A person gets angry during a road rage incident and throws an object at a vehicle. The object may or may not be able to harm the person, but the act itself may still be treated as a misdemeanor. The applicable section of law pertaining to the offense of throwing an object at a vehicle is 23110.
Proving a felony offense in Los Angeles
The defendant may be considered guilty of throwing an object if the prosecutor can successfully prove two elements. The defendant may be charged with a felony if the act could have caused bodily injury. The person can either be found guilty of maliciously or willfully throwing an object to be charged with the offense. The object itself can be made from any substance capable of causing severe injuries to the other. A rock, piece of metal or a bottle is treated as an object capable of causing significant harm to the other party, so the offense may be treated as a felony in California.
What constitutes a misdemeanor?
The other party may be found guilty of a misdemeanor if the prosecutor can prove that the individual threw an object at a vehicle. The incident may be treated as a misdemeanor if it is an object or substance. The item can be thrown at the driver or any occupant present in the vehicle at the time of the incident. It is the absence of physical danger that separates the misdemeanor offense from the felony offense.
What are the penalties in California?
If a person is found guilty of willfully or maliciously throwing an object at a vehicle, that person is subject to fines and possible jail time as a result. Imprisonment is reserved for those who had the capacity of doing serious bodily harm to the other party.
Does the vehicle have to be in motion?
The law states that any object that is self-propelled qualifies as a vehicle. The law focuses on the individual responsible for throwing the object exclusively. It does not distinguish between a vehicle being parked or in motion, so a person can be found guilty regardless of whether or not the incident happens in a parking lot or on a highway.
What does the law say about occupants?
It does not matter whether or not the party responsible for throwing an object targeted the driver of a car. The person may have targeted the driver of the vehicle and failed. The law does not distinguish between passengers in drivers in terms of how the offense is prosecuted. Any person in the vehicle could be the target for that incident, and consequently, be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
What does “willfully” mean where throwing substances at cars is involved?
A willful act is considered any act performed with intention. Any malicious act is considered one that is performed to injure another person. The latter of the two classifications is typically tied to a felony offense.
What happens if the object missed the car?
The object could have been thrown at a particular vehicle, but it may hit another car by mistake. The person may still be held responsible for the offense because the intent was there. If the object is considered a deadly one, the person may be charged with a felony.
Any person who has thrown an object or substance at a vehicle in Los Angeles may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. A prosecutor needs to prove that the act is willful or malicious. The potential level of harm caused to a person and whether or not there are any injuries ultimately determines the severity of the penalty.
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