Elder abuse charges are considered serious offenses as the alleged victim is usually someone who is weak or vulnerable due to their old age. A criminal lawyer with the experience to handle crimes such as these can help ensure that a negligent act is not treated as a criminal act by a prosecutor. There are many kinds of elder abuse such as physical abuse, mental abuse, neglect and financial abuse.
Elder abuse charges stemming from physical abuse may include physical battery, (pushing, punching, or injuring in any way) or even deliberate exposure to a harmful environment (exposing the elderly to severe weather, inappropriate use of medication or unnecessary physical restraint). Elder abuse charges are very broad and for this reason, a good elder abuse lawyer is needed to protect your side of the story.
Mental abuse may lead to accusations or charges of elder abuse as well. Mental abuse may consist of humiliation, insults, threats, or other type of non-physical cruelty. Under some circumstances, psychological abuse and other forms of mental cruelty are treated as serious crimes of elder abuse which can be charged as high level felonies under the circumstances.
Unfortunately those who are responsible for the elderly can be charged with elder abuse for neglect as well. In most other types of cases, neglect alone is not enough to be criminally charged with breaking the law. However, in some circumstances when the elderly are involved, neglect alone may lead to criminal charges. Neglect is any lack of action required to meet the needs of an elderly person. Failing to provide food, clothing, shelter, medication or companionship are all acts of neglect that may lead to criminal charges. Because the protection of the elderly is so important, prosecutors tend to be eager to seek harsh penalties for those accused of elderly abuse. A good criminal lawyer understands this and will fight to prove your innocence.
Elder abuse also includes financial exploitation or misuse of property by fraud, trickery, duress, or force. Often times, an elderly person will allow a loved one or a caretaker to handle their finances, such as their bank accounts, checkbooks, or property. Any theft, fraud, forgery, extortion, and the wrongful use of Power of Attorney can lead to multiple charges, including elder abuse.
With the importance of protecting the elderly, many people are being arrested for elder abuse charges that they did not actually commit. False convictions and exaggerated sentences can arise for those falsely accused of elder abuse and it is important have a strong criminal defense attorney on your side to help ensure this does not happen to you.
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