Articles Tagged with elder abuse

Conviction for elder abuse in the state of California comes with serious penalties, including fines, jail time, and reputation damage. If you have been charged with an elder abuse crime, you need an experienced California criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights and mount the strongest defense possible. The purpose of this article is to explain elder abuse charges, and the penalties for conviction.

Elder Abuse May Be Prosecuted as a Misdemeanor or a Felony

California is a large and fast-growing state, and with that comes a large population of senior citizens. With this large number and expanding percentages of seniors in the California population, there are thousands of retirement communities, nursing homes, and other care facilities. It is at these facilities, where elder abuse sometimes occurs. Family members and caregivers are the individuals most commonly charged with elder abuse, and the crime is reported to personally impact over 14% of America’s seniors. The word “elder” itself refers to seniors – specifically, anyone who is sixty-five (65) years or older. The word “abuse” has a wider meaning, and includes more than physical abuse or acts of violence. Under California law, elder abuse may also take the form of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and endangerment, and financial abuse – all heinous crimes. Whether elder abuse is prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor depends on a number of factors, including the defendant’s criminal history and the nature of alleged abuse.

With much of the world’s financial activity transitioned from paper-based to online systems, cyber crimes like fraud often occur in the elder abuse context. California already punishes cyber crime and elder abuse harshly when independent from one another. When the two crimes combine into one enterprise, the penalties for conviction can be especially severe. If you have been charged with the internet-based financial exploitation of a California senior citizen, it is imperative that you contact a skilled California criminal defense attorney. With the state working to convict you, you need to mount the strongest legal defense possible.

Financial Abuse is a Type of Elder Abuse

Elders are a vulnerable and venerated part of our society. Having made it to the age of 65, these senior citizens command respect as they enjoy their golden years. When the happy times of this respected class of citizens are disturbed by criminal conduct, the law takes action. Elder abuse takes on several forms: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, endangerment, and, most relevant to our discussion here, financial abuse. Not every form of elder financial abuse is computer-based. Some forms include ordinary theft, such as taking money or property.  The same is true for the forging of an elder’s signature, or using force or duress to get an elder to sign a will, deed, or power of attorney. However, as more computer-literate generations reach the age of 65, more and more internet-based financial elder abuse occurs, whether through the inducement of elders into financial scams online, or illicitly obtaining an elder’s personal financial information to use for fraudulent online purchases. In other words, personal computers are becoming more and more prevalent in retirement communities every year as an effect of increased computer and online literacy. When internet fraud is perpetrated against an elder, the law is justified in dispensing enhanced punishments – penalties for both the act of fraud, and the perpetration of the act against an elder.