Our office serves the City of Carson, mostly in cases brought in the Compton Courthouse, although some are brought in Torrance and even Long Beach Superior Court for cases arising along the 110 Harbor Freeway and the 405 San Diego Freeway.
Carson is located about twelve miles, or fifteen minutes south of downtown Los Angeles, and fifteen minutes east of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It is bordered to the north and northeast by Compton, to the south by Wilmington and to the west by Harbor Gateway and Torrance.
Historically, Carson was a farming and oil area, although now it is more known as home to several major refineries.
Its agricultural roots trace back to the nineteenth century when it was the site of the Battle of Dominguez Rancho in 1846 during the Mexican-American War. In 1921, oil was discovered in Carson and Union Oil and Shell Oil drilled many deep wells, some to almost five thousand feet below ground level. Many such wells still operate today, pulling oil out of the ground.
In 2011, the Los Angeles Regional Water Control Board ordered Shell to clean up contaminated soil found to have dangerously elevated levels of benzene and methane gas in groundwater and soil in the Carousel neighborhood.
Nissan also used to have its headquarters in Carson in a very visible nine-story building near the intersection of the 110 and 405 Freeways before pulling out in 2006 to relocate in Tennessee.
More recently, Carson has been home to Stub Hub Center, where the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA play their home games. This complex, on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills, is also home to the only indoor velodrome for cycling in the U.S. In 2017, the small stadium there will be home to the Los Angeles Chargers, moving here from San Diego.
Much of the city is residential, composed of apartments and homes ranging from nicer homes built in the 1970’s and smaller homes built just after World War II.
Demographically, the city’s population is about 100,000 and spread out over about twenty square miles. The city is generally middle class to lower middle class. Many of the population work in the ports, in downtown Los Angeles and in neighboring cities in a wide variety of jobs.
Twenty-six percent of the city is Asian in origin, including a prominent Samoan population that has made Carson and Banning high school football teams famous for large players. Vince Ferragamo, the only Los Angeles Ram quarterback to win a Super Bowl, went to Banning High School. Dr. Dre also lived in Carson for some time, although he was not born in Carson.
Another twenty-six percent of the population is Hispanic in origin, 24% is African-American and 23% are Caucasian. Besides Banning High School, there is Carson High School, as well as the California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS), located on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson (although CAMS is part of the Long Beach Unified School District, interestingly).
Carson is also home to the famous Goodyear Blimp, the Carson Mall off the 405 Freeway and the International Printing Museum.
The types of crimes we see most often arising in Compton are DUI, drug sales, prostitution, shoplifting at the Carson Mall and domestic violence, although we have also handled cases arising in Carson involving animal cruelty, robbery, sex offenses (other than prostitution) and illegal use of pepper spray.
The West Side Wilmas and East Side Wilmas, historically two criminal gangs out of Wilmington to the south of Carson, have about 600 active members and often find themselves involved in areas of Carson in a variety of more serious crimes such as drug sales, carjacking, robberies and murder.
The District Attorneys Office has occasionally conducted sting operations to make arrests for solicitation of prostitution as a way to address human trafficking in this area, as criminal street gangs often are involved in human trafficking.
For more information about the about common cases that one might face if arrested in this city, click on the following articles:
- Ten Things to Do If Stopped for DUI
- Will the Prosecutor Dismiss the Domestic Violence Case If the Victim Will Not Testify or Appear at Trial?
- What Punishment Do I Face for a Charge of Prostitution?