Defenses Against Elder Abuse Charges in Orange County CAElder abuse in California can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and economic abuse. Neglect and abuse are also considered to be forms of elder abuse. Because the elderly are so vulnerable to abuse, the state of California has passed special laws to protect its senior population. Depending on the circumstances, a person arrested for elder abuse in Orange County, CA could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges.

Penalties for Being Convicted of Elder Abuse in California

A conviction for misdemeanor elder abuse charges could get you up to one year in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines. A felony conviction could get you 2-4 years in state prison and up to $10,000 in fines. For either, you could also be ordered to attend a court-ordered program and/or make restitution to the victims. If great bodily injury or death occurred, the charges and penalties could be enhanced. For instance, if the victim died as a result of the abuse, you could be charged with murder.

As you can see, a conviction for elder abuse has serious consequences. So how do you defend yourself if you’ve been unjustly charged with elder abuse in California?

What the State Must Prove to Get a Conviction

In order to be convicted of elder abuse in California, the state must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  • You intentionally subject an elder or dependent adult to physical pain or mental suffering or allowed another to do so.
  • You knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was aged 65 or older
  • You had a legal obligation or duty to care for the victim
  • You exhibited behavior that was likely to inflict great bodily harm or death or conducted yourself in a way that endangered the health of the elder

Possible Defense Strategies

Depending on the details in your case, there may be many defense strategies available to you:

  • There was no willful intent in your actions
  • The victim was under the age of 65 at the time the offense took place
  • You didn’t know the victim was over the age of 65
  • Your actions weren’t negligent
  • The accusations against you are false
  • Self-defense
  • Insufficient or inadmissible evidence
  • The victim is unable to remember the events clearly

It’s important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. They’ll be able to examine the state’s evidence against you and spot any flaws in their case. An effective defense strategy could result in reduced or even dismissed charges.

Orange County CA Elder Abuse Attorney Jim Tanizaki is Here to Protect Your Rights

Have you been charged with elder abuse in Orange County, CA? In addition to jail time and fines, a conviction could remain on your permanent record, making it hard for you to find a job, get a loan, or attend the school of your choice. You need experienced legal help.

Jim Tanizaki is a former Orange County DA turned criminal defense lawyer. His unique background and experience give him a perspective that few attorneys possess. He knows how the state is going to try to get its conviction and how to effectively counter the charges against his clients. He’ll fight to get the best outcome in your case.

Call the law office of Orange County, CA elder abuse attorney Jim Tanizaki at (714) 655-7633 or contact us through our website to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.