As Georgia’s senior citizen population has increased, and as more and more of them are victims of crimes, Georgia legislature has enacted tough penalties for criminal defendants charged with Elder Abuse.
Most District Attorney’s office in Georgia have designated Elder Abuse prosecutors. If you are charged with Elder Abuse, it is vital that you take the charges seriously and prepare yourself to defend them.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder Abuse can be charged when the victim is 65 years or older. O.C.G.A. 16-5-100(4).
There are 4 specific types of Elder Abuse in Georgia.
- Neglect – When a guardian or other person supervising the welfare of or having immediate charge, control, or custody willfully deprives a disabled adult, elder person, or resident of health care, shelter or necessary sustenance to the extent that the health or well-being of such person is jeopardized. O.C.G.A. 16-5-101(a)
With neglect, the conduct of the defendant has to be willful and not just negligent. If you are charged with Neglect in an Elder Abuse case, it is imperative that you do not make any statements and hire an attorney as soon as possible. The potential punishment for Neglect in an Elder Abuse case is 20 years in prison and a $ 50,000 fine. We have seen an increase each year in the number of prosecutions of Neglect in Elder Abuse cases.
- Exploit – Any person who knowingly and willfully exploits, willfully inflicts physical pain or injury, sexual abuse, mental anguish or unreasonable confinement; or willfully deprives of essential services a disabled adult, elderly person or resident.
Exploitation cases involving elderly citizens compose the majority of the cases. The statute broadly describes ways in which you can be charged with Elder abuse. The potential punishment for Exploiting an Elder is 20 years in prison and a $ 50,000 fine.
- Intimidate – Any person who threatens, intimidates, or attempts to intimidate a disabled person, elder person or resident can be charged with Elder Abuse.
In cases of intimidation, words matter. Prosecutors take these cases very seriously. The potential punishment for a case of intimidation of an elder is 1 year in prison and a $ 5,000 fine.
- Obstruct – Any person who willfully or knowingly obstructs or in any way impedes an investigation conducted pursuant to 5 of Title 30 or Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31.
In cases where you are alleged to have obstructed an investigation, the potential punishment is 1 year in prison and a $ 5,000 fine.
One area that is frequently asked of us is if a person who works at a long-term care facility is subject to prosecution in Elder Abuse cases due to the actions of someone else who works there. The answer is no unless you were a knowing and willful participant to or a conspirator in the abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
Call us today!
If you are charged with Elder Abuse, you need to take it seriously. The prosecutor you are up against likely only handles Elder Abuse cases and the prosecutor will be well prepared.
Please call us at 404-581-0999 or email me at email@example.com anytime for a free consultation.