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.