUI offender include an extended turn-in date after sentencing, work schedule verification, dedicated phone line, completely alcohol and drug-free home, and only limited visitors allowed. Additionally there is usually a daily fee. These alternatives are seen as a benefit to both the Sonoma County DUI offender and Sonoma County itself, but are not made available to everyone, and the application process can be lengthy and unreliable, so it is critical to consult with a good Santa Rosa DUI lawyer and start completing the application as soon as possible after any jail sentence is imposed.
Although the county's DUI jail alternative program is only for those who live in Sonoma County, if you do not live here (or sometimes immediately adjacent), then your Santa Rosa DUI attorney should explain that it may still be possible to serve Sonoma DUI jail time in another county with the electronic confinement alternative. Click here for one qualified out-of-county program, The LCA Program, which Sonoma Courts have permitted to provide this service outside Sonoma County for DUI offenders. Typically to be successful obtaining this alternative, one must be directly referred to LCA at the time of sentencing in the Santa Rosa courthouse, and then pre-approved and referred by the Sonoma County probation department using the same application sample above. LCA will provide a Final Report to the court and your Sonoma County DUI lawyer detailing a DUI detainee's performance, costs, office visits, etc. You can also see LCA's client enrollment packet for the electronic monitoring equipment (for both electronic confinement and the SCRAM alcohol monitoring anklet), by clicking here: LCA Enrollment Packet, and you can find more detailed information and rules by clicking here: LCA Electronic Monitoring Handbook.
With respect to pre-trial monitoring, your Sonoma County DUI lawyer should be able to show you examples of successful completion documents from their experience obtaining such jail alternatives for their clients: Click here for an example of BI Successful Completion, and BI Unsuccessful Remand, Reinstallation.
For additional links and information about LCA, BI, work release and other jail alternatives, click on Resources and scroll under "DUI compliance" to the jail alternatives links.
Good Sonoma County DUI lawyers will explain to you that in February, 2008, Sonoma County implemented an intensive, treatment-oriented program, modeled after Sonoma County's Drug Court, which effectively delays serving a jail sentence, and upon successful completion contemplates home confinement to satisfy any minimum jail sentence and early termination of your time on probation. The program is a collaboration of the Court, Probation Department, Health Services, the Public Defender's office, the District Attorney's office and local law enforcement.
Sonoma DUI Court is only available for Sonoma arrests, only for Sonoma County residents and only for non-felony cases, with no prior serious felonies and no current parole, and only after any sentence related to any probation violation is completed. Most participants are third offenders.
Sonoma DUI court is a post-plea interim resolution which would typically only be appropriate for eligible multiple offenders after thorough analysis of your present case with a Sonoma County DUI lawyer if you determine that either there are no viable defenses and the requested jail sentence is unacceptable to you because of job and/or family, or you wish to address the adverse effects of alcohol in your life.
Program Details. If you are willing to acknowledge a substance abuse problem and wish to take advantage of this intensive three-phase Santa Rosa program with regular obligations and reviews, bi-weekly therapy, drug and alcohol testing, at least 5 12-step meetings per week, and drinking driver DUI program classes, then, after meaningful review of your case with your Santa Rosa DUI lawyer, you may be referred by the trial court to the next DUI court session (Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. --you must not be late-- in Santa Rosa Courtroom 15) for a mandatory observation by you. If you are willing, then a no-contest plea and alternate sentence would be entered at the next trial court hearing, and then you would be sent back to the DUI court for a further observation and subsequent preliminary recovery assessment by the judge. After this second observation, you would be interviewed in the following days and assessed by program counselors and staff, and if a satisfactory referral is made, then upon sentencing at the third DUI court session (usually with your Sonoma DUI lawyer) you would commence the program. The stated program length is a minimum of 12 months plus available after-care.
Typical Sentencing Terms. In addition to expected obligations such as twice-monthly counseling sessions, weekly court attendance, and 5 AA meetings per week, good Sonoma DUI lawyers will inform you that the court will typically impose the following additional terms at sentencing:
Program Benefits. Successful completion of the 52 week minimum program length allows a participant to completely avoid time in actual jail custody. In addition, your incentive to participate is this more thoughtful and measured approach for multiple offenders, including access to a lower cost, structured, and local Santa Rosa treatment program designed to transition you to a healthy and stable life, and early probation termination.
You should discuss all of the details with your Santa Rosa DUI lawyer. Click here to see the Summary Sonoma County DUI Court Brochure, and here for the complete Sonoma County DUI Court Participant Handbook. If you believe this program is right for you, then you should also view the obligations contained in the Conditions of Probation, and the DUI Court Agreement.
In December, 2009, Sonoma County DUI lawyers watched as our courts introduced a new layer of informal probation-type oversight for all second and third DUI offenders. This program has been discontinued for new offenders as of 6/2012 until additional funding is obtained, but the information is provided below for background and context.
In addition to the existing DUI court (described in the next section below), a new segment was added, referred to as the DUI oversight court. Under this new system, second and third DUI offenders are referred to this compliance court. These offenders are referred to a compliance officer/case manager, and required to attend another court session two months following their sentencing (court hearings are on the second Wednesday of each month), and again at the six month mark and finally at the one year mark. The court may order that the defendant not attend the second or third hearings. Residents who live in distant counties, and out of state residents, may participate by telephone.
The Case Manager. Sentenced offenders will contact the Orenda Center compliance office and be required to meet with one of two case managers from the Sonoma County Alcohol And Other Drug Services Program ("AODS") to come up with an action/treatment plan to address (and facilitate/ensure) compliance with the original sentencing court's orders, such as enrollment and attendance in the DUI program, AA meetings, installation of the scram anklet, ignition interlock devices, jail, work release or home confinement, etc. Participants provide proof of such compliance to their case managers.
The case manager/compliance officer will monitor probation compliance and assist the DUI offenders in their efforts to eliminate drugs and alcohol from their lives, and may include, if necessary, referral to community services, monitoring substance abuse, random drug testing, addressing family issues, verification of participation in job training, immigration assistance, housing and education. If a client has not fulfilled their obligations, it will be up to the compliance officer and the court to determine why, and also to suggest a different course intended to help the client to comply. The ultimate determination of a response by the court remains with the judge. Defense attorneys will have open communication with such case managers and the court, and may help facilitate an appropriate response to certain difficulties.
Click here to see the complete Sonoma County DUI Compliance Court summary memorandum. More information, including necessary documents and maps, etc, may be found on the Resources page of this site under DUI Compliance>DUI Court.
Important: Please be aware that these and other jail alternatives, specialty courts such as Sonoma County's "DUI Court," and other DUI programs available in Sonoma County, are subject to frequent changes in rules and procedures due to constant policy review and budgetary changes. Be sure to discuss current requirements and program availability and details with a knowledgeable Sonoma County DUI attorney prior to committing to, or rejecting participation in any court program.
"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