Criminal Defense

Since 1989, I have worked to develop a reputation as an honest, hard-working and successful criminal defense lawyer. From my offices in San Diego, Temecula and Murrieta, I work to protect the rights of people throughout Southern California.

I work with my criminal defense clients to make sure you understand the criminal justice process, to give you my honest opinion on the strength of the prosecutor's case and to develop a workable defense strategy that will minimize the negative consequences.

Keith H. Rutman, Attorney at Law
Toll-Free: 888-714-6354 | Local: 619-573-4988

An Ethical and Honest Criminal Defense Attorney

I have experience defending clients accused of both misdemeanor and felony crimes in both federal and state court— from misdemeanor drug crimes and first-time DUIs to the most serious types of felony cases.

I am proud of my reputation as an ethical criminal defense lawyer who refuses to make promises to my clients that I cannot keep. In our first consultation, I will give you my honest assessment of what I can and cannot accomplish in your case. It all depends upon the circumstances of your arrest, the evidence the prosecution and police have gathered, and the evidence they have not. I will also discuss with you the costs and fees you may incur.

What Happens After an Arrest? When Should You Hire a Defense Lawyer?

You should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible — even before you are arrested if you believe you are under investigation. After you are arrested and make bail, you may be assigned a public defender. If not, you should consult a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Do not wait until the day before your first hearing. One thing a retained lawyer can do that most public defenders will not is help you post a property bond, which means that you do not have to pay 10% to a bail bondsman. This frees up your limited resources to help retain counsel. However, it also means that you may spend a few more days in jail.

The sooner you get the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more time your lawyer has to get to know you and your case and build a strong defense on your behalf.

Contact Keith H. Rutman, Attorney at Law

If you have been arrested or are under investigation, contact my office for a free and confidential half-hour consultation. Call toll-free, 888-714-6354, or 619-573-4988 or, send an e-mail for a prompt response.

Free Half-Hour Consultation
Collect Calls Accepted
After-Hours Calls Returned Promptly
All Major Credit Cards Accepted Through PayPal
Payment Plans
Evening and Weekend Appointments


  • "Keith Rutman isn't just a great lawyer—he is figuratively and literally a life saver, having saved my life twice. First in a figurative way. I was facing serous charges and was fearing the worst – a lengthy prison sentence. He applied his expert legal knowledge to secure a positive solution to my problem. It far exceeded my expectations and I received probation. He offered me essential advice on both legal and strategic matters. Mr. Rutman was always immediately available to assist me. I would expect this kind of outstanding service from any lawyer who stands at the top of his profession." Learn More...
  • "Dear Mr. Rutman, I can't begin to thank you for all you have done for Jarrett and Jordan - specifically Jordan; you have gone over and above what most attorneys would do, and treated Jordan so well accepting his "I don't know what your talking about mentality". Jordan is greatly relieved it is over but I don't think he understands fully what is expected of him for the next 12 months." - Judy, Jarrett and Jordan Learn More...
  • "Mr. Rutman did a great job in my dispute over the accuracy of my criminal record against the State of California, and he got the Court to order it changed in my favor. I would highly recommend Mr. Rutman, he is diligent and prompt and very knowledgeable. He would be my first choice if I ever need an attorney again, and he should be yours." - Jerry S Learn More...
  • "Keith and I have handled very complicated trials together including multiple bank robberies and murder cases. I highly endorse Keith. He is always a well prepared, caring, and aggressive criminal defense attorney." Learn More...
  • "I opposed Keith in a federal civil rights claim brought in federal court. Keith was creative and determined to advocate his clients interests and was a pleasure to work with. A true professional in every regard. Enthusiastically recommended and endorsed!" Learn More...
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