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What Are the Defenses for an Elder Abuse Charge in California?

Crime scene tape blocking off a crime scene as a police car's red and blue lights flash in the background.

Elder abuse has become a growing concern in California and throughout the country. While it’s important we do everything we can to protect seniors, many people are facing elder abuse charges when they never intended to harm anyone, especially some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

If you’re facing elder abuse charges, you may be wondering if there are any defense strategies available to help with your case. In this blog post, we’ll discuss several defense strategies that can help those charged with elder abuse fight back.

Defenses for an Elder Abuse Charge in California

Whether you are facing elder abuse charges or you’re a loved one looking to help someone facing these charges, understanding the defense strategies for elder abuse charges in California can be crucial. The following are a few of the most common defense strategies for elder abuse charges in California:

  • Lack of evidence: One of the common defenses for elder abuse charges in California is the lack of evidence. This defense argues that there is no clear evidence that the accused participated in the act. A lack of evidence can arise from insufficient evidence or factual inconsistencies in the prosecution's case. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. So, if they cannot provide enough evidence to prove your guilt, your case may be dismissed.
  • Self-Defense: Self-defense can be used as a defense strategy when the defendant was only trying to protect themselves or another person from the elder's perceived or actual harm. The use of self-defense as a defense strategy often comes into consideration when the elder has been behaving in a volatile or violent manner. If your attorney can prove that you were defending yourself or another person against an elder who was acting irrationally or harmfully, this could provide grounds for defense.
  • Consent: Consent refers to the action of taking reasonable steps to obtain permission or consent from the elder to provide care while protecting their interests. In such situations, the defense argues that the elder had willingly consented to whatever action led to the abuse allegations.
  • Insufficient information: This defense strategy involves providing the court with relevant facts that impact the defendant’s innocence or guilt, such as medical records or witness statements. This would be information that the court had previously been unaware of.
  • Mental Incapacity or Impairment: This type of defense strategy involves proving that the defendant was incapable of understanding the impact of their actions due to a mental deficiency. This defense strategy would require thorough evaluations by physicians, psychologists, and other mental health professionals to provide a diagnosis and test results to support the defendant's case.

We hope the above strategies have provided some guidance for your situation. Remember, it's essential to work with a seasoned criminal defense attorney who has experience defending against elder abuse charges.

If you're dealing with criminal charges for elder abuse in California, don't hesitate to reach out to Appel & Morse at (805) 467-6060 or get in touch with us online today. We offer a free consultation with our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Fresno.

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