I know this is a stupid question, but I’ll go ahead. Let’s say that I’m in the passenger seat of a car on the highway. There is a convertible or a car with an open window. I toss in a bouncy ball and cause zero damage to the vehicle and its inhabitants. What, if anything, can I be charged with? Littering? Vandalism? Stupidity?
The last one.
Perhaps some sort of reckless endangerment?
Bouncing into an occupied vehicle?
Tresspassing maybe? Disorderly conduct? Interesting question.
It’s assault; the fact that you did no harm is irrelevant. Your action caused an unwelcome contact that a reasonable person would anticipate could cause harm – specifically, that a surprised driver might cause an accident.
OK. So it is reasonable that throwing something into a vehicle would startle the driver. So this covers the whole car? I can’t throw it into a back seat where no one is seated. I guess that is reasonable. What if the car is stopped? I doubt that would cause an accident, but could be classified as unwanted contact if the protection is extended to the whole vehicle. Am I right here?
My SO and I were driving shortly after a summer storm some years ago. We entered the expressway and alongside us were some guys in a convertible. About the time we were even with them, we hit a tremendous puddle, which arched up behind us and right into the convertible. While it was accidental, and funny as hell, it could have easily caused a wreck.
However, if you purposely throw something into or at another vehicle, I think it would be construed as assault. It’s really no different than someone standing on the overpass dropping rocks.
Not assault. There is a seperate crime for throwing a “deadly missle” at an occuppied conveyance. You would be arrested for a felony. Your lawyer could probably get you off or get it reduced, convincing the jury that it was just a bouncy ball and not dangerous. But that would be months after you were arrested and booked in jail. And that doesn’t count all the fines and fee you would end up paying.
Don’t throw stuff at cars.
No wonder I couldn’t find the statute for a cite. I can’t spell “missile” :rolleyes: IIDU!!
Cite: “FL State Statute 790.19 – Shooting into or throwing deadly missiles into dwellings, public or private buildings, occupied or not occupied; vessels, aircraft, buses, railroad cars, streetcars, or other vehicles.–”
Thanks for the responses, this is exactly what I wanted. Could a ball of paper or even a sheet of paper fall under the “deadly missile” law? What if both vehicles are stopped? I seems that it would fall under the assault charge. BTW, I never planned on testing this out, it was just a question that came up on a road trip.
IIRC, just saying “I’m going to hit you” counts as assault. Actually hitting them is battery, thus “assault and battery”. It’s surprising how little it takes to assault someone. I don’t think I’ve gone a week without assaulting someone in years.
There are all kinds of scenarios in which a small rubber ball could end up being deadly. A very small one could potentially choke someone or damage an eye. A larger one could lodge under the gas or break pedal.
It might eventually matter to a jury if it’s a rubber ball, or a lead weight, or just a wadded up sheet of paper. Frankly, if one or two victims called the cops and could ID you – and with cell phones they can do this in an instant – cops would be pulling you over shortly.
Imagine being on the receving end – you catch a flicker of motion and hear a thump, as some cackling kids blow by on the highway. You really HAVE to stop and check it out. It could be a firecracker, a hand grenade, or a bag with a dead fish. Who knows? The little joke has forced you to interrupt your trip and investigate what for all you know is something dangerous.
I’d like to hear some more specific answers to this part. Suppose the car in question is sitting with the engine off at a grocery store parking lot. You toss a big lightweight nerf ball onto the empty rear seat. It is clearly apparent that the ball is too big to lodge under the pedals, does not contain any hazardous substance, etc. There is nobody in the car except the driver.
The police arrive. You claim you were just flirting with the driver in your own unique way. The driver approaches it from the worst possible angle. What do they charge you with? I doubt a reasonable officer will say this is a deadly missile. I would vote for disorderly conduct from my very limited legal knowledge. Would assault technically apply from actions thus far, if the driver agreed that there was no concern about you or any additional objects touching her or her car?
I’m sure any charges would depend on the state, but since you guys south of the border are such litigious (did I spell that right?) folk, the driver would probably sue you for a million bucks for scaring the cr-p out of him. :eek:
Yeah, but that’s civil. What would be the appropriate criminal charge here?
Possibly trespassing? I think assault would qualify and maybe even battery if the nerf ball touched the person. I think the question has been mostly answered, but I’m just looking for some clarification on the stopped car scenario.
You are exactly right. It is a stupid question! :rolleyes:
Why would you ask such a question, knowing it is an ureasonable act in the first place? Not to mention it could result in unpleasant consequences.
It’s apparent what the object is only after the fact (and upon much examination, probably the bomb squad as well) and you cannot judge the individual’s intent. That behavior is so far out of the norm that I can’t think a normal person would not construe it as some sort of attack.
I drive a convertible. Much of this speculation is moot. Several times occupants of other vehicles have attempted to throw crap into my car… all have failed, so far.
I’m not clear on the science, but, everything has skipped right over or around the passenger compartment. This is at freeway speed.
Because it’s a legitimate question. And obviously there are people who want to answer it. If a person does not want to answer, then they don’t have to. And a person does not have to read this thread if they don’t want to. If you think it’s so stupid, why are you reading and answering it?
I realize that it would be near impossible to pull this off. That was the original point behind the question. I knew it would be at least littering if the thrower missed, but I couldn’t think of a charge if the thrower actually made it.
And thank you LorieSmurf for defending my right to ask stupid questions.