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When You Are Accused of Domestic Abuse Against the Elderly

By San Diego Attorney on April 15, 2024

a elderly woman in a wheelchair putting both hands in front of her face. In front of her is a clenched fist.

Charges of elder abuse can have serious consequences in California. If convicted, you may be facing significant jail time. Sentence length varies depending on the particular circumstance and how the district attorney chooses to prosecute the cases.

Misdemeanor charges carry up to one year in county jail. In contrast, felony charges can result in state prison sentences of up to 11 years or longer when the victim suffers serious bodily injury.

Conviction for elder abuse may have a disastrous effect on your reputation, and a felony conviction can have a profound impact on your future. It may negatively affect custody decisions and lead to the loss of a professional license, such as those required in healthcare, law, or education.

If you have been charged with elder abuse, it is important to avoid your accuser, not reveal details about the case to friends or on social media, and meet with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

What Is Elder Abuse in San Diego?

Elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts that cause harm or risk of harm to an older adult aged 65 and above. In San Diego, elder abuse can take several forms like the following:

  • Physical abuse involves inflicting pain or injury.
  • Emotional abuse includes actions that cause distress or fear.
  • Sexual abuse against elders includes any non-consensual sexual contact.
  • Financial abuse occurs when someone illegally or improperly uses an elder’s funds or assets.
  • Neglect is when a caregiver fails to provide necessary care.
  • Abandonment results when an elderly person is deserted by the person responsible for providing their care.

Your Criminal Defense Attorney Fights to Protect Your Freedom and Your Reputation

A skilled criminal defense attorney will assess the evidence, challenge weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and work to ensure a fair trial. They can also make legal motions that may get the charges against you dropped.

Specifically, your attorney will review the case details, gather evidence, and craft a strong defense strategy. They will be by your side throughout the legal process, managing pre-trial investigations, collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, negotiating with prosecutors, and representing you in court. Your attorney may also call upon expert witnesses, such as medical professionals, who are pivotal in disproving allegations of abuse.

Avoid Contact with the Accuser

Engaging with the accuser can lead to further complications and might even result in additional charges such as intimidation or harassment. That is why any form of communication, whether direct or indirect, should be avoided. This includes avoiding communication via phone calls, text messages, emails, or third parties.

It is also sensible to stay away from places where the accuser is likely to be present to prevent any chance encounters that could exacerbate the situation.

Your attorney will handle all communication with the accuser and their representatives on your behalf. This ensures that your interactions are professional, documented, and do not jeopardize your defense. The goal is to minimize risks and maintain a position that supports a favorable outcome in your case.

Do Not Talk About the Case on Social Media

Your criminal defense lawyer is the only person with whom you should be discussing your case. Social media platforms can be a minefield for individuals facing elder abuse charges.

Public discourse on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram about your case can inadvertently reveal information that undermines your defense. There is no such thing as a private message on social media. Prosecutors have access to everything you say on these platforms, and any statements made online can be scrutinized and potentially used against you in court.

Contact a Domestic Abuse Lawyer in San Diego for Help

Call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys right away. James N. Dicks has been involved with the criminal justice system in San Diego for over 30 years, and he has helped thousands of defendants by getting the charges against them dismissed or reduced.

James N. Dicks has been selected to receive the Client Choice Award from AVVO seven times, and he is recognized by Super Lawyers for providing our clients with outstanding service.

Call (760) 630-2000 to schedule your free consultation today. Our San Diego domestic abuse lawyer will work to get you a favorable case outcome.

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