Experienced Florida Lawyer Fights Charges of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Orlando attorney offers robust defense to serious criminal charges
Elderly people are often victims of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation — particularly in Florida, where many seniors choose to retire. Florida authorities are aggressive in rooting out people suspected of preying on vulnerable elders. If you find yourself facing such charges, The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. can help. Mr. Yates defends clients accused of various crimes against the elderly and disabled adults, including assault, battery, negligence, theft and fraud. He will challenge the evidence against you and work tirelessly and efficiently for the best possible outcome of your case.
Types of elder abuse and neglect offenses in Florida
Florida law defines abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult as any of the following:
- Intentionally inflicting physical or psychological injury
- Committing an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or psychological injury
- Actively encouraging any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or psychological injury
- Intentionally, and without lawful authority, isolating or restricting access of an elderly person or a disabled adult to family members for any length of time in a way that could cause physical or psychological injury, or with the intention of covering up a crime against the elder or disabled adult
When deliberate abuse does not cause great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement, the offense is a third-degree felony. When the abuse does cause such injuries, the crime is aggravated abuse, a first-degree felony.
Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to provide for the basic needs of the elder or disabled adult or to protect them from being harmed by another person. Willful negligence that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement is a second-degree felony with a potential prison term of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. When willful negligence does not produce serious injury, the offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Financial exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult in Florida
Under Florida law, exploitation means knowingly obtaining or using, or endeavoring to obtain or use, an elderly person's or disabled adult's funds, assets or property in one of these circumstances:
- With the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person or disabled adult of the use, benefit or possession of the funds, assets or property
- To benefit someone other than the elderly person or disabled adult, when the alleged offender (1) stands in a position of trust and confidence with the elderly person or disabled adult or (2) has a business relationship with the elderly person or disabled adult
You would be guilty of this offense if you intentionally stole from an elderly person or a disabled adult or, if you were in a position of trust where you could access assets, you converted those assets to your own use. The latter cases generally involve allegations of fraud or embezzlement.
If the property taken is worth $10,000 or more, but less than $50,000, the offense is a second-degree felony, drawing a prison term of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If the property is worth less than $10,000, the offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Contact a determined criminal law attorney in Orlando for defense to elder abuse crimes
The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. provides aggressive criminal defense representation for clients accused of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation in the Orlando area. For reliable counsel, call the firm at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.