Elder abuse concerns the physical or financial mistreatment of senior citizens, with the latter act committed for the purpose of financial gain.
What is an Elder Abuse Charge?
Under California Penal Code 368 P.C., Elder Abuse covers a broad range of both physical and financial criminal allegations, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes these charges are justified, but often they are not.
Specifically, certain types of medical professionals (doctors, nurses, physical therapists, etc.), caretakers, as well as other licensed individuals in the social-work or mental-health fields, are required by California law to report any indication of physical abuse they see on persons over the age of 65.
Similarly, many different types of financial transactions that involve elderly persons also too often result in criminal charges in California. The most common types of Elder Abuse charges are as follows:
Elder Abuse charges also frequently involve family members who physically care for elderly relatives, or who manage an elderly relative’s finances. Or criminal charges may result from something as simple as using the credit card of an elderly relative.
In general, if you are legally responsible for financially or physically caring for anyone age 65 or older and you intentionally or unintentionally cause them harm, or negligently allow harm to come to them, then you can be charged and prosecuted for Elder Abuse.
Elder Abuse is a wobbler offense, which means that the prosecutor can charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case and your criminal record.
What are Examples of Elder Abuse?
Examples of situations involving Elder Abuse include the following:
What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove for an Elder Abuse Charge?
To prove that you are guilty of Elder Abuse under California Penal Code 368 P.C., the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements (as required by the Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions CALCRIM 830):
What Happens If I am Convicted of an Elder Abuse Charge?
If you are convicted of Elder Abuse under California Penal Code 368 P.C., you face the following punishment (excluding any sentencing enhancements):
What are My Possible Defenses to an Elder Abuse Charge?
Elder Abuse charges are often highly defensible, even if you did, in fact, commit some type of physical or financial crime against a senior citizen in your care. This is particularly true if the allegations are overstated, which is often the case with jealous or spiteful family members who wish to replace you as the caretaker for their own personal gain.
Or many times, the senior being cared for is simply confused, mentally ill or otherwise mistaken about the alleged abuse. Further, if there was some financial or physical harm suffered, it may have been the result of completely innocent/accidental actions on your part.
Elder Abuse cases can often be resolved in its investigation stage even before criminal charges are actually filed. Specifically, a highly experienced and skilled Los Angeles County Elder Abuse attorney like Ninaz Saffari might be able to convince the investigating detective to not refer the case to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution, or to convince the D.A.’s Office not to file charges if the case has already been referred. These are called Pre-Files, which Ms. Saffari has a great deal of experience in successfully negotiating. See her Case Results.
If you are charged with Elder Abuse, Ms. Saffari will first conduct a thorough investigation, often with the help of her private investigator, to ascertain all relevant facts. Again, if possible, she will attempt to get the charges dismissed either before or shortly after they are filed. If she takes the case to trial, she will often use an expert witness who will argue that the alleged harm never occurred, did not occur to the degree claimed, occurred but was the result of an accident or unintentional conduct, or that the District Attorney has otherwise failed to provide enough evidence to meet the high threshold to prove Elder Abuse.
The following are the possible defenses to an Elder Abuse charge:
What Kind of Elder Abuse Charges Has Ninaz Saffari Defended?
Since 2005, Ninaz Saffari has successfully represented many clients against Elder Abuse charges, including both felonies and misdemeanors, as well as both physical and financial abuse cases. Some of her successfully defended clients faced many years in prison, as well the loss of professional licenses. See her Case Results.--
If you or a loved one are currently being investigated or prosecuted for this crime, it is critical that you immediately hire a highly skilled, aggressive and experienced Los Angeles County Elder Abuse criminal defense attorney like Ninaz Saffari. Contact the Saffari Law Firm, P.C. now for a free telephone consultation. If Ms. Saffari believes she can help you, she will immediately schedule a free in-person meeting or, if you are in custody, she will visit you in jail (again, for free and with no obligation to hire her).
Representing All Of Los Angeles County including:
Downtown Criminal Courts Building
Van Nuys Courthouse
San Fernando Courthouse
Long Beach Courthouse