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Technically, Kim Kardashian Can't 'Press Charges' for Flour Bomb

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on March 26, 2012 3:43 PM

Reality TV's Kim Kardashian, who shrugged off a "flour bomb" assault last week, now says it was no laughing matter. Headlines today suggest Kardashian "may press charges."

That's what news outlets including MSNBC, The Washington Post, and E! Online are reporting after Kardashian's latest comments about her flour bombing Thursday night.

But technically, those headlines are incorrect -- even though Kim Kardashian is a flour-bombing victim, she has no power to press charges against anyone.

Legally speaking, it's up to police officers and prosecutors to investigate an alleged crime and press charges if warranted. Kim Kardashian is free to file a complaint against her alleged flour bomber, but she really would have no control over what happens after she filed her complaint.

Even if Kim Kardashian decides not to file a complaint, police and prosecutors can still investigate and press charges on their own, if there is sufficient evidence.

In Kardashian's flour bombing, she was attending the West Hollywood launch of her new fragrance when a woman ran up and dumped a bag of flour over her head. As this blog opined last week, the flour bombing could technically be considered an assault, battery, or disorderly conduct.

Kardashian minimized the flour bombing Thursday night, joking that she told her make-up artist she needed more powder.

But Kardashian told E! over the weekend, "Now that I think about it ... What if that was some other substance? What if that person had a dangerous weapon? It's scary. ... I'm gonna definitely deal with it because it is not acceptable."

To report her flour bombing, Kim Kardashian will have to file a complaint with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, which is contracted to provide police services for the city of West Hollywood. She can even report a crime by phone or by text message, according to the sheriff's website. But prosecutors would decide if the flour bomber gets charged or not.

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