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Throwing A Deadly Missile

Since the Michael Dunn verdict was announced, people are curious about what constitutes the charge of throwing or shooting a deadly missile in the State of Florida.

The statute specifically makes it a second-degree felony, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in a Florida prison, to shoot or throw a deadly missile in to a dwelling (house), building, or vehicle. It doesn't matter whether the property is occupied or unoccupied.

The statute includes shooting a deadly missile (a bullet or projectile) or throwing a deadly missile (such as a rock or brick). When I was a juvenile prosecutor years ago, I often saw this charge applied to situations where kids were accused of throwing rocks off an overpass.

Whether you throw a rock through a window or fire a gun into a house, it is a violation of the same statute.

In the Michael Dunn trial, one of the charges that he was convicted of was throwing a deadly missile. This charge stemmed from the allegation that he fired his gun into a moving car. He faces up to 15 years in prison on this count.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients in Miami and Broward.