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Matthew J. Ruff, Top Hermosa Beach Attorney : 310-527-4100

There is a famous saying: Come to Hermosa on Vacation and leave on probation! Don't let this happen to you. One act of indiscretion does not need to define who you are as a person. Matthew has been helping good people get out of messes in Hermosa Beach for over 20 years. Whether it be overindulging in alcohol or other criminal matter Matt can help. When things get tough, call Attorney Ruff!

Have you or someone you know been arrested in the city of Hermosa Beach. Whether it be for a DUI, drunk in public, domestic violence, assault, battery, petty theft or any other serious felony or misdemeanor charge, we can help. An arrest comes with it many questions, such as will I go to jail? Will I lose my drivers license? Will I have a felony or criminal record? Hermosa Beach Criminal Lawyer Matthew Ruff can help answer your legal questions and assist by providing a straightforward approach to get you out of your legal trouble. Call and speak directly with Matthew today at 310-527-4100, you can be assured you will go away with a better understanding of how the system intends to deal with your charge and how a local Hermosa Beach Criminal Attorney can give you a significant advantage.

Case of the week: Matthew was hired by a client observed by Hermosa Beach Police challenging another individual to fight in the 100 block of Pier Avenue. The client's pants were soiled with urine, had several lacerations from fighting, strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath, slurred incoherent speech, bloodshot watery eyes, unsteady, swaying gait and staggering. He was arrested and spent the night in jail. Upon release he retained Matt who went to Court and negotiated a complete dismissal of all charges.

In 2015 the city entered into a contract with Redondo Beach for criminal prosecution services. What this means is that now all prosecutions are handled by the Redondo City Attorney. What is the impact? Well, in the past Hermosa Beach would generally infract ( ie. reduce the offense to an infraction) many "quality of life" crimes such as public intoxication, urinating in public, drinking in public, etc. However, it remains to be seen whether the current prosecutors will continue this practice. Therefore, hiring a lawyer may be the best option when facing a misdemeanor within the city. 2016 Update: Recently, attorney George Bird was appointed Judge and has been assigned to Torrance Court, Division 3. This Courtroom is now an "EDP" Court or early disposition program which is good for those who prefer to resolve their cases early without a trial or litigation. For example, if the prosecution offers a deal that is not acceptable the Judge can intervene and make a Court offer for an early plea. This offer is often better than what the DA or city prosecutor wants on the case. This is good news for many "quality of life" crimes such as drunk in public, urinating in public and the like.

When do you need a criminal defense attorney? When the police come calling, when you have been released from jail and are looking at a citation to appear in Court for a DUI allegation, or quite frankly any time the focus of a police investigation centers on you or someone you care about. A criminal lawyer can be the difference between time behind bars and being at home with your family. The fact is our system of justice demands that an accused have an advocate in their corner because the Courts will not assist a person standing before them. The District Attorney will not go easier on you because you are unrepresented.

Legal Question of the Day, When does a police officer's mistake render a stop illegal? It used to be the law that if an officer was mistaken about the law and the mistake caused a citizen to be detained whereupon evidence was seized that was subsequently used in a criminal case then that evidence would be suppressed and in admissible in a Court of law. This changed as of earlier in the year when the US Supreme Court ruled that a police officer can be mistaken about what the law says and a stop may still be legal as long as the conduct was "reasonable" under the totality of the circumstances. You may say: how can a police officer, who is charged with knowing the law ever be acting reasonably if he or she is ignorant of the law at hand? This is a good question and one that many legal scholars are having a difficult time with. Time will tell whether the Court will offer some clarification on the subject.

The following is a recent case Matthew handled for a client: Officers pulled over the vehicle for weaving and lane straddling. The officers detected an odor of alcohol and asked the driver to exit his vehicle and perform various field sobriety tests including the walk and turn and stand on one leg test. According to the report he failed the tests and was arrested for diving under the influence. Subsequently , a blood test was administered which later revealed a BAC of .12 percent and the prosecutor filed two charges of VC 23152a and VC23152b. Matthew was retained and went to a Court and filed a motion to suppress and dismiss based on an unlawful stop. The Judge agreed and threw out the case, all charges were dismissed in Court.

One of the most common questions asked by people is whether to take a breath test if arrested for DUI in Hermosa Beach, the answer is yes you should. The bottom line is that the laws in California make it clear that if you refuse to submit or fail to complete a chemical test once arrested for drunk driving you will lose your license for a minimum of one year, possibly longer. With this being said it must be clarified that the "breath test" we speak of is the evidentiary test done once you are formally placed under arrest, NOT the PAS test done at the scene. This mobile machine should not be taken unless you are under 21 or are currently on DUI probation. The legal reason for this advice is that the preliminary alcohol tests are not as accurate as other forms of testing and often inflate the true blood alcohol levels of the subject.

A sunny and tiny beach city that covers only 1.4 square miles, Hermosa Beach California offers many attractions for visitors that cannot be found anywhere else. The town is the essence of a Southern California lifestyle with temperatures in the 70's and 80's year round. With great beaches, bars and nightclubs come ramped up police presence that often results in criminal arrests for various offenses such as DUI, Drunk in Public and Disturbing the Peace. The Hermosa Beach Police Department has developed a reputation as being particularly aggressive when it comes to enforcing criminal statutes within its city borders. The Strand, which runs along the city for 20 miles, is the city's main party, eating and shopping areas.

Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew Ruff has 21 years experience defending ordinary, good folks who have been charged with crimes such as driving under the influence, possession of drugs and alcohol, marijuana infractions, public intoxication, domestic violence, assault and battery and other charges in Hermosa Beach. Of the many cases handled by Mr. Ruff, DUI is perhaps the most prevalent. The law of drunk driving is extremely complex and requires extensive knowledge in the scientific principles of alcohol and drug toxicology. Hermosa Beach Criminal Defense and DUI Attorney Ruff has personally handled well over 3000 criminal and DUI cases in Southern California.

All Hermosa Beach driving under the influence cases go to Division 2 in the Torrance Court. After an arrest it is particularly important to request an administrative hearing to challenge the license suspension that flows from a drunk driving arrest. Waiting until you go to Court before you worry about the drivers license impications of a DWI arrest can be a very big mistake, the Courts no longer have any control over what happens to a person's driving privilege in most cases. Failure to get a DMV hearing within 10 days of the incident can mean a suspension of up to 3 years without the ability to get any type of work restriction. DMV hearings and fighting for the rights of the accused are a part of what Hermosa Beach DUI attorney Matthew Ruff does for his clients.

Trust your defense to an attorney who has personally defended thousands of criminal and DUI cases and is in Court almost every day fighting for the rights of his clients. Every case is handled with the care and attention that Matthew would give to a member of his own family.

Recent Case Results out of Hermosa Beach
Hermosa Beach Urinating in public charges dismissed in Court.

Public Intoxication in Hermosa Beach charges dropped after negotiations with the City Attorney

Hermosa Beach DUI charges, second offense, allegations of minors in car, Result: Charges reduced to wet reckless, license returned at DMV.

Hermosa Beach DUI Charges, .18 blood test, Result: Case reduced to reckless driving.

Resisting Arrest and Assault Charges in Hermosa Beach, Result: Charges Dismissed, reduced to disturbing the peace.

Arson Charges, Result: Charges reduced to disturbing the peace.

Hermosa Beach DUI charges: Result: Case Dismissed on constitutional grounds.

Hit and Run associated with DUI in Hermosa Beach, Result: Case Dismissed

Drunk in Public, Result: Case Dismissed.

Arson Charges in Hermosa Beach, Result: All Charges dropped.

Felony DUI with Injury Charges out of Hermosa Beach, Result: Entire case Dismissed on Constitutional Rights Violations.

Drunk Driving Charges with BAC level .19, Result: Charges reduced to reckless driving.

Domestic Violence criminal charges in Hermosa Beach. Result: Case Dismissed

After a arrest the case goes to the city who can then file charges against you, ath this point you need to discuss the case with a Hermosa Beach Criminal Defense Attorney who can explain your rights and possible defenses. The prosecutor files a formal complaint in the Superior Court which can have long term consequences and can result in potential jail time and fines.


When you or a family member require a Criminal Defense Lawyer in the South Bay, Hermosa Beach or any other city in Los Angeles County Matthew Ruff is there to help. Call him at 310-527-4100 for a free consultation today. Delay in consulting with an attorney could cause serious prejudice to your case as there are time deadlines to request a DMV hearing following arrests for certain alcohol and drug charges. No one can help you more than an experienced Hermosa Beach DUI Attorney or criminal defense lawyer when you are facing charges in the Torrance Court.

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