Elder Abuse Defenses


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As stated in Section 368 of the California Penal Code, charges of elder abuse are serious crimes. These are not just EDACPA civil cases. Anyone accused of this offense should have legal representation of criminal, and civil defense attorneys.

Hence, as a defendant, your legal professional will protect your rights with efficient defense strategies. In some cases of elder abuse and neglect, charges could get dismissed or reduced. But this is only by effectively using one of several elder abuse defenses.

Table of Contents:

The most common defenses that have been successful in cases involving Ehline Law Firm include:

Self Defense as an Absolute Defense to Elder Abuse?

This is correct. An individual is not criminally liable for elder abuse when acting in self-defense. So this includes defending another person. Normally this is a type of situation where an adult over the age of 65 acted physically aggressive and tried to attack you.

  • Usually, the elder already had violent behavior in their medical records. Also, this behavior had to have posed a risk of danger to the person or another person.

For this type of defense to be successful, the defendant must show:

  • There were reasonable conditions to believe the defendant or another individual was at risk of bodily harm.
  • Defendant believed immediate force was necessary to defuse the threat of harm.
  • The defendant did not use more force than necessary to avert the immediate danger.

What About Lack of Criminal Negligence as a Defense?

Elder abuse laws say the accused must have willfully committed the offense. Also, they could be criminally negligent in committing the offense. Plus, the harm must be to an individual in their care or custody.

So this means the defendant must have acted in a manner that created a risk of injury to the victim he or she was caring for. Hence, if the accused’ actions were careless, and not negligent, good defense lawyers may be able to show there was no willful negligence.

  • So the case could be dismissed on a motion, demurrer or summary judgment, as required by law.

What About Lack of Intent as a Defense?

California Penal Code § 368 requires the defendant to do bad things. So he must have willfully acted in a manner resulting in unjustifiable physical pain.

  • As a defense, the defendant must show mental suffering to a victim happened when not respondent’s care or custody.
  • A plaintiff’s lawyer like Ehline Law Firm may be able to demonstrate the victim became harmed while under the care of a manager, agent, or supervisor who is liable to your or another under your care.
  • But again, to get the case thrown out, the defendant must not meet the criteria of intent under the law.

What if a Victim Under the Age of 65?

California law stipulates the victim must be 65 years or older at the time of the alleged elder abuse. So if the victim was not at least 65, the defendant could not get convicted, our found liable for elder abuse.

It is rare to see a defendant charged with this type of offense if the alleged victim was under the age of 65.

  • However, a defendant may still be criminally liable under some other section the California Penal Code. Most of all, this is if the victim was a dependent adult.

But What if the Defendant Unaware Victim was Age 65 or Older?

Under the California Penal Code, the defendant must know the victim was 65 years of age or older. So at the time of the alleged incident, knowledge of age is a factor.

But in some cases, the defense can focus on the fact the defendant did not know the age. So the defense could say the victim had a younger appearance.

Hence, the plaintiff had a lack of knowledge of the age. So if the defendant did not reasonably know the person was at least 65 years of age, he avoids an elder abuse conviction. Ehline Law Firm is an accomplished elder abuse attorney in Orange County, LA and other locations in Southern California.

Their coverage area includes Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles. It runs to San Francisco, San Diego, Ventura, and other places. So our law firm has the local resources to investigate the incident and the commitment to justice.

We will fight to protect your rights. Contact us today. Why not learn what our legal professionals can do to help you? Call your future lawyers now at (213) 596-9642.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

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Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

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