I knew the difference between assault and battery... even though I commonly misuse the word "assault" to mean battery... but I was not aware there was a difference between the criminal and civil definitions and uses.
One example that comes readily to my mind regarding the original question is civil asset forfeiture. We were assured it would never be used for insidious purposes, would be used sparingly as "another tool for law enforcement to fight the war on drugs", yada yada yada, yet it has precisely turned into nothing but a shakedown in many jurisdictions. All the warnings and assurances proved squat. The letter of the law says LE can do 'x', so they do 'x'.