Skip to main content

Matthew Aaron Lopas

Criminal defense Attorney at Vista, CA

4.3   6 reviews
  • Licensed for 17 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2006
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Matthew

Learn Matthew’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    All manners of criminal defense from vandalism to theft to robbery to molestation to murder

    19 years, 1,500 cases

  2. Violent crime
    Whether you are currently charged with a Serious or Violent Crime or have a prior it is important to navigate through the draconian California Strike Law. Securing a non-Strike in the current offense and/or striking your prior strike.

    15 years, 500 cases

  3. DUI and DWI
    Your driver license and livelihood depend on quick action with DMV and the courts. To avoid a license restriction or suspension you need to start the moment you are arrested. I provide service for the DMV hearing, legal detention motions, and trial

    19 years, 200 cases

  4. Expungement
    Includes motions to terminate probation early, post-conviction reductions to misdemeanor, relief under Proposition 47, and Penal Code section 1203.4 Petitions for Dismissal.

    15 years, 10 cases

  5. Sex crime
    Indecent exposure, child molestation, possession of child pornography, failure to register as sex offender--whatever you are being accused of I have handled your type of case.

    17 years, 100 cases

  6. Juvenile law

    6 years

  7. Speeding and traffic ticket
    Keeping points off of your DMV record and maintaining your driver license are crucial to your livelihood.

    10 years, 100 cases

  8. White collar crime
    Contracting without a license, embezzlement, Worker's Compensation Fraud, Welfare Fraud, IHSS Fraud, Social Security Fraud--these are all painful and agonizing allegations requiring a skilled attorney at your disposal.

    15 years, 10 cases

My representation is client centered; focused solely on achieving the best outcome for each particular client. I work efficiently and aggressively to achieve each clients' unique and tailored goals. I have negotiated thousands of pre-trial litigation resolutions and proven myself to be a zeolous advocate in Preliminary hearing, Court Trial, Jury Trial, and post-conviction litigation.
​I am well respected in the legal community by judges, prosecutors and colleagues for his tireless championing of each client's right to fair, compassionate, and effective advocacy throughout all stages of the criminal proceeding.

Photos and videos


450 South Melrose Drive
Vista, CA, 92081

Criminal Defense lawyers nearby


4.3 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Robert | March 28, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Strongly Recommend
Could not be happier with the outcome of my case. Response time was always excellent throughout the entire case, and every step along the way was handled with impressive expertise and professionalism. Strongly recommend and although I hope to never have the need would hire their services again.
Posted by Scott | February 6, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A+ Attorney
I retained Matt to defend a family member facing jail time. Matt was up-front, knowledgeable and communicated every step of the way. Matt portrayed confidence and had very clear understanding of the process. Matt got the entire case dismissed!! I highly recommend Matt to anyone seeking a great lawyer.
Posted by Roman | June 9, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Fantastic Lawyer
In 2016 I was arrested for felony assault at the age of 19. I was financially unable to hire a private attorney at the time so Mr. Lopas was my appointed public defender, although he was not my attorney at the beginning of my case due to my previous public defender going on maternity leave. What was best about Mr. Lopas was that he was able to dive into my case with ease, and without hesitation able to come up with many solutions to my particular case. Like many, I was arrested with a co-defendant that did not want to cooperate on the same terms as myself. I was now in my early 20's looking at four years max in county jail due to a non cooperative co-defendant, it was a pretty bleak situation for myself and my family. I am truly lucky that I was appointed Mr. Lopas, he was able to come up with a game plan that put my non cooperative co-defendant in an awkward position that ultimately led to them to finally accept the judge's offer. Myself and my family were so relieved that I was able to skip jail and instead start school like a normal 20 year old. No games were played with Mr. Lopas, and that's what I appreciated most since my case had a horrible co-defendant, co-defendant's attorney, and judge! For anyone looking for a straight shooter of an attorney, Mr. Lopas is definitely worth the hire.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | June 1, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
We did it! We slayed the dragon!
In addition to being tooled up for success, a person needs to feel like success is even an option. Matthew Lopas’ ability to remove our fear, provide reason for their actions, and help us strategically prepare to win our case are why we WOULD, without a doubt, HIRE Matt Lopas if we ever needed legal counsel again. Thank you, Matthew Lopas, so much for your professional coaching and for giving us the confidence we needed to SLAY THE DRAGON!
Read less
Posted by Evelyn | May 8, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Wonderful experience. Knowledgeable and responsive!
Matthew was helpful and responsive to all my questions and concerns. He took his time explaining everything in detail. When you decide on hiring Matthew Lopas you won’t regret it!!!
Posted by Michael | April 30, 2015
Never discussed any defense
never spoke a word in my defense refused my witnesses (7) made arrangements to meet and did not show nor contact me to let me know or reschedule Did not attempt to find any evidence in my defense. Acknowledged awareness of prosecutions dishonesty in brief for indictment
View less reviews


  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.5 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Managing Partner
  • 2019 - Present
  • Appellate Panel Attorney
  • Appellate Defenders, Inc.
  • 2019 - Present
  • Appellate Panel Attorney
  • Central California Appellate Project
  • 2019 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Office of the Public Defender, Sacramento County
  • 2005 - 2019
  • Research
  • California District Attorneys Association
  • 2004 - 2005
View all work experience


  • McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2006
  • University of California - Los Angeles
  • Bachelor of Science, Physiological Science
  • 2003
  • De La Salle High School
  • General Education
  • 1988

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Evidence Suppression
  • Assault rifle suppressed and case dismissed
  • Failure to register as Sex Offender
  • Verdict overturned on appeal based on argument at trial
  • Miranda Violation
  • Appellate Court overturned conviction and remanded
View all legal cases


  • State Bar of California
  • 2006 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Justia Lawyer Top Rating
  • Justia Lawyers
  • 2019
  • 10 Best for Client Satisfaction
  • American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
  • 2019
  • Roger J. Traynor Honor Society, Scholastic Honor Organization
  • McGeorge School of Law
  • 2006
  • Dean's Honor List
  • McGeorge School of Law
  • 2006
  • Emil Gumpert Trial Advocacy Award, Second Honors
  • McGeorge School of Law
  • 2006
  • Managing Editor, McGeorge Law Review
  • McGeorge School of Law
  • 2006
  • Witkin Award - Expert & Scientific Evidence - Top Mark
  • McGeorge School of Law
  • 2005
  • Dean's Honor List
  • McGeorge School Of Law
  • 2005
  • Comment Staff, McGeorge Law Review
  • McGeorge School of Law
  • 2005
View all awards


  • McGeorge Law Review
  • California Water Rights Law
  • 2005
  • McGeorge Law Review
  • Globalizing the Law School Curriculum
  • 2005
  • CDAA Behind the Wheel
  • SOBER Program Successfully Supervised Hard-Core Drunken Drivers
  • 2004
  • CDAA Hazardous Times
  • Attorney General Bill Lockyer Files Groundbreaking Lawsuit Using Public-Nuisance Law to Fight Global Warming
  • 2004
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • MCLE
  • DUI Defense: Fourth Amendment and Forensic Blood Analysis
  • 2007

Attorney endorsements

Received (12)
Given (3)
Endorse Matthew
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Matt and I used to work together many years ago. He is a great attorney, and any client would be lucky to have him on their side. He is smart and hard-working, and he thinks outside the box."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Lopas strives to provide excellent and aggressive representation for all of his clients. His clients are well served by his dedication and talent in the courtroom."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 17
Relationship: Co-worker
"Matt is diligent and will work hard for clients in and out of the courtroom. He is creative with defenses and truly cares about his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Matthew for years both professionally and personally. I consider him to be a very knowledgeable, ethical, and professional attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Whenever I have a criminal law question, Matt is my first call. I would, and have, gladly recommended Matt to my clients with criminal questions or a need for representation."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Lopas is an excellent lawyer whom I knew from his time in the Sacramento County Public Defenders Office. He is extremely hardworking, diligent, knowledgeable and a fierce advocate for his clients. He knows the law and as an attorney in the PD's office, he handled all types of criminal matters from low level misdemeanors to serious felonies. I whole heartedly recommend him."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Matt and I worked together for several years as public defenders. Matt was always thorough, knowledgeable, and dedicated to his work."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Matthew is an exceptional attorney. He’s very skilled in all areas of criminal defense and highly respected amongst his peers. Matthew is also a great trial attorney who has achieved positive results in some of the most complex and difficult cases. I give him my highest endorsement and recommendation."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Matthew Lopas is an exceptionally knowledgeable and effective advocate. We worked together for many years in a pressure filled high volume practice and Matthew was always able to handle the complexities of his cases and craft the best strategies possible and advocate for his clients in a way that ensured they received the best result possible. He has my highest recommendation."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Lopas is an experienced and highly effective criminal defense attorney. He has excelled in all areas of his practice from negotiating advantageous plea bargains for his clients to prevailing at jury trial. He has represented clients in the most serious cases and achieved great success. Mr. Lopas is held in the highest regard in the legal communities of Northern California. It was a loss to the Northern California defense bar when he relocated his practice to San Diego."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Matt and I worked on a case together. He was knowledgeable, and an excellent advocate for his client. The charges ended up being reduced due to Matt’s hard work."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I give my best endorsement to Matthew Lopas as he is intelligent, proficient and well practiced."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Vista Criminal defense Lawyer Matthew Aaron Lopas
Matthew Aaron Lopas
Criminal defense Attorney
Vista, CA
Licensed for 17 years
Free Consultation