Under Penal Code §368 defines Elder Abuse can either be physical abuse or financial exploitation of an elderly person.
What must the prosecution prove to convict someone of Elder Abuse?
In order to be found guilty of Elder Abuse, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:
- Physical Abuse
- The defendant willfully inflicted unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering.
- The defendant willfully caused or permitted the elderly person to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering.
- The defendant, while having care or custody of elderly person willfully caused or permitted his/her person or health to be injured.
- The defendant, while having care or custody of elderly person willfully caused or permitted him/her to be placed in a situation where his/her person or health was endangered.
The defendant inflicted suffering on an elderly person or caused or permitted the elderly person to suffer, injured, or endangered under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death.
The defendant had a legal duty to supervise and control the conduct of the person(s) who caused or inflicted unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on an elderly person but failed to supervise or control that conduct.
The defendant was criminally negligent when he/she caused or permitted the elderly person to suffer, be injured, or endangered.
Financial Fraud or Exploitation
The elderly person is/was an elder dependent adult.
When the defendant acted, he/she knew or reasonably should have known that the person was an elderly dependent adult.
Defenses to Elder Abuse Charges
Defenses of elder abuse depend upon the type of elder abuse you’re being charged with. Facing these kinds of charges is not easy on an emotional or legal level. To fight Elder Abuse charges some of the more common defenses are as follows:
There must be sufficient evidence to convict someone of elder abuse. Your attorney will employ the services of a professional investigator or expert to conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and to examine the validity of prosecutions evidence.
There is a possibility that you are being falsely accused of Elder Abuse. False accusations come from jealous family members or relatives who feel threatened by the close relationship between the caretaker and the elderly adult. In this case, your defense lawyer will employ the services of a professional investigator to interview witnesses and investigate the false evidence on which the prosecution is relying to try to prove your guilt and prepare a highly skilled defense strategy that will protect you against an unjust prosecution.
Elder Abuse, as a felony or a misdemeanor, can result in very serious penalties such as imprisonment in the county jail or state prison. However, your attorney will prepare defense strategies, which can avoid prosecution and mitigate the seriousness of potential punishments. Please don’t try to be your own defense attorney. Contact the San Diego domestic violence legal team today to set up a FREE confidential consultation to protect your freedom and reputation against unjust prosecution!!
Real case. Put under false accusations. Elderly woman, confined to bed, disoriented, had a guardian who coached her to make a sworn statement in a voice recording. I immediately sent my ace investigator to the nursing facility and we conducted a series of questions and answers which conclusively demonstrated that the poor woman did not have the cognitive faculties to make the recorded statement. The Guardian was one of the relatives who wanted the woman’s son to be falsely imprisoned for a crime of elder abuse which he never committed. He never in his life touched his mother in a way other than to show love and affection. A lot of good character statements and our recorded impromptu conversation with the elderly victim which was completely incomprehensible persuaded the elderly division of the DA’s office to reject the case.
In another case, I was hired right away by a very nervous client referred to me. His ex-wife accused him of molesting their three-year-old daughter. The little girl was much too young to give a sustained coherent statement, but I timely advised my client and his entire family that they were under no obligation to speak with the detective assigned to investigate the case. The detective called me and used obscene language, accusing me of obstructing justice, but the truth is that you never have to speak and you should never speak to police investigators unless you have a good attorney by your side. The vast majority of really good attorneys will never even allow their clients to interview with police. In some rare cases, I permit an interview, but only if I’m present to stop the interview at any time to confer with my client and I would only do this on the rare occasion that a detective and his supervisor promised to dismiss the case if my client gave a statement that could be objectively corroborated by other witnesses.
With more than 27 years of experience serving as a legal defense team in Southern California, we pride ourselves in our ability to create successful strategies that will protect your life and freedom.