Elder Abuse Law in California

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How Is Elder Abuse Defined in California?

Elder abuse is defined under California statute 15610.07 abuse of an elderly person or a dependent adult. It is defined as neglecting, exploiting, or inflicting painful or harmful mistreatment on a person 65 years old or older. The statute also applies to the mistreatment of anyone 18 to 64 years old who is classified as a dependent individual. It can be committed by anyone, such as a nursing home worker, a family member, or a person providing respite care.

What Actions Does the Statute Count as Abuse?

Elder abuse or the abuse of a dependent person includes the following actions:

How Does California Define Physical Elderly Abuse?

Physical abuse against an elderly person includes:

Is Elder Abuse the Same as Domestic Violence in California?

No. Domestic violence is abuse directed at a spouse, domestic partner, former domestic partner, or family member. However, a case of domestic violence where the victim qualifies as an elderly person or a dependent adult can be treated as elderly abuse.

What Is the Punishment for Elder Abuse?

In California, an elder abuse conviction is treated as a wobbler. A “wobbler” refers to a crime that could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Under CA Penal Code 368, punishment for elder abuse can consist of:

Does California Apply Enhanced Penalties to an Abusing the Elderly Conviction?

Yes. The punishment for a conviction increases if the victim:

Do I Need an Attorney If I Am Charged with Elder Abuse?

Yes. An elder abuse charge is a serious crime, especially since it can result in a felony conviction if you do not properly defend yourself against all criminal charges. A criminal defense attorney will help you fight any charges being brought against you, and will explain the available defense options to you.

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Last Modified: 08-31-2015 02:44 PM PDT

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