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Matthew Ian Terry

also known as Matt Terry

About me


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 high-volume 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.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 25%
    5 years
  2. Military Law: 25%
    5 years
  3. Appeals: 25%
    5 years
  4. DUI & DWI: 25%
    5 years



Retainer (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

22 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Travis Ashley Newton

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Travis Newton DUI & DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Zachary James Mccready

    Matt Terry is an incredibly smart attorney. If your case is an easy one, than most good attorneys can win it. If your case has a few curveballs, loose screws, etc., then you need a master craftsman on the case. Mr. Terry is a master of his trade. Hire him and win.


    Zachary Mccready Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Offices of Matthew Terry, A.P.L.C.

1010 2nd Avenue
24th Floor
San Diego, CA, 92101


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
State Delegate - CaliforniaNational College of DUI Defense2012
Rising Star of the MonthSan Diego Attorney Journal2012
Nominated for Outstanding Young Attorney AwardSan Diego Daily Transcript2012
Nominated for Outstanding Young Attorney AwardSan Diego Daily Transcript2011
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Attorney / OwnerLaw Offices of Matthew Terry, A.P.L.C.2011 - Present
Attorney / PartnerCasey & Terry, LLP2011 - 2012
Attorney (former Law Clerk)Law Offices of G. Cole Casey, A.P.L.C.2006 - 2012
Association namePosition nameDuration
DUI Defense Lawyers AssociationFounding Member2014 - Present
San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyers AssociationMember2014 - Present
San Diego Criminal Defense Bar AssociationMember2013 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember2012 - Present
National College of DUI DefenseMember2010 - Present
California DUI Lawyers AssociationMember2010 - Present
San Diego Bar AssociationMember2010 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. Feltes (Chula Vista)Won DMV hearing & client accepted "Dry Reckless" plea bargain moments before jury selection.
People v. AAll Charges Dismissed, Won DMV Hearing
People v. Kirra M.Trial - Not Guilty; DMV - Win (Set Aside suspension)
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Terry Defense BlogPresumed Innocent - Unless You're Poor2013
TerryDefense BlogForced Blood Extractions, DUI Arrests and the Right to Bear Arms?2012
TerryDefense Blog300 Convictions, 300 Innocent People2012
TerryDefense BlogLive Free or Die? The Nanny State in America2012
TerryDefense BlogMaster Your Craft2012
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
National Criminal Defense CollegeCRIMINAL DEFENSEN/A2012
LaPier DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Certification ProgramFIELD SOBRIETY TESTINGCertification in NHTSA-Standardized FST's2011
National College for DUI Defense at Harvard Law SchoolTRIAL STRATEGYN/A2011
National College for DUI Defense at Harvard Law SchoolTRIAL STRATEGYN/A2010
Thomas Jefferson School of LawConstitutional LawJuris Doctor2009
California State University, ChicoBusiness FinanceBachelor of Science2003
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Valley Center High School Graduating Seniors PresentationDUI, Drugs & What Will I Do With My Life2012