Elder Abuse Lawyer in Los Angeles
Elder Abuse – Penal Code Section 368
More and more in our society, the authorities have passed laws and set up special prosecutors to protect the elderly. In order to be charged with elder abuse, you’re going to have to be accused of doing something either physically or in some financial way to an elder. A lot of times I see children with being charged in reference to their parents – whether they’re trying to basically financially abuse them by taking all of their funds – or dealing with them in some unlawful manner.
Of course, people can also be charged who are not family members of the victim and they can be trying to take advantage of them in some financial way by stealing their money or trying to trick them out of their financial interests. This is another area that I see prosecuted in Los Angeles County for elder abuse all the time. And then of course, somebody physically hitting an elder is another area that the prosecutors will prosecute when it comes to an elderly person in any type of physical abuse. They will use photographs of injuries and various other tactics – witnesses who see the elder in a bad state, having been abused by someone.
What is a Defense to Elder Abuse in Los Angeles County – Penal Code Section 368?
Sometimes the elderly accidentally hurt themselves, have memory issues because of their age and don’t realize that nobody actually physically abused them, and therefore, there’s no crime committed. A lot of defenses in elder abuse cases really center around the facts of the case and whether or not the authorities are able to prove that the person that’s charged with elder abuse actually did anything wrong. Sometimes, when it comes to financial elder abuse, the person that’s being accused is really just trying to help the other party and they’re permitted to use funds for themselves while they take the time and effort to try to help their elderly parent or someone that’s a family member to them. So, what it really comes down to when it comes to elder abuse is whether or not the authorities have the evidence to prosecute somebody for this type of serious offense.
What Should You do if You’re Charged With Elder Abuse?
So, in the end what I like to do is have people come in, we sit down, we go over everything that’s going on with their case and I just ask that people tell the truth and give me all the details, that way I can properly defend you. That means not putting any type of a spin on what happened or leaving things out that are important. Let me be the judge of what’s important and what’s not. We’ll go over everything related to the elder abuse case and then we’re going to look at the elements of Penal Code Section 368 and really see if the prosecutors have met those elements. If they haven’t, then we’ll set up a defense to take the case to trial and win the case. If it looks like they have met their elements and they are going to be able to prove their case, then obviously we’re going to have to do some damage control – negotiation, sit down and go everything and decide exactly how to best present the case to the prosecutors. That’s where I come in, but I’m going to have you do some things. I’ll give you a list of stuff to do to get some character letters and some other things related to the case, and then obviously, I’ll do what I need to do to set everything up, and when we’re both working together we’re going to get the result we need to get based on the circumstances that we find ourselves in. It’s a matter of putting a goal out there and putting the pieces in place to achieve it.
Elder abuse can be in the form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and/or endangerment, or financial fraud when directed towards someone over the age of 65.
California elder abuse law is very complex and requires the assistance of an experienced law firm. Our Los Angeles criminal lawyers have a combined 75 years of experience and are knowledgeable on elder abuse laws.
Under California Penal Code Section 368 elder abuse is defined as physical abuse, financial abuse, or any other treatment that results in physical and/or mental pain or suffering towards an elder or a dependent adult.
To be convicted of elder abuse the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant willfully or negligently subjected an elder to unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering or allowed another person to do so; that the conduct occurred under circumstances likely to produce great bodily injury; that defendant knew or should have known that alleged victim was an elder (over 65 years of age).
Elder abuse is considered a wobbler offense, meaning that depending on the circumstances, the crime may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
If convicted of misdemeanor elder abuse, a defendant faces informal probation, a maximum of one year in jail, fines ranging from $6,000 to $10,000, restitution to victim ,and counseling.
If convicted of felony elder abuse, a defendant faces formal probation, two to four years in state prison and an additional seven years if the victim suffered great bodily injury, up to $10,000 in fines, restitution to victim, and counseling.
As defense attorneys, our objective is to avoid these harsh penalties for our clients. We fight aggressively and do whatever we can to get the best possible results. We will assert any and all defenses applicable to our client’s case such as insufficient evidence, mistaken identity, accidental injury, or any other applicable defense.
If you or someone you know is criminal charges, contact a Los Angeles elder abuse attorney at our office to learn how we can defend you in court.
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