What Is Elder Abuse in California?
Under California Penal Code § 368, elder abuse includes:
- Physical abuse can include assault, battery, unlawful restraint, or any act that could cause physical harm or pain.
- Emotional abuse can include assaults, threats, intimidation, or other conduct that can cause mental pain, fear, or distress.
- Neglect involves failing to provide essential care, such as food, hydration, shelter, prescribed medicine, etc.
- Financial exploitation can range from stealing the person's assets, embezzlement, forgery of financial documents, coercing or deceiving the elder into signing documents, or other types of fraud.
To be found guilty, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you inflicted pain, caused or allowed the elder to suffer pain or be injured, or put the elder in danger.
Each of these acts occurred while you had the person in your custody or failed to supervise the conduct of the person who harmed or endangered the elder.
Elder abuse also includes causing the elder great bodily injury or death. Great bodily injury means substantial injuries, such as concussions, fractures, internal injuries, and other physical trauma.
Elder Abuse Penalties in California
Elder abuse crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the type and severity of the offense. Misdemeanors can result in jail time of up to a year, a fine of up to $6,000, and potential restitution.
Felonies can lead to state prison time of up to four years, fines of up to $10,000, and restitution. If the elder suffered great bodily harm, prison time can be extended by an additional seven years.
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Experienced Defense You Can Trust
Just because you have been accused of elder abuse does not mean you will be convicted. Our attorneys at Ernenwein & Mathes are highly skilled in criminal defense, both in court at trial and out of court, through comprehensive investigation and negotiation.
Depending on the facts, our team can argue that you were the subject of false allegations or that the harm or injury was accidental and isolated. We use all available defenses to protect you against a conviction.
Facing accusations of elder abuse can be highly stressful. It is essential to realize that you have rights. Our firm will work tenaciously to protect those rights and help you secure the best possible outcome.
Contact us today at (310) 361-3068 for legal help.