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Domestic violence case dropped against celebrity chef

Domestic violence criminal charges in Virginia typically arise from violence between family or household members. Domestic violence can apply to any partners, male or female, whether they are married or simply dating. However, being charged with domestic assault doesn't mean that you will be convicted. For example, charges were recently dropped against a celebrity chef after an alleged dispute between her and her husband. The couple is in the process of getting divorced

Chef Jenn Louis was arrested late last month after her husband called 911. The husband told officers that his wife had left after punching him in the nose. Louis was arrested and booked into a local jail for domestic violence misdemeanor assault. She was released on bail. A few days later, prosecutors announced that charges would not be filed against the accused.

Prosecuting officials believed that they could not overcome a claim of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. In cases involving violence, self-defense is a very common criminal defense strategy. Generally, the United States legal system allows a person to protect themselves from harm if the situation requires it, even if that behavior would normally be considered a crime.

In order for a self-defense strategy to succeed, the victim's fear of harm has to have been reasonable. Also, self-defense only justifies the use of force against a threat that is imminent. Any force used by the victim against the assailant once the threat of violence has ended is not considered to be self-defense. The victim must also only use the amount of force required to remove the threat. If all of these elements are present, a self-defense strategy may prove to be successful. A successful defense strategy can lead to the dismissal of all criminal charges and preservation of an individual's reputation and future.

Source: Oregon Live, "Domestic assault case against celebrity chef Jenn Louis dropped," Samantha Bakall, May 2, 2016

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