The Daily Mail reports about an unusual domestic assault charge in Illinois where the arrest is based on thrown cupcakes.

According to the report, a 60 year-old woman was charged with Domestic Battery in Illinois for pelting her husband with cupcakes. The police said she admitted the act after the police observed her husband smeared with cupcake frosting. There was obviously a lot of history here, as the husband had 3 previous arrest reports for domestic battery on his wife.

As silly as this sounds, assault charges, particularly domestic assault offenses can often be this harmless sounding. Most defense lawyers who handle assault charges have similar stories of the police arresting people for assault in situations where common sense tells you no harm was done. After all, how threatening is a cupcake?

But if there police are called, and there is any kind of disruptive incident, noise, or scuffle, the police will often just arrest someone to separate the participants and diffuse the situation on the spot. They are content to let the courts sort out these types of non-issues.

But once a case is in the system, it isn’t always easy to clear it out and get it dismissed. Particularly in domestic cases. Prosecutors don’t want to drop charges, even for a seemingly minor or trivial incident like this, for fear of a serious follow up incident where someone gets hurt or killed. If a prosecutor drops a domestic assault charge on someone who later seriously harms their partner, that is not going to look good.

So District Attorney’s err on the side of extreme, and sometimes nonsensical prosecution in these cases.

It can take a skilled defense attorney to fight these cases successfully in court. Sometimes it’s not really a legal issues, so much as a political problem to finesse. But good defense lawyers know what it takes to protect their clients from unfair and seemly bizarre prosecutions like “assault by cupcake”.