California v. DimacaliAnnotate this Case
Lourdes Dimacali was charged with a single count of misdemeanor hit-and-run driving after she was involved in a 2016 incident with M.T. The State alleged Dimacali was the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in property damage, but failed to locate and notify M.T. or appropriate authorities. Dimacali pleaded not guilty to the offense. The issue this case presented for the Court of Appeal's review posited whether a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing only property damage in violation of Vehicle Code section 20002 (a) was subject to disposition by a civil compromise. The State contended such a violation could not be compromised as a matter of law; that the damages must flow from the criminal conduct and California v. Martinez, 2 Cal.5th 1093 (2017) confirmed the crime was not the accident but the failure to stop and provide information, which could not in any scenario cause the property damage suffered by the victim of the misdemeanor offense. The State urged the Court to reject authority to the contrary, namely California v. Tischman, 35 Cal.App.4th 174 (1995), flawed and no longer good law. The nature of the hit- and-run offense at issue and a plain reading of the civil compromise statutes compelled the Court of Appeal agreed, and reversed.