Nestled among Harbor City to its west, San Pedro to its south, the Port of Los Angeles to its east and Carson to its north, Wilmington is a working-class city with a long history. Originally the home for port laborers, Wilmington is also the home of the Banning House, one of the first Los Angeles homes, as well as Camp Drum, the only Civil War landmark in California.
Wilmington used to be part of San Pedro until the City of Los Angeles annexed it in 1909. Since then, Wilmington has been home to a large Hispanic population. It is also home to the first Der Wienerschnitzel hot dog restaurant.
Its residents enjoy broad, flat streets with older homes, intermixed with large apartment complexes with a largely young population. Banning High School is Wilmington’s only high school, which counts Elvira Mota, Sandra Perez and football star Vince Ferragano as its most famous alumni.
Wilmington has one of the higher crime rates in the Los Angeles area, as several gangs struggle for hegemony over the area. Criminal cases arising in Wilmington are heard in the Long Beach Superior Court. This court draws jurors from Long Beach, Signal Hill, Little Phnom Penh, San Pedro, parts of Harbor City and of course, Wilmington. Our office is experienced with all of the judges, almost all of the city prosecutors and almost all of the district attorneys in Long Beach.
The most common types of cases we see arising from Wilmington are drug cases. This include possession of a controlled substance (Health & Safety Code §§ 11350 and 11377 (meth)), possession of marijuana (Health & Safety Code § 11357), possession for sales of a controlled substance (Health & Safety Code §§ 11351 and 11379 (meth)), possession of marijuana for sales (Health & Safety Code § 11359).
We also do see quite a few DUI matters (Vehicle Code § 23152) and felony DUI (Vehicle Code § 23153), as well as domestic violence cases (Penal Code § 273.5).
Many of the DUI cases arise from traffic stops made by the CHP along the Harbor Freeway (the I-110) as the client is proceeding home to San Pedro or Wilmington from the Downtown Area, Dodger Stadium or Hollywood.
When the traffic stop is off the freeway, we find it often takes place off Anaheim or Pacific Coast Highway, two of the more major east-west thoroughfares.
The sad reality, however, is that the most common crimes reported in Wilmington are auto burglaries, batteries, vandalism and commercial burglary, for which the suspects cannot afford private counsel such as our firm. Such individuals therefore opt for the public defender’s office, which can be quite good in truth.
Felony cases arising out of Wilmington are prosecuted by the Long Beach District Attorney’s office. The cases often begin in Department S1 or S2, both on the first floor of the new courthouse off Magnolia Avenue.
Misdemeanor matters are usually prosecuted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, which has a mix of older attorneys that is good for defendants. Such attorneys are more than likely to have a healthy perspective on what each case is worth, built on experience in taking such matters to trial and both winning and losing. Misdemeanor matters are heard in Departments 5, 6, 7 and 8, all on the second floor of the new Long Beach courthouse.
A new visitor to the new courthouse should note that parking is not free. It can be rather expensive, in fact, unless someone is willing to walk. The courthouse does not have a cafeteria like the old courthouse had, but it does have a small shop that sells sodas, candy and various sundries.
For more information about common cases that one might face if arrested in this city, click on the following articles:
- What Punishment Do I Face for Possession of Marijuana?
- What Punishment Do I Face for Driving without a Valid License?
- What Punishment Do I Face for a First-Time DUI?