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(213) 596-9642.

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Date Modified: April 5, 2023

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 from 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.

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

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 acts physically aggressively and tries to attack you. Sometimes aggressors substitute physical abuse for financial abuse, which causes just as much if not more, mental suffering in a Los Angeles elder abuse case.

  • 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. Hence, an elder abuse defense attorney will use this as an excuse to defend against elder abuse charges, such as a misdemeanor elder abuse claim lodged by an elderly person, etc. This is one of the best ways to defend against elder abuse accusations and avoid county jail time or a prison term to stave off great bodily injury charges.
  • Either way, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will make legal defenses, and if you lose, your civil case will suffer. And victims of elder abuse depend on you to protect them, so think about that before you get hostile with the prosecutor and try to handle your case with no lawyer.

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

  • 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’s 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. Hence, there would be zero restitution to the victim who accused the defendant of accused of elder abuse.

What About Lack of Intent as a Defense?

California Penal Code §368 requires the defendant to do bad things that would lead to informal probation or some such charges that could lock them up in our legal system. So he must have willfully acted, resulting in unjustifiable physical pain.

  • As a defense, the defendant must show mental suffering to a victim that happened when not in the 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 you 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 is 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 or found liable for elder abuse.

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

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

But What if the Defendant was 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 was 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 avoided 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 amidst elder abuse allegations.

Here are some breakdowns of basic elder abuse defenses.

Elder abuse is a serious problem that can take many forms, including physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. There are several defenses that can be used in cases of elder abuse, depending on the circumstances of the case.

  1. Lack of Intent: If the accused did not intend to harm the elderly person, this can be used as a defense. For example, if the accused was administering medication and accidentally gave the wrong dosage, resulting in harm to the elderly person, they may argue that they did not intend to cause harm.
  2. Self-Defense: In some cases, the accused may have used physical force to protect themselves from harm caused by the elderly person. This can be used as a defense if it can be proven that the accused was acting in self-defense.
  3. Consent: If the elderly person consented to the actions of the accused, this can be used as a defense. For example, suppose the elderly person gave permission for the accused to manage their finances, and there was no evidence of fraud or deception. In that case, the accused may argue that they were acting with the elderly person’s consent.
  4. Mental Incapacity: If the accused had a mental illness or impairment at the time of the alleged abuse, this can be used as a defense. For example, if the accused had dementia and did not understand the consequences of their actions, this may be used as a defense to their consent to what is now treated as financial abuse. Get it?
  5. False Accusations: In some cases, false accusations of elder abuse may be made. The accused may argue that the accusations are unfounded and that there is no evidence to support them.

It is important to note that elder abuse is a serious crime and should never be tolerated. Anyone who suspects that an elderly person is being abused should report such elder abuse by so-called caregivers to the appropriate authorities immediately. Get these lowlifes investigated and prosecuted.

Get Early Intervention With Help From an Elder Abuse Attorney in Los Angeles

We will fight to protect your rights and obliterate any elder abuse defense when you schedule and receive help from our well-tasked team of legal professionals and other individuals. Contact us today. Why not learn what our legal professionals can do to help you? Don’t let criminal defense attorneys get your felony elder abuse case thrown out as you experience unjustifiable physical pain and suffering. In addition to paying you, the perp should be doing up to one year of county jail or up to four years in a California state prison for their elder abuse.

If you don’t convict this scumbag, it could ruin your civil claims in many situations. Don’t let the prosecutor treat your case as a wobbler. Don’t let yourself suffer further emotional abuse or torment, either. Call your future Los Angeles injury lawyers now at (213) 596-9642 for a confidential consultation about your specific circumstances with elder abuse law as a specific reference point.

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.