Author Tim Talbot and Gary Messing responded to the case in PORAC Law Enforcement Vol. 38 NO.7 July 2006 in the following ways.
Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) section 625 specifically permits peace officers to take a minor into temporary custody without a warrant when an officer reasonably believes a minor committed a crime.
California courts find no meaningful distinction between a temporary custody and an arrest in the application of WIC section 625. In re Ian C., 87 Cal. App. 4th 856, 860 (2001). Moreover, the warrant less arrest of minors charged with misdemeanor offences has been held constitutional. In re Samual V., 225 Cal.App.3d 511 (1990)
Once inside, a police officer’s rights are limited to the scope of the consent given on entry to the residence. People v. Ramey, 16 Cal.3d 263 (1976). In this instance, Ly merely asked if he could come into the family’s home and the father consented to Ly’s entry.
As for the propriety of arresting a minor at night, Penal Code Section 840 specifically authorizes the arrest of anyone charged with a misdemeanor before 10 p.m.
Certain individuals suggested that because the father paid for the damage to the victim’s vehicle, without ever admitting responsibility for the damage, no crime was committed. In actuality, the law requires the victim to appear in court and acknowledge receiving satisfaction for the injury before the court may dismiss a criminal prosecution. Penal Code 1378-1379.
In People v Tischman, 35 Cal.App.4th 174 (1995), the court stated that misdemeanor hit and run accident can and should be resolved through civil compromise, unless there are extenuating circumstances. It is implied that those responsible acknowledge responsibility for causing the damage, which never occurred in this case.
Tim Talbot and Gary Messing are partners in the Sacramento office of Caroll, Burdick and McDonough. They helped to convince the District Attorney's office to make information about the case public. They are lawyers for the Davis Police Officers' Association.