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Matt A. Sullivan, Esq.

Matt A. Sullivan, Esq.


Phone: (415) 770-0146
Fax: (415) 840-0450
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Matt A. Sullivan, Esq.

Matt A. Sullivan, Esq.

As owner of the Law Office of Matt Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan has extensive litigation experience in complex criminal defense matters. He began his legal career by working as a deputy public defender in the Marin County Public Defender's Office. As a deputy public defender Mr. Sullivan handled hundreds of criminal cases. Despite limited resources he was able to win acquittals, hung juries, or dismissals in the majority of cases he tried at the Marin Public Defender's Office.

Mr. Sullivan then went to work for a private criminal defense firm in San Francisco where he was assigned primarily to work on serious state court criminal cases, including 3 strikes cases, and complex federal criminal cases involving drug conspiracy and violent crimes. While at the private criminal defense firm, Mr. Sullivan continued to consistently provide excellent results for his clients. Notably, Mr. Sullivan was second-chair trial counsel in a complex sexual misconduct case, wherein client was facing 50 years to life if convicted. There were two trials in this case, over the course of 2 years, both ending in mistrials. After the second 4 week jury trial ended in a mistrial, all charges against this client were dismissed. After spending 3 years in jail for a crime he did not commit, this client was released to his family.

Following his work with the private criminal defense firm, Mr. Sullivan founded his own firm in San Francisco dedicated to client satisfaction, zealous advocacy, and providing superior legal services to his clients. The firm has achieved successful results for many clients.

He earned his law degree from the University of San Francisco Law School where he took numerous courses in criminal law and procedure. He was also a contributing writer for the USF Law School Forum. Mr. Sullivan was selected as a Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2013-2017. This honor is reserved for only 2.5 percent of California Lawyers each year. He was also selected for inclusion in the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40 for excellence in criminal defense in 2013. Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, case results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40.

Some of Mr. Sullivan's significant criminal defense victories:

• New trial motion granted in serious felony sex case in San Mateo County. Client was facing a prison sentence of 32 years to life in prison, after being convicted of multiple felony charges based primarily on faulty DNA evidence. Client had been represented at trial by different defense counsel who had failed to consult with DNA expert. In preparation for new trial motion, DNA evidence was re-examined and retested by defense experts, excluding the defendant as source of the DNA at issue. The court agreed to hold an evidentiary hearing, where 3 defense experts were called, and all convictions were vacated by the judge after the presentation of this new DNA evidence. Case resolved prior to retrial for favorable plea, client released from jail. 

• The successful defense of a small business owner in San Francisco charged with multiple felony counts of domestic violence with serious injury. Client was facing state prison time and one of the felony charges carried a maximum prison exposure of 4 years. After extensive negotiation with the prosecution and investigation into this case, this client received an offer to plead to reducible non-strike felony and was placed on home detention. The home detention sentence allowed this client to continue working, and to continue making his house payments. If he had been convicted and had been sentenced to jail he would have lost his business and home. After probation was successfully completed, this client was able to petition the court to reduce his charge to a misdemeanor.

• The successful defense of a college student charged with felony sale of marijuana and felony cultivation of marijuana in Napa County. Client's house was raided by 6 drug task force agents pursuant to a search warrant. 82 marijuana plants and 4.9 pounds of dried marijuana was seized. Client and two roommates had valid medical marijuana recommendations, but the amount in house far exceeded their recommendations. Client had also made incriminating statements related to sales and cultivation during a lengthy interrogation. At first court appearance our office negotiated a substantial bail reduction for our client. On the morning of the preliminary hearing, after extensive negotiations with the prosecutor, it was agreed that all felony charges would be dismissed in exchange for a misdemeanor plea, no jail time, and court probation that allowed client to continue to possess medical marijuana consistent with his medical needs. If probation is successfully completed, the misdemeanor conviction will be set aside.

• The successful defense of a former professional athlete charged with domestic violence with injury in Marin County. After over a year of litigation, in the middle of jury trial, this case was dismissed by the prosecution. The client was completely exonerated.

• The successful defense of an economist charged with drug crimes in Marin County, California. She was acquitted of all counts at trial.

• The successful defense of a college athlete charged with obstructing an officer in Santa Clara County. After extensive negotiations with the prosecution, all charges were dismissed.

• The successful defense of a Russian martial artist charged with a DUI in Marin County. He was acquitted of all counts after a five day jury trial.

• The successful defense of a cab driver charged with assault and battery after being attacked by multiple persons in San Francisco County. The other parties involved were injured, but it was clear from the defense investigation that client acted in self-defense. Prosecution refused to dismiss the case. Defense prepared case for trial. On the morning of trial calling, after defense called ready for trial, all charges were dismissed.

• The successful defense of a college student charged with resisting arrest, assault on an officer, and criminal threats in San Francisco County. After extensive investigation and negotiations with the prosecution, this client was granted diversion and if he completes the diversion program the case will be 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.

• 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 woman charged with credit card fraud and ID theft in San Francisco County. After motions had been filed, and extensive negotiations with the prosecution, the client received a drug diversion offer, and numerous felony charges were dismissed.

• The successful defense of a grocery store employee charged with DUI and hit and run in San Mateo County. Client was involved in an accident that damaged four parked cars and was driving without a license at the time. Client's blood alcohol level was .16 by blood test and he had confessed to drinking and smoking marijuana. However, client's PAS test result was a .10. Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate a plea to a wet reckless charge, which substantially reduced the fine, required only a 12 hour DUI class, instead of a 3 month class, and no jail. All other charges were dismissed.

• 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 man charged with battery on a Sheriff's deputy and resisting arrest in San Francisco County. After extensive investigation it was discovered that the client was not the aggressor in this instance and was only defending himself. This case was dismissed prior to trial.

• The successful defense of a county employee charged with DUI and high blood alcohol enhancement in San Francisco County. This client had a very high blood alcohol level. Initially the prosecution was seeking jail time and a 9 month DUI school. After a thorough investigation, assisting client in entering residential treatment, and negotiations with the prosecution, this client received a no jail time offer, and a 3 month DUI school along with standard first DUI terms.

• The successful defense of an engineer charged with assault and battery in Alameda County. Initially, the prosecution threatened to add an additional charge of car theft. After extensive negotiations with the prosecution, the client was granted diversion and if he completes the diversion program successfully the case will be dismissed.

• The successful defense of a student charged with assault with a deadly weapon and gang allegations in San Mateo County. This client was a passenger in a car from which her friend allegedly fired a weapon at a rival gang member. After a number of hearings and motions were filed, this case was appropriately dismissed due to insufficient evidence and the client was released from jail.

• The successful defense of a property manager charged with a DUI in Marin County. The case went to trial and the jury was unable to reach a verdict. The case was subsequently dismissed.

• The successful defense of a businessman charged with domestic violence with injury in Alameda County. On the day of trial, and after extensive negotiations with the prosecution, domestic violence charges were dismissed and the client was allowed to plead to a minor misdemeanor offense.

• The successful defense of a man charged with domestic violence in Marin County. 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 mother charged with DUI and hit and run in Santa Clara County in which client crashed and left the scene of accident abandoning car with severe tire damage. The prosecution was seeking 17 days jail. After motions were filed and argued, and the case was thoroughly investigated, Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate a no jail time offer in exchange for the client completing some community service hours and inpatient alcohol rehabilitation. Hit and run charges were dismissed.

• The successful defense of a man charged with robbery and domestic violence in San Francisco. After extensive negotiations with the prosecution and investigation into this case, the robbery charge was dismissed and the client was released from jail after pleading to a misdemeanor offense, which required no jail time.

• The successful defense of a homeowner charged with maintaining a drug house and possession of drugs in Santa Clara County. After a number of hearings and motions were filed, all charges were dismissed.

• Mr. Sullivan was hired by another attorney to draft numerous legal motions in a complex real estate fraud and tax fraud case in San Francisco County. This case involved almost a million dollars in transferred assets and thousands of pages of documents to review. Mr. Sullivan drafted motions challenging the multiple search warrants issued; challenging the rulings at the preliminary hearing; and raising statute of limitations issues. This client was facing approximately 12 years in prison. After multiple hearings and legal motions, this client received a credit for time served offer and was released from custody without being sent to state prison.

Mr. Sullivan is often asked by other attorneys to consult with them on serious criminal cases and to draft motions on their behalf. He has worked extensively on complex criminal cases, involving forensic evidence and multiple expert witnesses. He also has years of experience litigating Fourth Amendment issues. 

He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the California DUI Lawyers Association, and the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. He is admitted to practice law in all courts in the State of California, and in federal Court in the Northern and Eastern District of California.

Disclaimer: The criminal defense, drunk driving, DUI, felony, misdemeanor, white collar crime, domestic violence, sex crime, DWI, juvenile crime, federal offense or other criminal defense information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results, testimonial, or endorsements portrayed here were dependent on the facts of a particular legal matter and results vary from case to case. The results, testimonials, or endorsements portrayed here do not constitute a warranty, guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome in your legal matter. Please contact Matt A. Sullivan for a consultation on your particular California criminal defense case.