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Matthew Ruff, Manhattan Beach Attorney : 310-527-4100

Here is the question you must ask yourself: Do you want to trust your future with a criminal defense lawyer who has little experience and can make crucial mistakes in your case or do you want someone who has decades of cases under his belt? Matthew has 23 years experience representing good folks accused of doing bad things. Among the crimes commonly charged in the area are public intoxication, DUI, domestic violence, assault, drug possession, and many other "quality of life" crimes. Many of the clients we have helped do not reside in the area and therefore have difficulty traveling back to the Court to make an appearance and resolve a accusation of criminal conduct. Because Matthew's office is within a couple miles of the Courthouse, he can appear for you, meet with the District Attorney and oftentimes get charges dismissed or reduced without the client appearing. In many cases Matt can "intervene" early in the process (even before charges get filed) to attempt a resolution of the case without criminal charges being filed. However, time is of the essence and getting started as quickly as possible is crucial.

Case of the week: Matthew was retained over the phone by the ex-husband of a woman arrested in Manhattan Beach for DUI. The client actually resided in Arizona so having a local attorney who could handle things in the Torrance Court for her was important. The client was stopped by police for talking on her cell phone (CVC 23123). Upon making contact, the officers observed bloodshot/watery eyes, the odor of an alcoholic beverage, unsteady gait and slurred speech. She was given a balance test, walk and turn, one leg stand and finger to nose tests. Acccording to the officer, she failed each test. She was arrested and chose a blood test, the results were later determined to be a .15 BAC. She was charged with VC 23152(a)(b) and the enhancement under VC23578 for having a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher. Matt knew he had his work cut out for him but he took his usual approach that the best defense is a good offense so he filed a motion challenging the stop and arrest. It worked, the DA relented and agreed to dismiss the DUI charges and offer a lesser charge which the client took.

Examples of other recent cases: Matt was retained by a worried parent after her son was arrested and charged with being drunk in public. Since he has successfully defended over a thousand of these types of offenses, he assured the frantic parent that he could resolve the case with favorable results without the client needing to appear in Court. In the summer of 2016 he delivered on his promise by seeing that all charges were dismissed.

Matthew was contacted by a concerned individual that was arrested for DUI in Manhattan Beach after she called for a tow truck following a traffic mishap. When the police arrived they found the person seated in the driver seat with collision damage to her car. She was given numerous FST's and a breath test which she failed. She was taken to the station where a chemical test was administered, her license was confiscated and she spent the night in jail. Matthew took the case and immediately obtained a DMV hearing to stop the suspension of her driving privileges, he reached out to the local authorities and the criminal charges were dropped. At the license suspension hearing he presented argument insisting his client should have her license returned, they upheld the suspension. Not deterred, he appealed the decision to Sacramento. Two weeks later he was notified they agreed with his analysis of the case and issued a "set aside" of the suspension order.

Question: What should I do when approaching a DUI checkpoint if I know I have had a drink? First, understand that the police saturate the area surrounding the checkpoint looking for motorists that try to turn away or effect a U turn and avoid the roadblock, be careful the officers will look for illegal turns and other vehicle code violations for any reason to pull you over. While it is not illegal to consciously avoid a sobriety checkpoint often law enforcement will find some pretext to pull you over if you do. When entering into the roadblock keep your window rolled up, do not volunteer any information about ingestion of alcohol and ask to be permitted to drive through. What if the officer does not read my Miranda rights? The law does not require a policeman to read Miranda rights in every situation. Most DUI arrests involve limited questioning after an actual arrest so the general rule that a person should be read their rights may not apply, however, you should speak to a lawyer and provide as much information possible to get an assessment of whether a constitutional rights violation may have occurred.

The authorities in Manhattan Beach participate in the South Bay DUI Task Force to patrol, investigate and prosecute criminal driving under the influence cases. The unit engages in saturation patrols and checkpoints to catch suspected DUI drivers in the city. All cases are referred to the a District Attorney for a Court action as the city does not have its own city prosecutors, unlike the neighbouring municipalities of Torrance and Redondo Beach. Sometimes referred to as the "Pearl of the South Bay", Manhattan Beach boasts some of the most inviting beaches and night life in Southern California. High home prices and net incomes allow the city to afford a large police force that aggressively patrols the beach and pier areas and stopping vehicles and pedestrians who may have been drinking at one of the many bars and nightclubs. With aggressive enforcement of the law sometimes comes constitutional rights violations, unlawful stops and wrongful arrests.

Contact Manhattan Beach Attorney Matthew Ruff at 310-527-4100

The following is an example of a case Matthew defended: The client was charged with public intoxication and assault on an Uber driver after a night of partying in Manhattan Beach. The accused resideded in another state and it would be difficult to fly back to Court to appear. Matthew took the case and met with the District Attorney, he negotiated a dismissal of the charges upon payment of costs to the city. The client never needed to appear in Court.

In one particularly noteworthy case, the attorney was retained to fight a DUI in Manhattan Beach where the client was stopped at a checkpoint on Artesia. The officer administered a number of field sobriety tests which he claimed she failed. Thereafter she submitted to a breathalyzer which reflected a BAC above the proscribed limit in California, she was released with a notice to appear in Court at a later date. After reaching out to the local prosecution all criminal charges were dropped prior to the arranged Court date.

In another local case, the client was arrested after a citizen reported a drunk driver. The police were dispatched and contacted the client at her home in PV. The police asked the client to perform field sobriety tests and subsequently arrested her for DWI. A breath test revealed a BAC of .14 and she was given a future Court date. She hired a Matthew who discovered a violation of her Constitutional rights. He filed a motion to dismiss which was granted after a full hearing. All charges were dismissed.

One of the most common questions asked regarding criminal defense is whether a driver should take a breath test if arrested for DUI. The answer to this question depends on which machine you are being asked to submit to. For example, if the test is a preliminary alcohol screening test (PAS) and you are over 21 and not on probation then the answer is no. However, if you are ultimately arrested for driving under the influence then you must submit to a chemical test or risk losing your California driving privileges for at least one year. Attorney Matthew J. Ruff has personally handled hundreds of criminal cases originating from Manhattan Beach. A lawyer with over a decade and a half of experience, he has seen and defended virtually all types of criminal matters ranging from simple traffic violations all the way to murder. The most common kinds of cases in the Manhattan Beach area are: DUI, drunk driving, public intoxication, petty theft and shoplifting, assault and battery arising from bar fights, domestic violence, hit and run cases involving alcohol and drugs, possession of narcotics, drug sales and distribution, among many others.

All Manhattan Beach criminal cases are referred to the Los Angeles District Attorney for prosecution. Misdemeanor charges are initially heard in Department 3 of the South Bay Court in Torrance where as of 2016 the Honorable Judge George Bird presides. Felony cases are sent to Division 4 for the initial appearance if the client is not in jail at the time of the arraignment, the Judge in that Courtroom is the Honorable Thomas Sokolov. Manhattan Beach Criminal Attorney Matthew Ruff appears in both of these courtrooms on nearly a daily basis given his proximity to the Court and the fact that all he does is criminal defense.

Given the fact that the city gets many tourists and visitors who reside out of the area and sometimes out of state, it is not uncommon to see warrants being issued for a failure to appear in Court. These bench warrant matters can be resolved with the help of a local attorney. Over the last fifteen years Matthew Ruff has recalled warrants for many out of state clients on old cases that are holding up a job or preventing the issuance of a drivers license. In fact in one recent case the lawyer was hired by a client to clear an old Manhattan Beach arrest warrant for a felony DUI with injury charge. Mr. Ruff filed a motion to dismiss the case based on a violation of the client's speedy trial rights, the Judge hearing the case agreed and all charges were dropped. Surprisingly, in most cases the lawyer can go to Court without the client, thereby avoiding costly travel and anxiety.

Because he is a local Manhattan Beach criminal attorney, Matthew Ruff has a distinct advantage over other lawyers not familiar with the local customs and practices. Moreover, being in Court every day gives him the benefit of knowing the Judges and particular prosecutors who will be handling his client's cases. In addition, criminal defense is all he does and he does it very well. Indeed, what sets the attorney apart from other Manhattan Beach DUI and criminal defense lawyers is his tenacity and passionate defense of his clients. When he is retained to represent a client he leaves no stone unturned in order to achieve the best possible result.

A good example of this is a case involving a client facing his third DUI and looking at mandatory jail and license revocation. As is typical in his vigorous defense, Mr. Ruff scrutinized the police officer's procedures in the administration of the Breathalyzer and in doing so uncovered a substantial violation of state mandated regulations which resulted in a set aside of the DMV license suspension and a favorable outcome in the criminal portion of the case.

In another case, Matthew was hired to defend a client arrested in Manhattan Beach outside a local bar. The client was sitting inside his car passed out with the music blaring. The police showed up and arrested him for DUI, his blood alcohol level was well above a .20% and he had priors for drunk driving. The district attorney argued that their was substantial evidence to convict but Mr. Ruff disagreed and fought the case. After several Court hearings the DA relented and dismissed all charges.

In yet another recent case, Matthew's client was arrested at a Manhattan Beach DUI checkpoint while heading home from a local restaurant. After smelling the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, the client was asked to exit his car and perform field sobriety tests which, according to the officer were "unsatisfactory". A breath test revealed his BAC to be a .09% and his license was confiscated and he was arrested. Immediately upon his release he retained attorney Matthew Ruff who arranged for a DMV hearing to challenge the arrest and suspension of the client's drivers license. Matthew and his blood alcohol expert showed that the breath test was wrong and persuaded the DMV to set aside the DUI license suspension at the DMV hearing.

Matthew also defends drunk in public charges in Manhattan Beach, also known as pubic intoxication and PC647f. The attorney has an impressive dismissal rate for these misdemeanor charges in the city.

If a friend or family member is is need of a criminal law firm in the Manhattan Beach area or have a criminal case pending in the South Bay Torrance Court, call Matthew for a no obligation discreet conversation about the case. He can be reached directly at 310-527-4100.

With over 20 years of local experience and more than 3000 criminal cases under his belt, including Hit and Run, DWI, Domestic Violence, Drug Possession, all serious Manhattan Beach charges, attorney Matthew Ruff has the skill and the guts to fight for you in Court and get the best result. You must be aware that in today's society a conviction for driving under the influence or any other criminal offense will stay on a person's record for at leat 10 years. An experienced defense lawyer can utilize recognized defenses to keep the charge from becoming a permanent scar on your DMV report and California Department of Justice file.

Manhattan Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew Ruff has an exemplary record of helping good folks charged with any of the known statutory offenses proscribed under California law. When you future depends on the outcome, do not risk anything to chance. Contact a lawyer to discuss your options.

Last year alone, the attorney helped over 100 clients keep their driving privilege with the DMV after a DUI arrest. If you are facing license consequences or looking at a criminal charge in Manhattan Beach or any other South Bat city, call Matthew today.

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