Under California’s elder abuse statute, Penal Code § 368(b)(1), any person who knows or reasonably should know that a person is an elder or dependent adult and who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any elder or dependent adult to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any elder or dependent adult, willfully causes or permits the person or health of the elder or dependent adult to be injured, or willfully causes or permits the elder or dependent adult to be placed in a situation in which his or her person or health is endangered is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not to exceed six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years.
Section 368 of the Penal Code defines “elder” as any person who is over 65 years of age. A “dependent adult” is any person between the ages of 18 and 64, who has physical or mental limitations which restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights, including, but not limited to, persons who have physical or developmental disabilities or whose physical or mental abilities have diminished because of age, according to the Penal Code.
Elder abuse encompasses physical and emotional abuse, neglect, endangerment, and financial abuse and exploitation. Elder abuse can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case and the defendant’s criminal history.
If you suspect abuse of your elderly loved ones at the hands of a nursing home or other elder care facility, Bay Area Criminal Lawyers, PC, is here to provide you with strong, effective legal representation. We understand that nursing home abuse and neglect is a current and growing problem and we provide you with the support and guidance you need, working to protect the rights of you and your loved ones. We will work to hold nursing home administrators accountable for their negligent actions, so if you live in California and suspect any abuse of your loved ones, contact us immediately.