Los Angeles Elder Abuse Defense Attorneys
Criminal Defense Lawyers with 50+ Years’ Combined Experience
Elder abuse is tragically common in California and the rest of the U.S. An allegation of elder abuse can lead to very serious charges—including significant jail time. If you or a loved one have been accused of elder abuse in or around Los Angeles, you must receive the assistance of a local criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. The experienced legal team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can protect your rights and, if necessary, defend you if the case goes to trial.
Call (800) 462-7160 now to speak with an experienced Los Angeles elder abuse defense attorney.
Types of Elder Abuse
California law protects elders (individuals 65 and over) and other dependent and/or disabled adults from many types of abuse and neglect under California Welfare and Institutions Code section 15600.
The most common forms of elder abuse include:
- Neglect: Failure to assist with the elderly individual’s personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, shelter, and/or other needs they can’t fulfill themselves.
- Financial abuse: This includes scams, theft, embezzlement, and defrauding the senior’s property through forgery or identity theft.
- Physical abuse: Hitting, pushing, or any other harmful and unwanted contact. Many elder abuse allegations are related to domestic violence.
- Sexual abuse: Non-consensual, forced sexual interaction of any kind with a person 65 or older.
- Emotional abuse: This includes verbal abuse as well as causing mental suffering, such as isolating the elderly person by not allowing them to have contact with others.
In most elder abuse cases in the Los Angeles area, the defendant is either a family member or a caregiver. Caring for an elderly individual is a monumental task that most individuals, especially family members, aren’t properly prepared for, which can lead to grave mistakes.
Perhaps you were tasked with caring for an elderly family member and you become overwhelmed with the obligations involved, causing you to accidentally neglect your loved one’s needs. Or maybe you were accused of elder abuse by the senior’s family or friends who feel excluded from an inheritance. You can also be accused of elder abuse if you didn’t directly cause harm to the elderly individual but allowed for abuse to happen without stopping it.
Regardless of the situation, you may be facing very severe punishments if found guilty of the crime of elder abuse in California.
Elements of Elder Abuse Charges
To convict a defendant in a California elder abuse case, the prosecutor must prove certain elements of your crime.
The prosecution must show the following occurred to prove guilt:
- The victim was at least 65 years old
- You willfully caused the victim pain and/or suffering, or you allowed another person to do so
- Your actions did or could have endangered the health or life of the elderly individual
The law also covers abuse of dependent adults who were under the care of a caretaker.
What Are the Penalties for Elder Abuse in California?
The penalties for the crime of elder abuse depend on whether the charge is considered a felony or a misdemeanor.
- If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in jail, a $6,000 fine, restitution, and informal probation.
- If convicted of a felony, you could face up to four years in prison, a $10,000 fine, counseling, restitution, and formal probation.
Because the circumstances of each incident vary, the charge can go either way, which is commonly known as a “wobbler.” How the prosecutor files charges usually depends on the specific circumstances of the crime (how serious any harm done was) and your criminal history (whether this is a first or repeat offense). Either way, you may face significant jail time, fines, and restitution to the victim.
What Are the Potential Defenses for Elder Abuse?
A skilled and aggressive Los Angeles elder abuse defense attorney at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP will come up with a legal defense strategy based on your specific circumstances and our experience representing clients in similar cases.
Potential legal defense strategies include:
- Accidental injury: Our attorneys can argue the victim’s injury was an accident and that you had no intent to cause harm.
- False allegation: If there is little evidence to support the allegation against you, we may be able to prove that the allegation was false to begin with.
- Self-defense: If an elderly or dependent person becomes physically aggressive towards you, we may be able to prove you had no choice but to use force to defend yourself.
Call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP For Representation
Being charged with elder abuse is a serious crime. Call our experienced team if you are under investigation or have already been arrested for elder or dependent abuse. Our experience can help make a difference in the outcome of your case.
We deeply value innovation and coming up with unique and creative solutions for our clients. The above defenses are merely examples—we will tailor our actual strategy to you and your needs. Our cutting-edge Los Angeles criminal defense team has decades of combined legal experience and a track record of getting our clients reduced sentences, if not their charges dropped entirely. We will do everything we can to stand up for you if you have been accused of elder abuse in California.
“We are blessed to have you for our lawyer and will highly recommend you with your professional and educated advice!”
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