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Domestic violence: An intersection of civil and criminal matters

People tend to focus on the criminal aspect of a domestic violence case. It is easy to understand why, but people need to realize that there is often a civil case that has to be addressed. Victims of domestic violence can seek compensation for their injuries in a civil court lawsuit that is completely independent from the criminal court matter.

In Maryland, the Justice Reinvestment Act has an impact on what victims of violent acts can seek. This act allows the state to withhold 25 percent of inmate earnings while they are incarcerated to provide restitution to their victims. On top of that, the state has received federal funds to help provide victims with compensation.

This is something that can make it difficult for a person who is convicted of domestic violence to live life. Inmates are often strapped for funds when they are in prison. They don't make a lot of money while they are working during their incarceration. Having to give part of it up can be detrimental to them.

In September, Gov. Larry Hogan remarked that $4.7 million in grants have been provided to help local programs with legal assistance for victims of domestic violence, crisis services and the survivors of homicide victims. This money might not come directly from the pocket of the person who is convicted of domestic violence, but it still shows the scope of the financial impact that domestic violence can have.

For the men and women who are charged with domestic violence, a focus on fighting the charge has to be present. This is one of the ways that you might be able to control the cost of the issue. It won't impact the possibility of a civil trial, but it could help to keep you out of prison.

Source: Carroll County Times, "Legal Matters: Each state has compensation fund for victims of crime," Donna Eagle, Oct. 20, 2017

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