Solano County Courthouse

Top Ten Questions > From Non-Residents

1. Must I return to Solano County court?

977Usually no. Whether you live here or not, California law provides that a misdemeanor DUI defendant may waive his/her personal appearance and instead arrange for a private Solano County DUI attorney to appear on your behalf. Penal Code Section 977, and see also, Bracher, 205 CA4 1445. If you live outside Solano County (either in another California county or in another state), then this is one of the principal reasons to hire a private Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DUI lawyer (unfortunately, the free public defenders require your presence at each court appearance, and you must be present to initially obtain their services anyways). Click on Ten Tips for the First 48 Hours after Arrest for the other important reasons to hire a local DUI lawyer.

Note that rarely a court may order your appearance even with your private Solano DUI attorney, in "appropriate cases" (usually expected when one or more prior DUIs or violation(s) of probation are alleged, and/or higher alcohol levels or other aggravating factors are present). Typically, in Solano, Napa, Marin and Mendocino counties, you are not required to attend a misdemeanor court (or DMV) hearing unless there is a substantial proceeding where evidence is to be formally introduced (usually only a contested hearing or actual trial proceedings). Click on 977 Waiver for an example of Solano County's court form authorizing an attorney to appear on your behalf.

Will your absence be noticed by the court or required by your DUI attorney? No, in most cases court appearances are strictly procedural (even clients who live here locally rarely, if ever, come to court). This doesn't mean you'll be left in the dark about your case. A good DUI attorney will explain the entire process. To start, click here to see our Solano DUI lawyer's comprehensive Anatomy of a Solano County DUI flowchart. In addition, our tech know-how can be very helpful to avoid the need for client travel, meetings or appearances in Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville. We make police reports and other case documents available to you securely online after court appearances, and most court and DMV cases can be started and finished through efficient and complete email or snail mail exchange. Review the discussions below about how we may be able to arrange for you to comply with all sentencing orders without ever being required to return to Solano County if there are no viable defenses in your case.

You can (and should) closely follow the progress of your Solano County case by regularly communicating with your attorney before and after Vallejo or Fairfield court appearances, and follow your case separately online by clicking on Resources on this site and then find your local court under "Superior Courts" by clicking on the county where you were arrested (for example, Solano, Marin, Mendocino or Napa), and search your name. Solano Courts have an online system for viewing case information and calendar dates for Fairfield or Vallejo appearances for your case. Napa Courts and Mendocino Courts have online calendars. Marin Courts have San Rafael appearances online weeks in advance. Consult with a Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DUI attorney about your individual case.


Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Our DUI Lawyers

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, North Bay resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

Read More About Our Solano DUI Lawyers: Jake, Ryan & Rachel >>

Dave Jake Schwartz