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Matthew Ruff, Top Public Intoxication Lawyer: 310-527-4100

If you have been arrested and released for the crime of drunk in public and have a Court date on the horizon you need answers to your questions such as will I go to Jail?, can this crime wreck my chances of getting a good job or cause me to get fired? Attorney Matt Ruff can help ease you fears about the case and if hired he can go to a Court for you in most cases. Many people charged with public intoxication get arrested while trying to take a cab or taxi home and can't understand why the police arrested them. The fact of the matter is that if you are intoxicated to the point you can no longer charge for yourself or the safety of others it doesn't matter if you were in a private car or cab, as long as you were on a public street, that is all that matters in the eyes of the law. However, most cops abuse this law by arresting citizens for this charge when they simply do not follow the "orders" of the police or show "disrespect" or contempt for the officer. Because most officers do not administer any kind of objective test to determine the true level of inebriation, the cop can often justify his actions under a subjective standard of "opinion" which, if left unchallenged can result in the innocent being convicted.

For some, such as professionals, engineers, pilots, realtors, those in the medical field and anyone with a security clearance or state license, this type of offense can be devastating. The fallout from a conviction for Penal Code 647f can be very destructive, could result in the loss of license, employment or ability to advance. Recently, Matt was hired by a commercial pilot arrested for public intox in Long Beach. He was stressing out worrying about how the incident would impact his long unblemished career. He contacted Matthew who put his mind at ease, reached out to the local prosecutor and arranged a resolution of the charges within days of being hired.

Cases of the week: Matt negotiated a dismissal of an aggravated drunk in public case out of Manhattan Beach CA. Here are the facts of the case: Police officers were flagged down by a hotel security guard reporting that the client became belligerent with the hotel manager and struck him after a disagreement. Officers contacted the client who fought with the officers and was taken down with force. The client repeatedly yelled obscenities at the officers who observed thick slurred speech, red and watery eyes, flushed face, strong odor of alcoholic beverage, unsteady balance and disoriented. He was arrested, spent the night in jail, released and retained Matthew the next day. Matt was able to get the entire case dismissed in Torrance Court.

Matthew was retained by a outside sales rep arrested in San Bernardino County after he tried to help a friend who was severely intoxicated herself. The client was contacted after someone called the police and he was detained and questioned about his own drinking and level of sobriety. He was arrested and charged with PC647f in Rancho Cucamonga Court. After several discussions with the District Attorney and an offer for community service, the case was ultimately dismissed completely under Penal Code 1385.

That same week Matt was hired by a client arrested by the Hermosa Beach Police Department after she was called in by a taxi cab driver. The accused was simply trying to get home after a night out on the Pier. Admittedly, the client was very intoxicated but had a clean record and worked in the Aerospace field with a security clearance in jeopardy. Matthew met with the City Prosecutor and negotiated a complete dismissal of the charges thereby saving the client from a very embarrassing misdemeanor on her permanent criminal record.

When looking for a lawyer to defend your case, you need someone with the experience that knows the "ins and outs" of the local criminal justice system, in some cases even better than the prosecutor pressing charges against you. Although it may seem like a simple traffic ticket, the offense of public intoxication can wreck a person's future.

Matthew Ruff is extremely effective in dismissing intoxication in public allegations, here is what one recent client had to say about his services:

"I had recently been arrested for Drunk in Public in Manhattan Beach. I decided to hire Matt based on this reviews and his familiarity with the criminal system in the South Bay. He was very reassuring from the get-go, told me what I had to do, and followed up along the way. He ended up getting my case dismissed completely. Great job from top-to-bottom!"

Here's how this offense usually occurs: You're out with your friends for a night of socializing at the local bars and clubs at one of the beach cities. You go outside and are trying to get home when you are contacted by the police and arrested. Many believe Law enforcement are too aggressive in arresting folks who are simply contributing to the local economy and out to have a good time. Our Law Firm vigorously defends all charges of public intoxication, drunk in public and all other alcohol related crimes in California including Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica and Los Angeles County. We can go to Court for you on your public intoxication citation or arrest and fight the allegations. We have close to a 100 percent dismissal rate on all drunk in public offenses and we can help you keep your record clear. Obviously, there are factors that can impede a case being dismissed such as a client's past record, the conduct involved in any given case and the jurisdiction involved.

Should the police even have arrested you for public intoxication at all? This is a very important legal question because under the law a police officer, if reasonably able to do so, must take an inebriated person to a civil facility designed to treat those with alcohol and drug problems, rather than book them into jail..

What is the process of fighting a public intoxication violation? First, when you hire Matthew he will contact the local prosecutorial agency to obtain copies of the offense reports and documents relating to the arrest. Second, he will reach out to the DA or city attorney to discuss a resolution of the offense. He will present mitigating information to the prosecutor and advance legal arguments explaining why the charges should be dropped or dismissed completely. Last, he will go to Court for the client for the purpose of clearing the charge or having the allegations dropped.

Most people charged with this crime have no criminal record and want to keep it that way. The fact is many companies will not hire you if you have this type of a conviction for fear that the individual is irresponsible or incapable of making good decisions involving alcohol and therefore are a bad risk as an employee. Morevover, if you are on probation for drunk in public you could be denied student aid, loans, and could be prevented from traveling to other countries such as Canada, South America and Europe.

Matthew Ruff can be reached directly at 310-527-4100

The crime of public intoxication requires that the prosecution prove that the defendant was so intoxicated that he or she could no longer care of the safety of themselves or are a danger to the general public. The offense is codified in Penal Code section 647(f). Public intoxication is a misdemeanor but can be reduced to an infraction with the help of a defense lawyer. In many cases, a lawyer can go to Court for the client thus saving the person unneeded humiliation, embarrassment and the expense of travel and taking off time from work, Public intoxication can also be dismissed completely using various defenses and a criminal defense attorney should be contacted for a consultation. Some cities such as Hermosa Beach take these offenses very seriously and have official agendas for the apprehension and prosecution of persons considered drunk and disorderly.

As part of a public intoxication or drunk in public arrest, the police will sometimes give very basic field sobriety tests to substantiate their conclusion that the person arrested was in fact intoxicated. However, intoxication alone is insufficient to support a conviction for PC647f. What is often missing from the investigation is any objective chemical test evidence such as blood tests, urine tests or breath alcohol test. The absence of some forensic scientific corroboration of the officer's opinion can be capitalized on by an experienced criminal defense lawyer to secure a dismissal or other favorable disposition to a public intoxication charge.

One frequently recurring issue within the context of this offense is the situation where an individual is arrested just outside their home, private yard or on their patio. It is not uncommon for law enforcement to respond to a call to someones residence and encounter the individual who likely had been drinking within the privacy of their house. The officer will use a ruse to get the person outside then arrest then for public intoxication. This type of a case can be successfully defended with the use of an attorney. A litany of legal defenses and substantial case law can be used to obtain a dismissal of charges of disorderly conduct offenses delineated under Penal Code 647.

A Public Intoxication Defense Attorney can negotiate a complete dismissal of your case by meeting with the prosecution on your behalf. It is important to retain a lawyer early in the process, the involvement of counsel can mean the difference between a criminal record and the charges being dropped in Court. Unique to this particular crime are a variety of alternative dispositions that can result in the charges being completely dropped in Court. Various diversion sentences, informal plea arrangements and conditional dismissals are available for public intoxication charges. A classic example is one case where Matthew negotiated that the record be cleared for a client charged in Manhattan Beach upon the completion of an alcohol education class.

In another fairly recent case, Matthew defended a client charged with being drunk in public near the pier in Hermosa Beach California. The young man did not live in the South Bay and needed to clear the offense so that he could pursue his dream to become an attorney. Matt went to Court for him and neotiated a deal whereby the 647f charges were dismissed.


A common belief when it comes to this particular offense is that it is enough to be "under the influence" or merely inebriated. The fact of the matter is that public intoxication requires a substantially higher level of insobriety as compared to that of being legally under the influence for purposes of DWI or driving while intoxicated (VC23152).. Simply being above the state maximum limit of .08 blood alcohol level is not enough to be convicted of public intoxication or drunk in public. Cities such as Hermosa Beach, Venice, Torrance, Long Beach, Santa Monica, and Manhattan Beach all have aggressive enforcement of PC 647f drunk in public violations. At the same time, all of these cities can be persuaded to drop the formal charges under certain circumstances.

Be sure to visit the official google site of Matthew and follow his articles and posts on various criminal related topics.

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