The Top 5 Misdemeanors in Long Beach, California (2023)

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.


What is the best misdemeanor? ›

A Class A Misdemeanor, also known as a “Misdemeanor Class A,” is considered the most serious type of misdemeanor in most jurisdictions.

What is the most common misdemeanor? ›

Some of the most common crimes charged as misdemeanors include vandalism, trespassing, disorderly conduct, and various drug crimes.

Can a misdemeanor be dropped in California? ›

Defendants who have successfully completed probation or have been discharged early can petition the court to withdraw the plea or conviction and dismiss the case.

What is the strictest punishment for a misdemeanor? ›

Often, the maximum punishment possible for a misdemeanor will be a year in a local jail. (A few states provide misdemeanor penalties as high as two or three years' incarceration.) If the crime carries a potential prison sentence of over a year, the offense becomes a felony.

What is the lowest misdemeanor? ›

The least serious misdemeanors are classified as Class C or Level Three. These crimes can result in fines and jail time of up to a year, and may also offer the chance of probation. The federal criminal code and the criminal laws of every state divide crimes into two levels, felonies and misdemeanors.

What is the lightest misdemeanor? ›

Second degree misdemeanors are the lowest level of misdemeanor criminal offense. This is a crime for which the punishment is be up to 60 days in county jail, a $500 fine, or both. A first degree misdemeanor is more serious, but still remains in the county court.

How long does a misdemeanor stay on your record in California? ›

A misdemeanor stays on your record for life unless you successfully petition for expungement. There is no preset “expiration date” for misdemeanor crimes. Even though misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felonies, they are still serious breaches in the eyes of the law.

What is considered a serious misdemeanor in California? ›

Misdemeanors: Up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Common examples of serious misdemeanor charges include solicitation of prostitution, shoplifting and some DUI and domestic violence charges.

What is the punishment for a misdemeanor in California? ›

Misdemeanors are primarily offenses with a maximum punishment of a $1,000 fine and a county jail term of 1 year or less. However, there are some offenses which exceed this general criteria; for example, spousal abuse can carry a higher maximum fine.

How do I clear a misdemeanor in California? ›

To expunge a misdemeanor in California, you have to (1) determine that you are eligible for expungement, (2) timely file the appropriate paperwork, and (3) attend the expungement hearing personally, or through a lawyer. Any error in the process can lead to a denial.

How do I dismiss a misdemeanor in California? ›

After hearing the charges, the defendant must plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Individuals can only request permission to submit a motion to dismiss a misdemeanor if they plead not guilty. After making this motion, a judge has to consider the evidence associated with the case.

Do misdemeanors show up on background checks in California? ›

Under California civil code (The Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act), any misdemeanors, complaints, indictments, arrests, and convictions older than that cannot be reported on background checks. Full pardons, expungements and arrests that did not lead to a conviction, meanwhile, cannot be reported at all.

What is the most typical punishment for first time misdemeanor? ›

Misdemeanors are typically punishable by a fine, incarceration or a combination of the two. Felonies, which are the most serious criminal offenses, are generally penalized by both incarceration and a fine. Statutes authorize a range of penalties that can be imposed for misdemeanors.

Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor? ›

Misdemeanor offenses are considered to be minor crimes as compared to felonies, but they still can lead to jail sentences. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor offense, it is important for you to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Do First time offenders go to jail in California? ›

If a first-time offender is convicted of a felony, they will almost certainly serve time in jail or prison. However, under certain circumstances, a convicted defendant can avoid jail time. Being placed on probation or in a diversionary program can help first-time felony offenders avoid jail time.

What is a Class C misdemeanor? ›

Non-traffic Class C misdemeanors include public intoxication, theft of something valued less than $100, possession of drug paraphernalia (but no drugs), assault without any injury (like verbal assault, unwanted touching and family violence), disorderly conduct, minor in possession of alcohol, and more.

Whats worse petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor? ›

Gross misdemeanors usually are more serious infractions that might result in a person serving some time in jail. In contrast, a petty misdemeanor is typically an extremely small infraction that is punishable by fines only; in fact, some people call these non-criminal offenses.

What is a Class B misdemeanor in California? ›

Class B Misdemeanor: A fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail, and not less than 30 days for habitual criminal offenders. Class C Misdemeanor: A fine of up to $500 and up to 180 days in jail for habitual criminal offenders.

What happens at an arraignment for a misdemeanor? ›

During the hearing in most jurisdictions, the court advises the accused of his/her Constitutional rights, the issue of bail and release is determined, the defendant learns of the specific charges that have been filed against him/her, and the defendant enters a plea.

What are the 4 types of crime? ›

Crimes can be generally separated into four categories: felonies, misdemeanors, inchoate offenses, and strict liability offenses. Each state, and the federal government, decides what sort of conduct to criminalize.

What are the 3 types of criminal Offences? ›

The 3 Main Categories of Criminal Offences
  • Summary Offences: Summary Offences are considered the least serious, and are often called “petty” crimes. ...
  • Indictable Offences. These are much more serious offences with much stiffer penalties, including life in prison. ...
  • Hybrid Offences.
29 Sept 2021

Do you have to disclose misdemeanor on job application in California? ›

In California statewide, it is unlawful for employers to ask for criminal information from an applicant, pursuant to “ban the box” laws. This means that it is unlawful for any California employer to include on an application for employment any question that seeks the disclosure of an applicant's criminal history.

Can you be a nurse with a misdemeanor in California? ›

The Board can also deny professional licenses to nursing applicants if they were convicted of a crime within the prior seven years of the date of their license application. This is true provided that the conviction was substantially related to nursing.

Can you be a teacher with a misdemeanor in California? ›

Under California law, a conviction for a crime that is not specifically listed in the above code section can still form the basis for teacher discipline so long as it indicates that the credential-holder is unfit to teach. Discipline can be imposed for either misdemeanor or felony convictions.

What are all misdemeanors in California? ›

California misdemeanors fall into two basic categories: Standard misdemeanors, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000; and. “Gross” or “aggravated” misdemeanors,” punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 or more.

Is misdemeanor a felony in California? ›

Misdemeanors, under California law, are less severe crimes than felonies. And, there are two types of misdemeanors – “standard” and “gross” or “aggravated” misdemeanors. A “standard” misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

How long can a misdemeanor charge be pending? ›

Misdemeanor-level charges must generally be charged within a year or two.

Do first time misdemeanor offenders go to jail California? ›

For the significant majority of misdemeanor defendants, however, and in particular those facing first time charges based on a non-violent incident, a conviction does not result in incarceration. Rather, the defendant is placed on misdemeanor probation, also known as summary probation.

What crime gives the least jail time? ›

The following offenses have a minimum sentence of one year;
  • Speeding to elude police.
  • Not stopping a boat when ordered by law enforcement to stop.
  • Illegally selling a handful to someone under 21 years of age.
  • Possession of an assault weapon.
  • Second-degree assault with a firearm.
  • Third-degree burglary with a firearm.
22 Mar 2022

What can you go jail for? ›

Common felonies include:
  • Murder.
  • Manslaughter.
  • Larceny.
  • Burglary.
  • Robbery.
  • Rape.
30 Jul 2020

How much does it cost to expunge a misdemeanor in California? ›

Misdemeanor Expungements $900* Misdemeanor DUI Expungement $1,075. Felony Expungement $1,200* (includes a reduction to a misdemeanor when eligible) Sealing of Juvenile or Diversion Records: $3,500.

What crimes Cannot be expunged in California? ›

The Convictions That Cannot Be Expunged in California…
  • Child pornography crimes.
  • Certain sexual assault crimes.
  • Committing lewd acts with a minor.
  • Failure to submit to a police inspection of vehicle.

How do you get misdemeanors expunged? ›

In order to expunge your record, you must file a Petition to Expunge with the Circuit Court where your case concluded. In most cases, you are required to appear before the Court and prove that you are a good person and that the public has no need to keep your arrest record public.

How do you get a prosecutor to drop charges? ›

There are multiple ways a defendant or their attorney can convince a prosecutor to drop criminal charges. Examples include lack of probable cause, presenting exculpatory evidence, showing police violated their rights, or partaking in a pretrial diversion program.

Can a judge dismiss a case before trial? ›

Yes. It is possible for a case to be dismissed at the pretrial hearing. During the hearing, the judge will likely issue a decision regarding any pretrial motions to dismiss the case. Thus, if those motions are successful, your case may be dismissed at the pretrial.

How can charges be dropped before court date? ›

Presenting Exculpatory Evidence

The Prosecutor needs to believe that you committed the offense to be able to charge you. But if you can provide any evidence, in the form of witnesses or physical evidence, that proves you did not commit the offense, the Prosecutor will get your charges dropped.

What causes a red flag on a background check? ›

If there is a felony on your criminal record, it could be a red flag for employers. A history of violent crimes, sexual offenses, robberies, or serious drug offenses can make it difficult to pass a background check. However, it can still be possible to get a job even if you have a criminal history.

Can you pass a Level 2 background check with a misdemeanor? ›

Will I pass a background check with a misdemeanor? A misdemeanor will likely come up during a background check, but you can still be hired for a job depending on your potential employer's hiring standards and the type of job you're applying for.

How far back does a criminal background check go? ›

In general, background checks for employment typically cover seven years of criminal and court records, but may go back further depending on federal and state laws and what is being searched.

What is a misdemeanor felony first degree? ›

A first-degree misdemeanor is a crime that is more severe than a summary offense, but not as bad as a felony. Examples of first-degree felonies include the following: Indecent assault. Endangering the welfare of a child. Possession of a firearm prohibited.

Do you go straight to jail after sentencing? ›

After people are sentenced, they are taken from court and initially transported to the nearest reception prison for the first few nights. They may be relocated to another prison depending on the security category, nature of the crime, length of sentence, and other factors that may need to be taken into consideration.

What is the longest misdemeanor sentence? ›

In 24 states the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is up to one year of incarceration. Nevada explicitly makes a misdemeanor subject to up to 364 days incarceration, whereas felony incarceration starts at 365 days. Tennessee sets the maximum for misdemeanor incarceration at 11 months and 29 days.

How long does a misdemeanor stay on your record? ›

How long is a misdemeanor on your record? A misdemeanor stays on your record for life unless you successfully petition for expungement. There is no preset “expiration date” for misdemeanor crimes. Even though misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felonies, they are still serious breaches in the eyes of the law.

Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor in Kansas? ›

Classifications and Penalties for Misdemeanors in Kansas

Kansas classifies misdemeanor penalties as follows: class A misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of one year's jail time and a $2,500 fine. class B misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of six months' jail time and a $1,000 fine.

Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor in California? ›

Misdemeanors are primarily offenses with a maximum punishment of a $1,000 fine and a county jail term of 1 year or less. However, there are some offenses which exceed this general criteria; for example, spousal abuse can carry a higher maximum fine.

How do you get a misdemeanor expunged in California? ›

To expunge a misdemeanor in California, you have to (1) determine that you are eligible for expungement, (2) timely file the appropriate paperwork, and (3) attend the expungement hearing personally, or through a lawyer. Any error in the process can lead to a denial.

What is the highest charge you can get? ›

Some lesser federal offenses may be considered misdemeanors, while more serious offenses may be felonies. Federal felonies are divided into five categories: A, B, C, D and E. A crime that's a Class A federal felony is the worst, with a maximum prison term of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

What are more serious crimes than misdemeanors? ›

Felony Charges

As mentioned previously, felonies are more serious crimes than even gross misdemeanors. These are crimes that can include aggravated assault, most sex crimes, high-value theft, and homicide crimes like murder. If you are convicted of a felony, you can expect to serve a prison sentence beyond a year.

What is serious crime? ›

The types of criminal activities that gangs are involved in include class A drug dealing, child criminal exploitation, cyber-crime, the use of weapons and violence and human trafficking. Other indicators of serious organised crime could be money laundering or people living beyond their means from the proceeds of crime.

What is unclassified case? ›

Unclassified is a security classification assigned to official information that does not warrant the assignment of Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret markings but which is not publicly-releasable without authorization.

What is a Class A misdemeanor in Mo? ›

Misdemeanor classifications: Class A Misdemeanor – up to one year in jail; a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars. Class B Misdemeanor – up to six months in jail; a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars. Class C Misdemeanor – up to fifteen days in jail; a fine not to exceed seven hundred dollars.


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