What is the Virginia Law on Shooting or Throwing at a Vehicle?
Va. Code 18.2-154 on Shooting or Throwing at a Vehicle says:
Any person who maliciously shoots at, or maliciously throws any missile at or against, any train or cars on any railroad or other transportation company or any vessel or other watercraft, or any motor vehicle or other vehicles when occupied by one or more persons, whereby the life of any person on such train, car, vessel, or other watercraft, or in such motor vehicle or other vehicle, may be put in peril, is guilty of a Class 4 felony. In the event of the death of any such person, resulting from such malicious shooting or throwing, the person so offending is guilty of murder in the second degree. However, if the homicide is willful, deliberate, and premeditated, he is guilty of murder in the first degree.
If any such act is committed unlawfully, but not maliciously, the person so offending is guilty of a Class 6 felony and, in the event of the death of any such person, resulting from such unlawful act, the person so offending is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
If any person commits a violation of this section by maliciously or unlawfully shooting, with a firearm, at a conspicuously marked law-enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services vehicle, the sentence imposed shall include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year to be served consecutively with any other sentence.
Shooting, or throwing anything at, a vehicle is a serious felony offense.
This charge requires the commonwealth prove that you “maliciously” shot at or threw a missile (anything) at any vehicle, while that vehicle was occupied, in such a way that any occupant’s life was in peril. Your lawyer will want to evaluate the Commonwealth’s case and ability to prove each of these elements. This is a Class 4 Felony, punishable by 2-10 years incarceration, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
If the Commonwealth prove that you did so “unlawfully” but not “maliciously,” this is a Class 6 Felony, punishable by up to 5 years incarceration, and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
If any death results, you will may also be charged with a homicide ranging from Involuntary Manslaughter to First Degree Murder.