Compton, California

We see quite a few cases out of Compton, especially DUI matters that arise from traffic stops along the 110, 405, 91 and 105 Freeways.  Such stops are usually made by the CHP, but not always.

We also handle a fair number of prostitution matters in Compton from arrests, usually in sting operations, along Long Beach Boulevard and Broadway. 

Compton is one of the older cities within Los Angeles.  It was established as a city of its own in 1867, or just after the Civil War, and was known as Comptonville.  Later, its name was shortened to simply Compton.  It was originally a farming town, but over time, the farms gave way to a variety of industries, beginning in the 1920’s with the Compton Airport and Compton Junior College in the 1930’s.

Today, it is known as a predominantly African American city, although in 1950, there were very few African Americans in the city.  It first became an attractive area for African Americans from Watts, especially after the Watts Riots in 1965.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s, more affluent African Americans moved away from Compton, leaving behind the poorer sector of the population.  Today, it is known as a poorer area in comparison to neighboring Carson, Bellflower, Artesia and Paramount. 

While many think of its population as primarily African American, it is actually Latino.  However, Compton is well-known for producing many NBA players (Tyson Chandler, Brandon Jennings, Tayshaun Prince and DeMar DeRozan) and rap artists (Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Easy-E).

Compton is patrolled by the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department and the Compton Police Department.

Legal disputes arising in Compton are heard in the Compton Superior Court.  Such cases, both criminal and civil, draw jurors from Carson, Paramount, Lynnwood and Long Beach, but also as far away as Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Lomita, parts of Harbor City and even Palos Verdes Estates.  Our office regularly has cases out of the Compton courthouse.  We are experienced with most all of the judges, almost all of the city prosecutors and almost all of the district attorneys. 

Many of the prosecutors and judges have prior experience in the surrounding courthouses, such as Torrance, Long Beach, Airport (LAX) and the downtown courthouses (both Metropolitan and the Clara Shortridge Foltz courts).  When this is the case, our experience in these other courts with such prosecutors or judges can help establish rapport and lead to a better discussion of the case facts and then, a more fair resolution.

Generally speaking, the plea bargains in the Compton Courthouse are some of the better deals, as compared to Torrance and Long Beach.  We are never sure exactly why this is so, but a likely reason may be that the jurors are more skeptical of testimony from police and more sympathetic to those who are accused of crimes. 

Judges in Compton, we find, also take a more active role in helping guide a case toward resolution, often because their courtroom may be home to a lengthy jury trial for a violent crime.  The judges consequently are highly motivated to see smaller cases resolve without a jury trial.

Lastly, no review of the Compton Courthouse would be proper without a warning that parking is not free.  It is $6, as of October, 2015.  There is a good cafeteria on the second floor.  One would be smart to arrive to the courthouse early, as the lines to enter can stretch over 100 yards, and several of the six elevators to the many court rooms in the eleven story courthouse are always under repair, so unavailable.

For more information about the issues in this city profile, click on the following articles:
  1. What Punishment Do I Face for First-Time DUI?
  2. What Punishment Do I Face for Domestic Violence?
  3. What Punishment Do I Face for a Charge of Prostitution?
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