Matt Sullivan

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Law Office of Matt Sullivan
 | 1388 Sutter Street, Suite 805
San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: 415-770-0146
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2018
Selected to Rising Stars: 2013 - 2017
Licensed Since: 2007
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense (50%),
  • Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI (30%),
  • Criminal Defense: White Collar (20%)
Attorney Profile

The Law Office of Matt Sullivan is dedicated exclusively to criminal defense. The office provides representation at the investigative, grand jury, trial, plea, post-conviction, and appellate levels. Matt A. Sullivan is a graduate of the University of San Francisco Law School. He began his legal career working as a deputy public defender in Marin County where he obtained numerous acquittals, hung juries, and dismissals in trial cases with limited resources. He then spent two years working for a private criminal defense firm in San Francisco on serious federal and state matters, including drug conspiracy and three strikes cases. While at the firm Mr. Sullivan was instrumental in obtaining the release of two clients facing life in prison in sexual misconduct cases in San Mateo County. 

Since opening his own office in he has continued to focus on providing exceptional representation in all criminal matters. In 2013 he won a motion for new trial in a felony sex case involving DNA evidence, saving a client from a 32 year to life prison sentence. His client had been represented at trial by a different attorney, and had been convicted based primarily on faulty DNA evidence. After convincing the court to hold an evidentiary hearing, Mr. Sullivan presented 3 expert witnesses, not called at trial, including a DNA expert who presented evidence that client was excluded as source of DNA at issue. The court vacated all convictions of his client. One month prior to retrial this case settled and client was immediately released from jail. In 2014, Mr. Sullivan won the complete dismissal of all charges in the middle of trial in an extremely contentious domestic violence case in Marin County.

Mr. Sullivan currently handles a varied caseload of both simple and complex offenses, including drug offenses, domestic violence, sex crimes, DUI offenses, crimes of violence, and white collar crimes. He has represented clients in grand jury investigations and in pre-filing negotiations at both the state and federal level. He has defended clients accused of embezzlement, fraud, and forgery. He has defended small business owners, business executives, firefighters, police officers, nurses, attorneys, college students, and regular citizens. He also handles post-conviction proceedings, including new trial motions prior to sentencing. He is a member of the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the California DUI Lawyers Association.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Criminal Defense (50%): Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Felony, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Sex Offenses, Criminal Domestic Violence

Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI (30%): DUI/DWI

Criminal Defense: White Collar (20%): White Collar Crime

Focus Areas

Criminal Defense: Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Felony, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Sex Offenses, Criminal Domestic Violence

Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI: DUI/DWI

Criminal Defense: White Collar: White Collar Crime


Selected to Super Lawyers for 1 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 5 years

Super Lawyers: 2018 Rising Stars: 2013 - 2017

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About Matt Sullivan

Admitted: 2007, California

Professional Webpage:

Honors and Awards:

  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association, 2015
  • Member, Top 40 under 40, National Trial Lawyer Association, 2013

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Admission to Practice: U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • Admission to Practice: U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 4th Amendment Advocacy Committee; California DUI Lawyers Association; California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; CPDA; San Francisco Bar Association Lawyer Referral Panel; San Francisco Bar Association Indigent Defense Panel; Marin County Bar Association; National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • New trial motion granted in complex DNA case in San Mateo County. Client was facing 32 years to life in prison after being convicted of child molestation. Client had been convicted at trial while represented by different defense counsel. After extensive legal briefing and argument, the court agreed to hold an evidentiary hearing and allowed the defense to call 3 experts, not called at trial, including a DNA expert for the defense. At the conclusion of this evidentiary hearing, the court granted the defense motion for a new trial and vacated all the convictions. In 2014, this case resolved for a credit for time served plea deal and this client was released from jail.
  • The successful defense of a man charged with domestic violence. This case was dismissed in its entirety on the morning of trial after extensive investigation, preparation, and motions had been filed.
  • Successful pre-filing representation of a client accused of a large embezzlement in excess of $100,000.00 from former employer. Defense counsel was retained and immediately met with law enforcement and prepared a comprehensive defense investigation plan. Favorable information was uncovered by the defense investigation to dispute the claims of the former employer. After a 3 year police investigation, the case was closed by law enforcement. No charges were filed.
  • Successful defense of a man accused of domestic violence with injury in Marin County. This criminal case was pending while client and his spouse were going through an extremely contentious divorce. In the middle of trial, after the alleged victim had been on the stand for one hour, the prosecutor elected to dismiss this case.
  • The successful defense of a casino employee charged with embezzlement from her employer and casino patrons. At the pre-trial conference, after the presentation of mitigation evidence to the court and lengthy discussion of the factual issues, this case was resolved for court diversion, and upon successful completion of the diversion program, this case will be dismissed. 
  • The successful defense of a college student charged with felony sale of marijuana and felony cultivation of marijuana. Pursuant to a search warrant, 82 marijuana plants and 4.9 pounds of dried marijuana were seized by 6 drug task force agents. Client and roommates were in possession of 3 medical marijuana recommendations, but the amount of marijuana in house far exceeded their recommendations. Client had also made incriminating statements related to illegal cultivation and sales during a lengthy interrogation. After extensive negotiations, and prior to preliminary hearing, all felony charges were dismissed and client pled no contest to a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge. This was a no jail sentence, court probation, and client is still allowed to possess medical marijuana consistent with doctor's recommendation while on probation. If client successfully completes probation, this misdemeanor conviction will be set aside.
  • The successful defense of an economist charged with drug crimes which would have affected her ability to advance in her career if she had pled guilty or been convicted. She was acquitted of all counts at trial and the case was dismissed.
  • All charges dismissed prior to preliminary hearing in a credit card fraud and commercial burglary case in Palo Alto (Santa Clara County). Client was not a citizen and the dismissal of all charges was critical for his immigration status.
  • The successful defense of a San Francisco bartender and stockbroker in training charged in San Francisco County with battery of a female passenger on a BART train, false imprisonment, and resisting arrest. Any conviction would have prevented this client from pursuing his goals of becoming a stockbroker. After extensive preparation and investigation, the defense was prepared to go to trial. At trial calling of this case, all charges were dismissed.
  • The successful defense of a young mother in Marin County, California who was arrested for obstruction and resisting arrest. This case received local news coverage. One of the officers involved had used excessive force in a prior incident, shocking a man with a taser into unconsciousness. That man was called as a defense witness and testified for the defense. After a five day jury trial, in which both sides called use of force experts as witnesses, the jury was hopelessly deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict. All charges were subsequently dismissed after the prosecution elected not to seek a retrial.
  • The successful defense of a man charged with a .11/.12 DUI by blood test. After the jury hung on both counts, all charges were dismissed.
  • The successful defense of a college professor charged with a .17/.19 DUI in Marin County. After a five day jury trial, the jury was unable to convict on any counts.
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Office Location for Matt Sullivan

1388 Sutter Street
Suite 805
San Francisco, CA 94109

Phone: 415-770-0146


Matt Sullivan:

Last Updated: 2/15/2018

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