Elder abuse is a serious crime. If you’ve recently been charged with elder abuse, you may be worried about your future, especially if you feel the allegations are untrue. Elder abuse is a complex and multi-faceted crime – a Riverside defense lawyer can help you understand the charges and possible defenses may ease your confusion and help you prepare for what comes next.
Penal Code 368 classifies elder abuse as any kind of harm inflicted on someone aged 65 or older. Abuse is much more complex than just hitting someone – in fact, elder abuse can occur in any of the following contexts:
Elder abuse can be a misdemeanor or a felony, which makes it a “wobbler crime” – it can wobble between the two depending on the situation. The prosecution may label it as either, depending on the nature and gravity of the offense, as well as a defendant’s prior criminal history.
Misdemeanor offenses are punishable by fines and/or up to one year in jail. Felony offenses may result in a punishment of up to 4 years in a state prison.
If you have been charged with elder abuse, elder neglect or any related elder crimes, exercise your right to remain silent. The prosecution or arresting officers may try to twist any words you say to use them against you in court. Never speak about the case unless you are in the presence of a elder crimes defense attorney, and never sign any written statements without his or her blessing.
You likely have a complex relationship with the alleged victim if you have been charged with elder abuse, so facing these sorts of charges can be an emotional experience. It is impossible for us to tell you exactly how we would defend your case, because each one has a unique set of circumstances. However, there are some general tactics our Riverside elder abuse lawyer employs in an effort to get your charges reduced or dismissed:
If all three of these elements do not exist, you cannot be found guilty of elder abuse. If, for example, an injury was the result of an accident, the act of abuse did not occur.
If you’ve been charged with elder abuse, the most important thing you can do is to remain silent. Do not sign any statements or answer any questions until your Riverside elder abuse attorney arrives. Many people speak out because they feel they’ve done nothing wrong, only to have the police or a prosecutor interpret what they’ve said in a way they didn’t intend or expect.
If you are facing elder abuse charges, the most important thing you can do is to hire the right legal representation. Prosecuting attorneys pursue these types of cases very doggedly. You need a defense attorney willing to fight back and protect your rights. At the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC we will work to defend you with our years of expertise and knowledge. For a free initial consultation, contact our office today for more information.