California Elder Abuse Attorneys Explain Defenses to PC 368 Charges
When charged with a serious crime such as elder abuse, you need an elder abuse attorney in California that will fight for you using a smart and effective defensive strategy. There are several elder abuse defenses available that could result in a dismissal or reduction of your elder abuse and neglect charge. Here are some successful defenses that a skilled criminal defense attorney can raise on your behalf:
Defense #1: Lack of intent
If the victim was not in your care or custody, California Penal Code section 368 requires that you acted willfully to cause unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering to the victim. Therefore, your elder abuse attorney in California will show that if the injury to the victim was the result of an accident, you did not have the intent required for an elder abuse conviction.
Defense #2: The act was not willful or criminally negligent
If the victim was in your care or custody, elder abuse laws require that you either willfully committed the offense or were criminally negligent in doing so. Criminally negligence means that you must have acted in a way that created a high likelihood of injury to the victim. Therefore, if you were reasonably careful in your actions, your elder abuse attorney in California may be able to show this type of behavior does not amount to elder abuse.
Defense #3: Victim was not at least 65 years old
Under California law, the victim must be 65 years or older at the time of the alleged abuse. It is not uncommon to see charges of elder abuse or neglect brought against our clients for an alleged offense that occurred when the victim was under the age of 65. If the victim was not at least 65 years old at the time of the alleged offense, you cannot be convicted of elder abuse. However, you can still be criminally liable if the victim was a dependent adult, or convicted for other related crimes under the California Penal Code.
Defense #4: Lack of knowledge that victim was 65 years old
In addition, you must know that the victim was at least 65 years old at the time of the alleged offense. The lack of knowledge defense can be brought in cases where the victim appeared younger than he or she actually was and you had no reason to know that the victim was an elder adult. Therefore, if you did not actually or reasonably know that the victim was at least 65 years old, you cannot be convicted of elder abuse.
Defense #5: Self-defense or defense of another
You will not be criminally liable for elder abuse if you were acting in self defense or in defense of another. This defense is typically available in situations where the elder adult engaged in physically aggressive or violent behavior that put you or another at risk. To assert a valid defense claim, you must show:
- It was reasonable to believe that you or another person was in imminent danger of suffering great bodily injury AND
- You believed that immediate force was necessary to avoid the threat AND
- You used no more force than necessary to defend against the threat
Call a Wallin & Klarich elder abuse attorney in California today
If you are looking for an elder abuse defense attorney in Orange County to represent you, Wallin & Klarich can help. With over 40 years of experience and offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, our highly skilled and professional defense attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of your case and passionately argue your side of the story.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 or fill out our intake form for immediate assistance. We will be there when you call.