Question about the 'central registry' of domestic violence

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Latest post Tue, Jan 10 2006 11:13 AM by Ford. 5 replies.
  • Sun, Jan 8 2006 12:38 AM

    • mytell
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    Angry [:@] Question about the 'central registry' of domestic violence

    Question about the "central registry" of domestic violence offenders. I have had a restraining order for over 10 years and the defendant violated and was convicted several times in the early 90's.
    However in the mid 1990's we had an incident in another county and even though I held the restraining order, the incident happened in my home, I received criminal charges and was threatened with heavy jail time for the offense, even though it was self defense.
    During the pre trial "plea bargaining", I was repeatedly told there was no "history" of restraining order violation convictions, just arrests that were all dismissed, therefore making my claim of self defense weak.
    In reality there were, but I didn't know how to go about getting them or proving it. After two years of negoiation when I refused to plead guilty until I was offered no jail time, I found the transcripts of the prior cnvictions.
    Now this year, my abuser has again violated the restraining order, i filed contempt charges and when the arraignment hearing date, the prosecutor told me he would be offering the defendent 1 year's probation because "he had no prior record" of domestic violence convictions in the "central registry".
    Until I produced a copy of the transcropt of the sentencing hearing myself, the prosecutor refused to believe there was a history in my case and ask for the mandatory 30 days in jail for a second offense.
    My question is this. What is a central registry of domestic violence offenders? Why are some convictions missing from it? (they claimed it went all the way back to 1989 AND IF THE REGISTRY IS INCORRECT AND I WAS PROSECUTED UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT I HAD NOT BEEN A VICTIM OF THE DEFENDENT, CAN I SUE?
    If I had not been determined to not plead guilty to something I didn't do, I could have been doing 20 years right now!!! How can the state of NJ get away with this?
  • Sun, Jan 8 2006 7:50 PM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Question about the 'central registry' of domestic violence

    "Question about the "central registry" of domestic violence offenders."

    States might have this, but I know of nothing at the federal level.

    "However in the mid 1990's we had an incident in another county and even though I held the restraining order, the incident happened in my home, I received criminal charges"

    The fact of the restraining order doesn't eliminate the possibility that the protected party might commit a criminal act.

    "and was threatened with heavy jail time for the offense, even though it was self defense."

    Self-defense is asserted at trial. It's for the jury to decide.

    "During the pre trial "plea bargaining", I was repeatedly told there was no "history" of restraining order violation convictions, just arrests that were all dismissed"

    That's not a history of violations, in my opinion. The standard for an arrest is 'probable cause' - a VERY low standard of proof.

    "In reality there were, but I didn't know how to go about getting them or proving it."

    Criminal convictions would be the best evidence.

    "the prosecutor told me he would be offering the defendent 1 year's probation because "he had no prior record" of domestic violence convictions in the "central registry"."

    This is some state database, unless he's talking about NCIC.

    "IF THE REGISTRY IS INCORRECT AND I WAS PROSECUTED UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT I HAD NOT BEEN A VICTIM OF THE DEFENDENT, CAN I SUE?"

    Anyone can sue anyone for anything. The facts determine the viability of a lawsuit. Sounds like a factual dispute, which would NEVER work in favor of the defendant.
  • Mon, Jan 9 2006 6:26 AM In reply to

    • mytell
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    Question [=?] re: Question about the 'central registry' of domestic violence

    That's not a history of violations, in my opinion. The standard for an arrest is 'probable cause' - a VERY low standard of proof.
    Apparently I am not being clear, I said THERE WERE CONVICTIONS, NOT JUST ARRESTS, however this "database" incorrectly stated that there were no convictions!!!! Doesn't that make a difference? Are you saying knowing that there were actually convictions doesn't change your opinion?

  • Mon, Jan 9 2006 3:32 PM In reply to

    • OhioCP
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    re: Question about the 'central registry' of domestic violence

    "IF THE REGISTRY IS INCORRECT AND I WAS PROSECUTED UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT I HAD NOT BEEN A VICTIM OF THE DEFENDENT, CAN I SUE?"

    You were prosecuted due to your actions during the "incident that happened in your home". You apparently decided to plea bargain instead of going to trial. It is during at trial that you would have been able to defend your actions and assert they were due to self defense and it would have then been up to the jury to decide if that was what occured. I'm not sure why you would think you could sue if you plea bargained your charges. All the prior convictions would show was that there was a past history of violence, but it would NOT prove that the defendant in those convictions was the aggressor in the charges filed against you.
  • Mon, Jan 9 2006 8:01 PM In reply to

    • mytell
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    re: Question about the 'central registry' of domestic violence

    Well thank you for your reply. That's not what I was told at the time. In fact my bail was substantially lowered when I went before the judge during arraignment, because of case workers testifying, however, when the prosecutor's office supposedly sorted out things, they told me because I had not been a victim in the past, there was an impact on their decision to prosecute me and that they felt I got away with a low bail because I falsely represented myself as a battered woman.
  • Tue, Jan 10 2006 11:13 AM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Question about the 'central registry' of domestic violence

    You cannot sue the state for prosecuting you unless you have the elements of a malicious prosecution. Normally, that the state KNEW you had not committed the crime. Proving knowledge is very, very difficult.

    The state is free to ignore a claim of self-defense. It can go to trial and get the issue before a jury.
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