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Elder Abuse

Are you facing Elder Abuse charges in Los Angeles?

Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 368 anyone who abuses a person who is 65 years or older will be guilty of elder abuse. Abuse is defined as willfully inflicting pain, mental suffering, neglect, or financial exploitation.

Elder Abuse is a “wobbler” offense, which means that the prosecutor has the discretion to charge it as a felony or a misdemeanor. Elder Abuse charges are serious, and a conviction may result substantial prison time. Additionally, Elder Abuse is not always considered domestic violence. This distinction will depend on the relationship of the complaining witness and the accused party.

If you or a loved one has been charged with elder abuse in Los Angeles, or surrounding counties, contact experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at  424 272 1134

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of elder abuse?

Misdemeanor Elder Abuse

CALCRIM 831 lays out the elements that the prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty of misdemeanor elder abuse in California. To be convicted of Elder Abuse under Penal Code Section 368 the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Willfully, or acting with criminal negligence, caused or subjected an elderly person to unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering; AND
  • Your conduct endangered the elderly persons health; AND
  • You knew or reasonably should have known that the person was over 65 years old

Felony Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a “wobbler” offense which means that it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. In order to be convicted of Felony Elder Abuse the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Willfully, or acting with criminal negligence, caused or subjected an elderly person to unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering; AND
  • Your conduct was likely to produce great bodily injury or death; AND
  • You knew or reasonably should have known that the person was over 65 years old

What is the difference between felony elder abuse, and misdemeanor elder abuse?

Felony elder abuse is the same as misdemeanor elder abuse except for the level of harm that the elderly person is exposed to, or experiences. To be convicted of a felony the prosecutor must prove that your conduct was likely to produce great bodily injury or death, opposed to simply endangering the elderly persons health.

Let's take a closer look at how the court defines these elements;


Willfully

A person acts willfully when they do something on purpose. You do not need to know that the act was illegal or even intend that it cause injury to be deemed to have acted willfully.

Elderly Person

An elderly person is any person over 65 years old.

Great Bodily Injury ("GBI")

Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury. It is considered any injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.

Unjustifiable Physical Pain or Mental Suffering

Unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering is any pain or suffering that is excessive or is not reasonably necessary under the circumstances.

Criminal Negligence

Criminal negligence is more than ordinary carelessness, lack of attention or a lapse in judgment. Criminal negligence occurs when:

  • You act in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or bodily injury,
  • Your actions amount to a disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of you actions; AND
  • A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would likely result in harm to others.

* It is important to note that, unless you had a legal duty to act, you cannot be charged with elder abuse due to criminal negligence *

How can I defend myself against Elder Abuse Charges?

Being charged with elder abuse can be shocking and comes with a harsh stigma. A skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help you defend yourself, and protect your reputation and freedom. Some of the most common legal defenses to a elder abuse charge are that;

  • The injuries to the elderly individual were caused by something else
  • You were falsely accused
  • You did not act willfully, and the incident was an accident

Just because you have been accused of, or charged with elder abuse does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at 424 272 1134 to discuss how to best defend your case.

What are the Penalties for Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is a “wobbler” offense, which means that the prosecutor can charge it as a felony or a misdemeanor. The prosecutor will consider the specific facts of the case, and your criminal history in making this determination.

A Misdemeanor Elder Abuse conviction may result in;

  • up to one year in county jail,
  • a $6,000 fine, and/or
  • misdemeanor probation

A Felony Elder Abuse conviction may result in up to;

  • 2, 3, or 4 years in California state prison,
  • a $10,000 fine, and/or
  • felony probation

Additional Penalties

If the victim actually suffers great bodily injury you face an additional 3 years in prison if they are under 70 years old, and 5 years if they are over 70 years old.

If felony or misdemeanor probation is granted a protective order will be issued for the duration of your probation, preventing you from having contact or communication the victim.

You will be required to complete extensive counseling, as part of your probation terms.

Lastly, a conviction may also have adverse immigration consequences.

Contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer miles booth

Facing elder abuse charges can be overwhelming and frightening. An elder abuse charge, let alone conviction, can have far-reaching consequences. Your housing, future job prospects, and most importantly, immediate freedom are in jeopardy.It is foolish to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side.

As a former prosecutor Miles Booth understands the complexities of these cases and the blueprints for beating, or substantially mitigating the charges. Miles Booth has successfully handled thousands of cases throughout Los Angeles and will use his experience to get you the best outcome possible.

To learn more about your options going forward, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.

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