Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly or Disabled

The Law

According to Florida Statutes, the legal phrase “Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult” refers to any of the following:

  1. When an elderly person or disabled adult is intentionally inflicted with a physical or psychological injury
  2. When an elderly person or disabled adult is the target of an intentional act that is expected to inflict physical or psychological injury
  3. When an elderly person or disabled adult is the target of an intentional act that is expected to inflict physical or psychological injury, where this intentional act is actively encouraged by a person other than the person who commits the act. In this case, both individuals are liable to be charged for the crime.

Prosecution

According to a criminal law attorney, when the abuse does not result in either great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability, the perpetrator is charged with a felony of the third degree.

Aggravated Abuse

The Law

According to Florida Statutes, the legal phrase “Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult” refers to any of the following:

  1. When an elderly person or disabled adult is the target of aggravated battery
  2. When an elderly person or disabled adult is the target of malicious punishment, willful torture, and willful and unlawful caging
  3. When an elderly person or disabled adult is willfully or knowingly abused such that in the course or receiving the abuse the elderly person or disabled adult sustains great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability

Prosecution

A perpetration of any variant of this crime will be charged with felony of the first degree.

Penalty

Prison sentence: Maximum of 30 (Thirty) years

Neglect

The Law

According to Florida Statutes, the legal phrase “Neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult” refers to any of the following:

  1. When a caregiver by either failure or omission does not provide care, supervision, and requisite services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of an elderly person or disabled adult: in the form of, but not limited to, nutrition, food, shelter, clothing, supervision, medicine, and medical services in such manner as a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of an elderly person or disabled adult
  2. When a caregiver fails to make a rational effort to protect an elderly person or disabled adult from exploitation, abuse, or neglect by another person

This crime may be based on a single incident or omission or on repeated conduct that culminates in or could rationally be expected to culminate in:

  • Serious physical or psychological injury; or
  • Substantial risk of death; to an elderly person or disabled adult

Prosecution

The charge a perpetrator of this crime is prosecuted with depends on if his/her neglect led to great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability.

  • If it does, the charge is felony of the second degree
  • If it does not, the charge is felony of the third degree

Adult With Developmental Disability

Abuse

The Law

Under Florida Law, “Abuse” refers to any act threatened or willfully committed by a caregiver, relative, or household member, which is likely to result in or directly results in significant impairment of the physical, emotional, or mental health of a vulnerable individual. Omissions and acts both fall within the perimeter of abuse.

Neglect

The Law

Under Florida Law, “Neglect” is implied:

  1. When a caregiver by either failure or omission does not provide care, supervision, and requisite services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of a vulnerable adult: in the form of, but not limited to, nutrition, food, shelter, clothing, supervision, medicine, and medical services in such manner as a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of a vulnerable adult
  2. When a caregiver fails to make a rational effort to protect a vulnerable adult from exploitation, abuse, or neglect by another person

This crime may be based on a single incident or omission or on repeated conduct that culminates in or could rationally be expected to culminate in:

  • Serious physical or psychological injury; or
  • Substantial risk of death; to a vulnerable adult

Sexual Misconduct

The Law

The Florida Sexual Misconduct Law stipulates that the term “sexual misconduct” in the case of an individual with a developmental disability refers to any sexual activity or act of a sexual nature involving a service provider and an individual with a developmental disability.

Prosecution

The service provider who engaged in the activity will be prosecuted with the charge of felony of the second degree.

When an individual has knowledge of the crime or suspects that the crime has been committed and fails to report it, he/she will be charged with misdemeanor of the first degree.

Invalid Defense

The defendant may not push as a valid defense that the recipient of the service with which the defendant engaged in sexual activity gave his/her content.

Broward Criminal Lawyer

Broward criminal lawyer, Kenneth Padowitz, aggressively defends those accused of crimes against the elderly or disabled. Fort Lauderdale’s leading criminal defense attorney has repertoire of defenses for accusations such as these, that is individually tailored to the wants and needs of his clients, and the circumstances of the case. Contact Kenneth Padowitz today for a free consultation to discuss this important matter.