Biography – San Diego DUI Lawyer Matt Terry

San Diego DUI Lawyer Matt Terry practices in all four courthouses in San Diego County: Central (Downtown San Diego), Vista, Chula Vista, and El Cajon.
San Diego DUI Lawyer Matt Terry practices in all four courthouses in San Diego County: Central (Downtown San Diego), Vista, Chula Vista, and El Cajon.

Click here to read the San Diego Attorney Journal’s biographical article about San Diego DUI Lawyer Matt Terry (written by Jennifer Hadley.) 



Good people wind up in the criminal justice system.

They don’t belong there.

After enlisting in the Marine Corps, Mr. Terry went back to school and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from California State University, Chico in 2003. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in May 2009 and passed the California Bar Exam two months later.

Mr. Terry began working with one of the largest top-tier DUI defense firms after spending the entire summer following his first year in law school watching jury trials in the San Diego courthouse. Throughout law school, he worked full time at the firm while attending Thomas Jefferson School of Law in the evenings.

Eager to get in the thick of the action, Terry began arguing DMV administrative hearings daily – literally cross-examining dozens of police officers & civilian witnesses every month. As he sharpened his advocacy skills, he began winning DMV hearings that many considered to be un-winnable. Word of his ability spread: local firms began to approach Mr. Terry, asking him to train their employees in his unique approach; other firms hired him outright, to argue on behalf of their clients on a per-hearing basis.

Mr. Terry continued to excel at oral advocacy, becoming certified by the State Bar under the PTLS program, arguing (and winning) multiple motions to suppress evidence (resulting in full dismissals), writs of mandamus in civil court (against the DMV) and even arguing before the Court of Appeals – the very day he found out he passed the California Bar Exam. He second chaired multiple DUI trials; misdemeanors and felonies.

In July of 2010, Terry graduated from the National College of DUI Defense Summer Session, held at Harvard Law School. He has since graduated from the rigorous summer program in the following two years: 2011 and 2012. He actively participates in continued training with the various NCDD events. In April of 2011, Terry graduated from La Pier’s rigorous DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing course; he is certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests under NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

Terry Becomes Partner Within Five Months of Becoming an Attorney


Once an associate attorney and trial lawyer for Cole Casey’s firm, Mr. Terry continued to argue the gamut: jury trials, DMV license suspension hearings, pre-trial motions and appellate matters for the firm. In May of 2011, the associate became partner: the two lawyers decided to create Casey & Terry, LLP – an exclusive DUI Defense practice.

Terry Launches His Own Firm


Though both attorneys never lost a jury trial in the following months, Mr. Terry decided to step out on his own and launch the Law Offices of Matthew Terry, APLC. The focus continues to be on DUI cases, jury trials with an expanded approach to appellate matters and writs of mandamus. His practice continues to be fully committed to excellence in advocacy. He is usually found in the midst of a DUI jury trial.

The Terry Firm is now re-writing the rules of client representation in terms of comprehensive, rigorous advocacy. Attorney Terry has been described as “obsessively diligent” and “committed to excellence.” He describes his life path as being a never-ending pursuit in mastery of craft and person.

* Terry was nominated for the San Diego Daily Transcript “Outstanding Attorney” award in both 2011 and 2012.

** Terry was featured as “Rising Star of the Month” in June 2012 by Attorney Journal San Diego.

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