Matthew S. Hagarty headshot

Matthew S. Hagarty

A rising young leader in the Philadelphia criminal defense community, Matt is an accomplished advocate for individuals—both adults and juveniles—facing criminal charges, DUI/DWI and traffic violations, and related matters in courts throughout the metropolitan area, including southern New Jersey.

Described by a recent client as “passionate, intelligent, and articulate,” Matt’s approach centers on rapid action, clear communication, and respect for those facing difficult circumstances. In practice for more than 10 years—including early experience in the major trials division at the highly regarded Defender Association of Philadelphia—he has prevailed on behalf of clients in multiple jury trials and hundreds of bench trials across Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, and Delaware Counties.

Matt also handles expungements, pardons, appeals, violation of probation/parole hearings, and represents clients in select business litigation. Regardless of the specifics of the case, he prides himself on being highly accessible to clients and involved family members. He maintains offices in Center City Philadelphia and Norristown for his clients’ convenience. Between near-daily court appearances—in magisterial, district, traffic and municipal courts, as well as Courts of Common Pleas—Matt meets with clients in-person regularly and makes time to respond promptly to inquiries and provide critical updates.

He serves as vice chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice section, is an active member of three bar associations, and volunteers regularly for Philadelphia VIP, which provides pro bono assistance to indigent clients. In addition to his prior role with the Defender Association, Matt’s background includes commercial litigation and labor and employment law for two Philadelphia area firms. Matt grew up in the Philadelphia area and lives in Montgomery County with his wife and two children.

Reviews (from

Not guilty!
5.0 stars

Matt was professional from day one. Matthew exercised his experience and knowledge that was not only brilliant, [but] executed a not guilty plea. I would recommend Matthew to anyone and you will not be let down.

5.0 stars

Matt was highly recommended as a diligent attorney specializing in probable cause. I was wrongfully accused of a DUI and Matt spent many hours gathering evidence to prove that the officer had no reason to pull me over. We won our case! He is honest, straightforward, respectful, compassionate, etc. I would highly recommend him for any of your defense needs.

Extremely helpful, made sure I knew what was happening.
5.0 stars

Matt communicated with me very well and always made sure I knew what was going on from the beginning to the end of the process. Being my first offense I was very in the dark about what would happen. When I first met him I was about to see the Judge for the first time and he got me up to speed on what to expect. Since I’m in college and my mom was a little while away it was very comforting to know what was going on. Once the process got started he was very understanding and helpful with getting me back on track and expunging my offense from my record. Hopefully I won’t be, but if I am in legal trouble in the future I will more than likely seek his services again. Thank you very much Matt.

Posted by George

Here he comes, to save the day!
5.0 stars

I contacted Matt Hagarty on a friend’s recommendation, to help with my 18yo son’s arrest on drug and paraphernalia possession charges in Philadelphia. Matt answered my call late in the business day and was consistently responsive and communicative throughout the process. He was so helpful in not only finding out information about where my son was and what the process would be, but steering us through what to expect in regard to charges and consequences. He personally visited my son prior to his arraignment and kept in touch with us over the course of the week it took get through the initial phase and then subsequent court appearance. Matt is compassionate, intelligent, and articulate, and well-versed in the Philly criminal justice system. My son and I both highly recommend Matt Hagarty for cases such as ours.

Posted by Jocelyn

Thanks for your service Matt
5.0 stars

My case was self defense …After I told Matt my situation and why I should be free of all charges he told me straight up we got this BUT you gonna have to trust me lol knowing how unpredictable these thing can be I was very concerned for my family if anything should went wrong then my family will be affected greatly…but Mr Matt was true to is word great man great lawyer …Thanks Matt now I have my family again trying to put this nightmare behind me …If I know anyone need a lawyer you will be first on my list thanks again job well done …Ethan

Posted by Ethan

Bar Admissions

New Jersey
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court, New Jersey


Temple University School of Law, J.D.
      Recipient, Outstanding Oral Advocacy Award
      President, Student Public Interest Network
Colgate University, B.A.

Professional Affiliations

Vice chair, Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section
Trial attorney, Defender Association of Philadelphia (2008-2013)
Pro bono legal service provider, Philadelphia VIP
Member, Montgomery Bar Association’s Criminal Defense Committee
Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association
Member, Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Law clerk, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas (2006-2007)


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