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Matthew Ruff, Top Petty Theft Defense Attorney 310-527-4100

If you have been arrested or detained for stealing and have an upcoming Court date you need to take it seriously. If you do not and are convicted of this crime it will remain on your record forever. Matthew Ruff has been consistently rated one of the best defense attorneys in Los Angeles and he can help you to avoid being convicted of petty theft. In the last five years he has nearly a 100 percent success rate in obtaining dismissals in Los Angeles County for clients with a clean record. Matthew has over 23 years experience handling these offenses.

Call Matthew today for a discreet personal consultation and case assessment at 310-527-4100

Does this sound familiar: A loss prevention officer stops you and may ask if you forgot to pay for something or sometimes simply commands you to come with them back to their office because he or she believes you stole merchandise. Thereafter you sit in the room as you are interrogated about whether you have done this before, you are coerced to sign various papers and then the police arrive. You are questioned by the police, they may take you to the station or simply give you a citation but in any event you are given a Court date and are scared out of your mind. You ask yourself Will this be on my record forever? Will I go to jail? Will I lose my job? Will I ever be able to get a better job because of this? We can help to answer these questions and help to keep this incident from ruining your life.

When looking for an attorney, ask yourself Do I want to hire the cheapest lawyer in town? Or do you want a Top Tier attorney like Matthew Ruff, someone with over 20 years experience to get your case DISMISSED.

Matthew has some of the best reviews on Yelp, with over 20 years experience he is your best choice for legal counsel. Why would you hire a lawyer with less experience and possibly risk getting convicted or ending up with a record that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Here are a couple of actual client reviews posted online:

"I had a first time petty theft case and Matthew dismissed the case like a piece of cake . He made an offer with the judge for me to stay out of trouble for 9 months and the case was dismissed. I cant thank him enough. Best best attorney in all of CA. Anybody need a lawyer don't think twice Matthew is the one you need to contact."

"Hands down the best attorney in town. He gives you exactly what he promises. I would definitely refer him to anybody with any kind of criminal case. He dismissed my petty theft case without a hitch. Very professional and life saving. Thank you Matthew!"

The crime of petty theft is codified in Penal Code section 484. The crux of the offense is that the suspect took property or merchandise valued at less than $400 without paying with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property. Although thousands of people are arrested every year for petty theft, few persons realize that by hiring an attorney you actually can, in many instances, keep the arrest from becoming a conviction and destroying the record of the accused. This offense, like no other, can cause undue stress, worry and sleepless nights like no other. Fortunately, Matthew Ruff knows how to resolve these cases and eliminate the stress from a client's life. Dealing with the district attorney is what Matt can do for you, he uses his two decades worth of experience to find a way to get your charges dismissed!

Here is what one actual client had to say about Matthew's representation: "I hired Matthew Ruff for a petty-theft misdemeanor I was charged with in late 2014. I was a nervous wreck as this was the first time I had ever been in trouble with the law. I had spoken to several attorneys who were doubtful that they could get my charges reduced based on the evidence presented against me, but Matthew explained to me that he was going to go to bat for me and do everything in his powers to make sure this stayed off my record- and he did."

Matt has much experience handling tough cases. For example, in June of 2016 he negotiated a complete dismissal of Petty Theft, PC 459.5 where the client was observed via video surveillance selecting numerous items of clothing in a Los Angeles Kohls store and taking them into a fitting room, subsequently secreting the clothes in a bag and exiting the store. The loss prevention employees detained the client outside the location and the police were called. They discovered over $600 of clothing inside the bag, she was arrested and taken to the police station. Matthew got involved and worked out a complete dismissal of the case upon completion of community volunteer work.

In most cases, an individual detained for petty theft will be brought to the loss prevention office, questioned and arrested then turned over to the police or simply given a citation with a date to appear in Court. As a lawyer who has defended hundreds of petty theft clients over the last 20 plus years Mr. Ruff is sometimes asked why some of his clients charged with PC484 are taken by law enforcement and booked versus others who may be given a ticket and released in the field? The answer to this question usually comes down to how busy law enforcement is at the time of the call. If the police are swamped with calls for service, the theft suspect will likely be written a "notice to appear" and be sent on their way. However if the police have the time they will take custody of the arrestee and transport them to the station to be booked (fingerprinted and photographed) and either "cited out" or released on bail.

Among other frequent questions that folks have regarding the crime of petty theft is whether the personal property in question must be actually removed from the premises in order to effectuate the criminal offense. The answer to this question in no. In fact, California law provides that the person merely "carry away" the property. What this means in simple language is that the perpetrator only pick up and move the item at the time he has the specific intent to permanently deprive the owner owner of the item. He or she is not required to retain the property in order to prove the act occurred.

What does a person accused of petty theft do in order to keep the charge from appearing on his or her permanent record? The first thing that should be done is the individual must retain legal counsel to assist them. Petty theft and criminal defense attorney Matthew Ruff has consistently gotten these types of charges dropped, dismissed or reduced in virtually every Court in Los Angeles and Kern County. Over the last fifteen years the attorney has established a proven track record of victories for his clients. Whether the accusation be one of simple petty theft, grand theft or even commercial burglary, the lawyer knows the steps to take to resolve the matter in a quick and effective manner. If contacted soon after the incident, the attorney can sometimes negotiate a "civil compromise" with the merchant in exchange for a dismissal of the charges.

Call the attorney for help at 310-527-4100

An example of his skills were demonstrated recently in a case in Los Angeles County where a young woman was stopped and detained by store security guards upon exiting a national mall store. The woman had placed an expensive item of clothing valued at approximately $300 in her bag without paying for it and the entire incident was caught on videotape by loss prevention personnel. She was arrested and booked by the police for petty theft and was left worried and concerned about her future and how damaging a conviction would be for her. Fortunately, she had the good sense to call Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Matthew Ruff who went to Court for her and assured her he would do everything in his power to keep the offense from her permanent criminal record. Because she hired him early after her arrest, he was able to meet with the City Prosecutor and negotiated a diversion of her case which meant if she stayed out of further trouble and complied with certain terms her case would be dismissed completely and would never show as a conviction on her record. This type of disposition is very typical for cases he handles and amounts to one of hundreds he has resolved over the last decade.

As an example, Matthew represented a young woman arrested for petty theft at Kohls in Torrance. She was married to a executive of a Fortune 500 company here on an HB1 Visa. She was concerned that the incident would have dire consequences for her immigration status and relationship with her husband. Matt set up a meeting with the local city attorney and conveyed the details of the situation along with an explanation of the circumstances and proposed a resolution that would allow his client to have the case dismissed. The prosecutors agreed to the proposal and the case was settled in September 2014.

In other cases, Mr. Ruff's clients want to take a more aggressive approach by insisting that the charges be dropped completely. These cases can be best handled by pleading not guilty and setting the matter for trial. As an example: In one very recent case Matthew represented a client charged with theft from a Kohls store. The client at all times proclaimed she was innocent and was racially profiled. The attorney fought the case and was able to get a complete dismissal of the charges with no requirement of community service, fines or fees, classes or probation. In yet another case a client was detained at Sephora for allegedly stealing merchandise. Matt got involved early on in the case and was able to resolve the matter before the case ever got to Court.

The bottom line is that being arrested for petty theft does not have to mean you will have a criminal conviction, be incarcerated or even have to serve a probation sentence. A good lawyer can make the difference between a permanent scar and a slap on the wrist.

Here is a short list of case results in the last recent months alone:

Shoplifting Charges dismissed after arrest at Target in Torrance

Shoplifting Case dismissed after arrest at Fryes in Manhattan Beach

Grand Theft charges dismissed following arrest at Home Depot in Torrance

Theft charges completely dropped in Court arising from arrest at Sephora

Case Dismissed for client detained at Costco in Torrance California

Petty Theft charge in Torrance Court, result: Case Dismissed

Charges of Petty Theft in Glendale Court, result: Reduced to Trespassing

Petty Theft inside a Mall in Los Angeles, result: Dismissed (Civil Compromise)

Grand Theft Charges in Burbank Costco, result: Reduced to Trespass

Petty Theft in LAX Court (Stolen Rolex Watch at airport metal detector) result: Charges Dropped Completely

PC 484 charge in Glendale, result: reduced to infraction trespass

Petty Theft Redondo Beach Court, results: Charges Dismissed

Petty Theft Misdemeanor in Bakersfield, result: Case Dismissed

Second offense Petty Theft in Downtown Los Angeles, result: Charges reduced to trespassing

Shoplifting Charges in Santa Monica, result: Dismissed

Theft at Torrance Costco, result: Charges Dismissed

Petty Theft Charges, Macy's Department Store, charges dismissed.

Petty Theft Arrest and Formal Criminal Charges from Kohls Department store, Case dismissed.

Petty Theft in Culver City, charges dismissed.

Petty Theft from Sears, Charges Dropped.

Arrest and Citation for Petty Theft (PC 484) at FRYE'S in Manhattan Beach, Charges Dropped in Torrance Court


The detention and arrest for alleged theft is traumatic enough, don't let the stress of the incident get you depressed or suffer from an anxiety attack. Call attorney Matthew Ruff who can put his 21 years experience to use in getting your charges dropped in Court. If you or someone close to you has been cited for petty theft, call the attorney who knows the ins and outs of the local Courts and judicial system. Serving all jurisdictions in Southern California including Los Angeles, Kern, Torrance, Redondo beach, Van Nuys, Burbank, Long Beach, Bakersfield, Santa Monica, LAX Airport, Inglewood, Manhattan Beach, and all Superior Courts in CA.

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