Domestic Battery versus Permanent Injunctions Against Domestic Violence
In Florida, more than most other states allegations of Domestic Violence are raised in both Criminal and Civil Courts.
Based upon the Federal Immigration Laws in the United States, Domestic Violence allegations are raised in order to preclude Deportation and also to to change conditional residency for people who are married and whose spouse is a United States citizen.
These allegations can be true but in many instances people who are not citizens of this country know our laws better than our actual citizens.
There are clear differences between a Criminal Domestic Violence Battery and seeking a Permanent Injunction Against Domestic Violence.
The first and most obvious distinction is that a person charged with a Domestic Battery is arrested and faces time in jail if convicted. Most Americans wish to avoid jail at all cost, but the Police are not lawyers and may arrest a man or woman based upon statements and injuries which may or may not have been caused by the alleged victim. Once arrested the perpetrator now has to travel through the criminal process and the victim plays a large role in the perpetrator's fate. Considering that there are many situations particularly in the State of Florida where a hidden agenda exists, the victim will pursue the prosecution which costs the victim nothing and the prosecution is funded by taxpayers.
Even if the outcome of the Domestic Battery is unsuccessful, the victim can still attempt to obtain a Permanent Injunction Against Domestic Violence.
The Burden of Proof is much lower in a Civil Action than a criminal action. Criminal cases require Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt which is a very heavy burden. In a civil action, an individual only needs to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence which means basically over fifty percent that the allegations occurred.
The Civil Injunction Against Domestic Violence still benefits the Resident or Illegal Alien seeking to prevent Deportation. Many Alleged Victims are coached by Immigration Attorneys as to what needs to be said or done to protect or change their status. In a civil proceeding free Legal Services may be provided, once again at taxpayer's expense, but more likely private counsel will need to be hired to pursue the Injunction.
In both the Civil cases, the Alleged victim can use the process to threaten the alleged Perpetrator unless a compromise is reached. Even though, there is no Criminal Record associated with the Injunction, many employers will request this information on an employment application and a State or governmental employee can lose their job based upon Domestic Violence allegations.
Criminal Domestic Batteries cannot be expunged from an individual's record in the State of Florida and Permanent Injunctions are a public record viewable by anyone.
In many cases, the Legal System works to achieve what it was created to do, but the Domestic Violence system is used regularly for individuals ulterior motives. Based upon my experience, I have handled both Criminal Domestic Battery cases as well as Civil Injunctions Against Domestic Violence Actions and I have represented both victims and Alleged Perpetrators of Domestic Violence. A full knowledge of the system and how it works is critical to representing client's on these legal issues.