Matt Sullivan

Matt Sullivan

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Law Office of Matt Sullivan
 | 1000 Brannan Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415-770-0146
Fax: 415-840-0450
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2019
Selected To Rising Stars: 2013 - 2017
Licensed Since: 2007
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense
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 he has continued to focus on providing exceptional representation in all criminal matters. In 2013, Mr. Sullivan won a new trial motion in a felony child molestation case involving DNA evidence, saving a client from a 32 years to life in prison sentence. In 2014, Mr. Sullivan won a mid-trial dismissal of a very contentious domestic violence case. Over the last several years, Mr. Sullivan has won dismissals at trial, dismissals at the pre-trial stage, or negotiated substantial reductions in the charges or favorable plea bargains, in a wide variety of criminal cases. He has handled many cases involving complex forensic evidence, including DNA, toxicology, biomechanics of injury, false confessions, eyewitness memory, firearms and gun shot residue, computer and digital forensics, and accident reconstruction. 

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 pre-filing investigations 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, doctors, 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.

About Matt Sullivan

Admitted: 2007, California

Professional Webpage:


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

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; California DUI Lawyers Association; California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; CPDA; San Francisco Bar Association Lawyer Referral Panel; San Francisco Bar Association Indigent Defense Panel; San Mateo County Bar Association

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:


  • The successful defense of a client charged with embezzlement from her employer. 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 client 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 client 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.
  • The successful defense of a client charged with felony sale of marijuana and felony cultivation of marijuana. After extensive negotiations with the prosecution, and prior to preliminary hearing, all felony charges were dismissed and client pled no contest to a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge. 
  • The successful defense of a client charged with a .17/.19 DUI in Marin County. After a five day jury trial, the jury was unable to convict on any counts.
  • The successful defense of a client charged in San Francisco County with battery, false imprisonment, and resisting arrest. After extensive preparation and investigation, the defense was prepared to go to trial. At trial calling of this case, all charges were dismissed.
  • All charges dismissed prior to preliminary hearing in a felony credit card fraud and commercial burglary case in Palo Alto (Santa Clara County). Client was not a citizen and would have been deported if he had been convicted. 
  • 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.
  • 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 client in Marin County who was arrested for obstruction and resisting arrest. 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 client charged with drug crimes. Client was acquitted of all counts at trial and the case was dismissed.
  • Successful defense of a client accused of domestic violence with injury in Marin County. In the middle of trial, after the alleged victim had been on the stand for one hour, the prosecutor elected to dismiss this case. Client was completely exonerated. 
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Office Location for Matt Sullivan

1000 Brannan Street
Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

Matt Sullivan:

Last Updated: 10/16/2019

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