Skip to Content
Hermosa Beach DUI & Criminal Attorney

Hermosa Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

Former District Attorney Office Experience!

Top Hermosa Beach DUI Lawyer

Call and Speak Directly with Matthew

You Won't Be Passed off to Secretary

☎️ Call Matt Direct on his cell at 310-686-1533

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 many years. Whether it be overindulging in alcohol or other criminal matter Matt has 25 years experience and 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? Top Rated 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 310-686-1533, 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. Matt can give you honest advice and fully explain your rights, possible defenses and options.

How can a Hermosa Beach DUI Attorney help me with my case? First, we can STOP the license suspension from ocurring as a result of the arrest. When you were released you received a pink paper advising you your license will be suspended, we can stop that and get a full hearing to prevent the action from becoming permanent if the facts justify it. Second, we go to Court for you in most cases. At the initial arraignment we can appear on your behalf to avoid needless stress and anxiety,

The Highest Success Rate!

In early 2024 Matthew was called upon to defend a local resident on DWI charges in the South Bay. The client, an Aerospace employee, was driving home from a bar in Hermosa Beach when she turned in front of another car at an intersection and crashed. The other vehicle sustained major damage and the occupants all later filed injury claims with the insurance company. The client was arrested after she was observed displaying signs and symptoms of intoxication such as slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. She did not perform the field sobriety tests as explained. She later submitted to a blood test which came back .11% BAC. The client was concerned about the case because she maintained a security clearance. Matthew was understanding of the situation and sought to get the DUI charges dropped. In Court, Matthew met and conferred with the prosecutor and negotiated a dismissal of the DUI charges and agreed to accept a "wet reckless" which was a favorable outcome in light of all the facts.

In late 2023 Matt was successful in getting drunk in public charges dropped for a client arrested in the 2000 block of Hermosa Avenue in the city of Hermosa Beach CA 90254. The client was found passed out lying on the driveway to the rear of the residence. Officers observed slurred speech and he was unable to follow simple directions, according the the officer's report. The police made the determination he was unable to care for himself due to his level of intoxication. Charges were filed and the client sought the services of a Top Hermosa Beach Public Intoxication Lawyer. He hired Matt who was able to intervene with the City Prosecutor who agreed to ultimately DISMISS ALL CHARGES in the case.

Matt was called upon to defend a client arrested in Hermosa Beach for public intoxication (PC647f). The incident resulted from a night of heavy drinking with friends near the Pier in Hermosa. The client was active duty military and was scared of the repercussions a conviction would have on her military career. Matt went to Court and filed a motion to get the case dropped in Torrance Court. The Judge hearing the motion agreed with Matt and granted his motion to dismiss all charges.

In April of 2023 Matt successfully defended a DUI case in Hermosa for a client facing a second time offense. The client was stopped near Hermosa Avenue and 11th Street by HBPD after he allegedly made an abrupt turn without signaling. The client later submitted to a breath test which displayed a .10 BAC. Matt fought the case by challenging the blood alcohol level at the time of driving. Following numerous Court appearances the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the original charges.

Matt was retained by a client who was arrested in the city for assault. She was visiting Hermosa from out of state and had to return to Arizona and couldn't appear for her scheduled Court appearance. Matt explained he could handle everything without her presence. He reached out to the local prosecutors and the charges were dropped. The client never had to return to California.

Matthew was hired to defend a client arrested for disorderly conduct in Hermosa after a night of partying with a friend. The client was detained by police after an Uber driver reported that the person was extremely intoxicated. Matt got in touch with the City Prosecutor and negotiated a DISMISSAL OF ALL CHARGES and the client walked away with a clean record.

Matt was retained by an engineer who went to Hermosa to celebrate with friends. She got a little too drunk and ended up passing out near the Pier and was arrested for drunk in Public. She was stressed out about the consequences it would have on her job with a security clearance. Matt went to Court and negotiated a COMPLETE DISMISSAL of the charges.

Matthew was hired by a young professional charged with 2 counts, drunk in public and urinating in public. The client was in the medical field and needed to keep these charges off his record. As a local Hermosa Beach Criminal Defense Attorney for over 25 years, Matthew knows how to get things done for his clients. He filed a motion to dismiss which was granted and the case went away.

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.

What to look for when searching for a Hermosa Beach DUI Attorney? First, experience. Matthew has close to 30 years of defending folks in the Court. Two, Skill Level. Matthew is trained in SFST and toxicology relating to driving under the influence cases and therefore he can spot issues less experienced lawyers will miss. Third, Trust. Matt is well regarded in the field, both by his clients and fellow attorneys.

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. All Hermosa Beach criminal cases used to be handled by Judge George Bird, Division 3, later to be replaced by Judge David Reinert. 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. All Hermosa Beach cases as of 2024 are heard in Division 2 of the Torrance Court after arraignment by Judge Kelly Kelley.

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. Call the Top Hermosa Beach Criminal Attorney today for help.

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.

What is the legal definition of Drunk in Public? In California the law defines public intoxication as being intoxicated by alcohol or drugs or both to the degree you can no longer care for your own safety or the safety of others. The legal standard goes beyond just simply being inebriated in a public space. Many folks are charged with this crime because they get smart with the cop or otherwise show contempt. In these instances Matt has been able to get charges dismissed for insufficiency of the evidence.

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. Law enforcement is very active in this area and many arrests take place in the zone called "The Pier".

Are Field Sobriety Tests reliable? The short answer is no. You see, the Police use FST evidence to establish probable cause to arrest someone for driving under the influence, however, according to Top Hermosa Beach DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff the tests are flawed for a couple reasons. One, the tests are not 100 percent accurate in predicting impairment in suspected drunk drivers. The top studies conducted by NHTSA all revealed the tests are, at best, 70-80% accurate under ideal circumstances. The problem is that most cops conduct the tests wrong which further reduces their accuracy rates. In fact, most officers administer the tests in a manner that is not in accordance with the standardized training they receive. When the FST's are administered incorrectly the results are no longer valid. If you were arrested for DWI and took these tests call Matthew today for a discussion on possible defenses and ways to beat the case. 

Matthew Ruff. Criminal Lawyer in Hermosa Beach, has over 25 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 4000 criminal and driving under the influence 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 implications 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.

Domestic Violence Charges in Hermosa Beach California, Charges Dropped!

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.

Public Intoxication Charges (PC647f) in Hermosa Beach,Case Dismissed! 

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

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

After an arrest the case goes to the city who can then file charges against you, at 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.

Top 3 Ways To Beat A Hermosa Beach Criminal Charge

1. The cop did not have probable cause to stop you in the first place. The law allows for all evidence in the case to be suppressed if the police violate the fourth amendment and stop someone without a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Matt has uses this "exclusionary rule" to get countless cases dismissed.

2. The Police Violate your Constitutional Rights. Law enforcement is not above the law. If a cop fails to follow rules of law such as the Miranda requirement or fails to get a warrant to search your home or car, when necessary, Matt knows the proper motions to file that will result in a dismissal of criminal charges. Recently, the laws changed drastically in DUI cases regarding how blood can be collected. Matt knows these Constitutional decisions and applies them in cases to get excellent results.

3. Lack of Evidence. In California, the law requires that the prosecution prove a person's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means if the evidence is lacking Matt can take the necessary steps to get charges dropped. As a local Hermosa Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer with over 25 years experience, Matthew knows the criminal codes, the Judges who will be hearing your case and the procedural rules that need to be followed.

Matthew J. Ruff is a licensed Top Tier California Attorney serving the Hermosa Beach CA 90254 area and surrounding communities.

Contact Matthew J. Ruff Attorney at Law Today!

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy