Elder abuse is a growing issue in Orange County. The number of abuse reports increased 46 percent from 2002 to 2012. In 2011, Orange County Adult Protective Services received 7,238 reports of abuse with 72 percent for seniors 65 or older.1 Many years ago, legislators became aware of the prevalence of elder abuse and enacted laws requiring mandated reporters to notify authorities if they suspect abuse to elders.2
Elder abuse is a serious crime, and carries severe consequences. Have you been charged with elder abuse in Newport Beach? If so, you should contact an experienced elder abuse attorney immediately.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is the knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm to a vulnerable adult. In California, elder adults are those that are age 65 or older and disabled adults aged 18-64.3
The National Center of Elder Abuse (NCEA) lists six major categories of elder abuse, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, exploitation, neglect, sexual abuse and abandonment. Here is how the six types of elder abuse are different from each other:
- Physical elder abuse – Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need
- Emotional elder abuse – Inflicting mental pain, anguish or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts
- Sexual elder abuse – Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind coercing an elder to witness sexual behaviors
- Exploitation – The illegal taking, misuse or concealment of funds, property or assets of a vulnerable elder
- Neglect – Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable elder
- Abandonment – The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.4
Can I Get Jail Time for Elder Abuse in Newport Beach?
The California Legislature enacted California Penal Code Section 368 to prevent elder abuse. PC 368 lays out potentially severe consequences as punishment for abuse of the elderly.5
Elder abuse is a wobbler offense, which means the sentencing and punishment for an elder abuse conviction in California depend on whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to 364 days in county jail and can include a fine of up to $6,000. A felony conviction is punishable by up to four years in county jail.6
Whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor depends on many factors, including what type of elder abuse you committed and the facts of your case. Regardless, you face harsh penalties if you are accused of elder abuse, and you should speak to a skilled criminal defense law firm about your case as soon as possible.
Speak to an Orange County Elder Abuse Attorney Today
If you are accused of elder abuse in Orange County, it is important that you speak to an experienced Orange County elder abuse lawyer about your case immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our knowledgeable attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing elder abuse charges for more than 35 years. We’ve helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
When you hire our law firm, we will first do a complete review of your case to determine if your case can be dismissed on legal or factual grounds. If your case can be dismissed, we will aggressively pursue a dismissal for you in your negotiations with the prosecution. If the facts are that you are “technically” guilty of elder abuse, we will work to minimize the consequences in your case.
Our lawyers understand how to resolve your case so you can successfully move on with your life. Let us help you now.
Contact our office today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
1. [ “Elder/Disabled Abuse.” Social Services Agency. <http://ssa.ocgov.com/abuse/elder/>.]↩
2. [“Elder Abuse: The Perfect Storm.” <http://cams.ocgov.com/Web_Publisher/Agenda08_14_2012_files/images/O00112-000914E.PDF>.]↩
3. [“Penal Code Section 368-368.5.” Official California Legislative Information. <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&division=&title=9.&part=1.&chapter=13.&article=>.]↩
4. [“Frequently Asked Questions.” National Center on Elder Abuse. <https://ncea.acl.gov/>.]↩
5. [“Penal Code Section 368-368.5.”]↩