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How Neglect Can Lead to Elder Abuse Charges

December 6, 2017

The neglect or endangerment must be willful to be criminal

How Neglect Can Lead to Elder Abuse Charges

The state of California considers elder abuse to be a serious crime, punishable as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case. When it is prosecuted as a felony, a defendant can be sentenced to between two and four years in state prison. A misdemeanor charge can lead to up to one year in county jail.

Elder abuse includes a variety of crimes in California that are directed at anyone who is 65 years or older. These crimes include physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or endangerment, and/or financial exploitation. According to an experienced elder abuse attorney in Los Angeles, CA, in order to be charged with elder abuse for neglect or endangerment, the person must have acted willfully. In other words, he or she must have purposefully placed the elder or dependent adult in a situation where his or her health or safety is endangered.

Neglect can take a variety of forms when it comes to elder abuse. One type may be refusing to provide necessary care, such as a family member or caretaker who knows that the elder that they are taking care of needs to have an adult diaper changed, and purposefully refuses to change it because he or she is angry at the elder, or simply because he or she doesn’t want to do it. Or perhaps the caretaker in question is not giving an elder necessary medication, either because he or she is taking it himself, or simply because the person doesn’t want to do it. The key is that the neglect must be willful — that means that it is deliberate or purposeful.

Because a charge of neglect requires a showing that the conduct was willful, a skilled elder abuse attorney in Los Angeles, CA can mount a strong defense to the charge. For example, it is entirely possible that the alleged neglect or endangerment was accidental or merely negligent rather than willful. For example, if a person was tired from working an overnight shift and simply forgot to give a dose of medication, or got confused about what medication to give, that would not be a case of elder abuse, because it was not willful neglect or endangerment — it was simply a mistake. A caretaker may also just be inexperienced, particularly if he or she is a family member rather than a medical professional. In those situations, any neglect might be a result of the caretaker not understanding what he or she should do, rather than willful conduct. By consulting with an elder abuse attorney in Los Angeles, CA, you can develop a strong factual defense to a change of neglect or endangerment.

If you have been charged with elder abuse, you will need a seasoned elder abuse attorney in Los Angeles, CA. The Chambers Law Firm will zealously defend you against all charges, and will work hard to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome based on the facts of your case. Contact us today at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com to schedule a free initial consultation.

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