California is one of those places that refer to misdemeanors as being crimes that are less than infractions but not felonies. Some of the more common ones committed in The Golden State are battery and/or simple assault (without a deadly weapon), theft and/or shoplifting of items (other than a firearm) that are valued at being less than $950, and possession of drugs for personal use, such as meth, heroin and/or cocaine.
Generally, time that is being served for a misdemeanor will not be in a prison, and normally will be at a local jail. In the State of California, many misdemeanors carry a sentence of up to 6 months in county jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Other misdemeanors, the sentence has a county jail sentence up to 364 days in county jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Misdemeanors are criminal cases and, depending on whether or not you have an experienced and reputable Criminal Defense Attorney, the charges against you may be lowered from jail time and/or high fines to just probation and/or court-ordered programs. In any criminal case, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and the accused is always innocent until proven guilty.
As the defendant, you do not have to prove anything, whereas the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually committed the crime. Simple preponderance of evidence (which would probably be enough to prove liability in a civil case) is not sufficient in a criminal case, and your Long Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer is there to guide you through the entire trial process from beginning to end, and see to it that you receive the best outcome possible.
Common Misdemeanors in Long Beach, California
Petty theft is a violation of Penal Code section 484. It is committed when someone takes something into their possession that does not belong to them with the intention of stealing it, and the item or items are valued at less than $950. Petty Theft is a common crime not only in Long Beach, but all over Los Angeles and Orange County. The typical Long Beach petter theft is shoplifting, everywhere from small convenience stores to malls to large retail outlets.
Prostitution, which is also referred to as solicitation, generally is when a person engages in sexual activities for money. Any person who solicits, offers to, who agrees to, or who engages in prostitution, is guilty of violating Penal Code section 647(b). In the State of California, the person who solicits, or attempts to pay for the sexual act (sometimes called the John) can also be charged with the misdemeanor crime of prostitution. The City of Long Beach takes this charge very seriously. If you are arrested for solicitation, you need a quality criminal defense attorney with the experience to provide you with the best possible defense.
This misdemeanor can actually be several things that occur frequently in and around the City of Long Beach. Vandalism is a violation of Penal Code section 594. It can occur, for example, if a person damages real property. This is property that is attached to the land and cannot be moved. So, if a person, say, throws a brick through the window of a public building or residence that is not their own, they have vandalized that real property. Vandalism can also occur in Long Beach when personal property is damaged or destroyed. Personal property is anything that is owned by a person or persons (virtually anything except land) that can be moved. So, if a person, say, gets mad at her boyfriend and decides to bust the windows out of his car with a baseball bat, then she would have vandalized his personal property. Vandalism is also when something is defaced by graffiti. In any case, the damages that result from an act of vandalism are less than $400, then the crime will be considered a misdemeanor in California. If the amount of damage is over $400, it can be charged as a felony.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (DUI).
Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a very common misdemeanor in Long Beach, as it is throughout Los Angeles County, as well as Orange County. When it involves alcohol, most people do not realize there are actually two charges for a typical DUI. First, is a violation of Vehicle Code section 21352(a), which is simply driving under the influence. All the law requires for a person to be in violation is their ability to drive the car is impaired by alcohol, or drugs, or a combination of the two. You do not have to be “drunk.” It only requires that your ability to operate the car is impaired. Second, is a violation of Vehicle Code section 21352(b). This is the charge most people associate with DUI. This offense is driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. Typically, when a person if arrested for DUI, if their BAC is .08% or more, they are charged with two counts, both 21352(a) and (b).
In California, domestic violence can take place in many forms, and it does not always have to be someone abusing another physically. By definition, it means that a person is being abused by a person with who they are in a relationship with, such as a husband, a wife, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, someone they live with, or someone they have a child with. This kind of abuse can be anything from threatening or stalking someone, to sexually assaulting someone, to actually physically hitting the person that they are in a relationship with. The most common charge of domestic violence is a violation of Penal Code section 273.5, cause corporal injury to a spouse, cohabitant, parent of their child, or someone they’re in a dating relationship with.
What are the Most Committed Misdemeanors in Long Beach, CA?
The Long Beach Police Department actually tracks crimes as they are occurring in the area, notably the examples that are mentioned in the previous section, but also several other kinds of misdemeanor crimes. They use an app called the Launch Crime Incident Mapping Application, and it can actually be used by anyone in the general public who is curious about what kinds of crimes are recently being committed in and around the City of Long Beach, California.
Among the misdemeanors that they list on their website (under the section that is labeled What Type of Incidents (Crimes) Are Being Displayed?) are crimes like Disorderly Conduct, Driving Under the Influence, Drunkenness, Offenses Against Family, Prostitution (Vice), and Vandalism. When you click the blue crime app tab, it takes you to a movable, symbol-coded map of Long Beach.
In the top right-hand corner, there is a tab labeled “Legend” and it will tell you what all the symbols mean on the map. For example, there is a picture of a house broken apart that stands for Offenses Against Family misdemeanors, and one with a car with swerving lines behind it that represents incidents of Drunk Driving on the map. There’s over twenty of them in all, including an additional one at the bottom that has a police badge on it that stands for All Other Offenses.
That being said, from examining the map, the top five misdemeanor crimes in Long Beach (after doing a search for the entire year in the filter tab that’s also in the left column of the crime map app page) are #5 Crimes Against Family (such as Domestic Violence), #4 Vandalism, #3 Simple Assault, #2 Drunkenness, and #1 Larceny and/or Petty Theft.
Contact Your Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you yourself or someone that you know has been charged with any of the above-mentioned misdemeanors in Long Beach, California (or any misdemeanor that was not mentioned above) and you need help, or if you feel that the charge was incorrect or that you have had your rights violated, your trusted, reputable Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorney’s at West Coast Defense will greatly assist you with understanding your case.
It will always be smarter to not wait until your court date to attain assistance from these experienced legal counselors, so contact them today for the peace of mind of knowing that they will work hard to make sure you receive the best outcome possible in your Long Beach misdemeanor case.