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Las Vegas Elder Abuse Defense Lawyers

Trusted Elder Abuse Defense Lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada

Elder abuse is a serious and sensitive issue, and when accused of such a crime, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable and compassionate defense lawyer on your side. At Spartacus Law Firm, we understand the gravity of elder abuse allegations and are committed to providing vigorous and empathetic representation. If you or a loved one is facing elder abuse charges in Las Vegas, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to help. Don’t wait, contact our Las Vegas elder abuse defense lawyers today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the next steps.

Understanding Elder Abuse Laws in Nevada

Elder abuse encompasses a range of harmful behaviors directed at older adults, typically those aged 65 and older. These behaviors can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial, and they often occur in settings where the elderly person is dependent on others for care, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or even their own home with family caregivers.

Types of Elder Abuse Include:

  • Physical Abuse: Inflicting physical pain or injury upon an elderly individual.
  • Emotional Abuse: Causing emotional distress through verbal assaults, threats, or humiliation.
  • Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual sexual contact with an elderly person.
  • Financial Exploitation: Illegally or improperly using an elder’s funds, property, or assets.
  • Neglect: Failing to provide necessary care, leading to harm or distress.

Legal Definition of Elder Abuse in Nevada – NRS 200.5092

In Nevada, elder abuse is defined under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 200.5092. The law outlines various forms of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older persons, and imposes severe penalties for those found guilty. Understanding the specifics of the statute is essential for building a strong defense, and our attorneys at Spartacus Law Firm are well-versed in these legal definitions and nuances.

NRS 200.5092 Definitions. As used in NRS 200.5091 to 200.50995, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. “Abuse” means willful and unjustified:

(a) Infliction of pain, injury or mental anguish on an older person or a vulnerable person; or

(b) Deprivation of food, shelter, clothing or services which are necessary to maintain the physical or mental health of an older person or a vulnerable person.

2. “Exploitation” means any act taken by a person who has the trust and confidence of an older person or a vulnerable person or any use of the power of attorney or guardianship of an older person or a vulnerable person to:

(a) Obtain control, through deception, intimidation or undue influence, over the older person’s or vulnerable person’s money, assets or property with the intention of permanently depriving the older person or vulnerable person of the ownership, use, benefit or possession of his or her money, assets or property; or

(b) Convert money, assets or property of the older person or vulnerable person with the intention of permanently depriving the older person or vulnerable person of the ownership, use, benefit or possession of his or her money, assets or property.

As used in this subsection, “undue influence” does not include the normal influence that one member of a family has over another.

3. “Isolation” means willfully, maliciously and intentionally preventing an older person or a vulnerable person from having contact with another person by:

(a) Intentionally preventing the older person or vulnerable person from receiving visitors, mail or telephone calls, including, without limitation, communicating to a person who comes to visit the older person or vulnerable person or a person who telephones the older person or vulnerable person that the older person or vulnerable person is not present or does not want to meet with or talk to the visitor or caller knowing that the statement is false, contrary to the express wishes of the older person or vulnerable person and intended to prevent the older person or vulnerable person from having contact with the visitor; or

(b) Physically restraining the older person or vulnerable person to prevent the older person or vulnerable person from meeting with a person who comes to visit the older person or vulnerable person.

The term does not include an act intended to protect the property or physical or mental welfare of the older person or vulnerable person or an act performed pursuant to the instructions of a physician of the older person or vulnerable person.

4. “Neglect” means the failure of:

(a) A person who has assumed legal responsibility or a contractual obligation for caring for an older person or a vulnerable person or who has voluntarily assumed responsibility for his or her care to provide food, shelter, clothing or services which are necessary to maintain the physical or mental health of the older person or vulnerable person; or

(b) An older person or a vulnerable person to provide for his or her own needs because of inability to do so.

5. “Older person” means a person who is 60 years of age or older.

6. “Protective services” means services the purpose of which is to prevent and remedy the abuse, neglect, exploitation and isolation of older persons. The services may include investigation, evaluation, counseling, arrangement and referral for other services and assistance.

7. “Vulnerable person” means a person 18 years of age or older who:

(a) Suffers from a condition of physical or mental incapacitation because of a developmental disability, organic brain damage or mental illness; or

(b) Has one or more physical or mental limitations that restrict the ability of the person to perform the normal activities of daily living.

(Added to NRS by 1981, 1334; A 1983, 1359, 1652; 1995, 2250; 1997, 1348; 1999, 3517; 2003, 491; 2005, 1108)

Penalties For Elder Abuse And Neglect In Las Vegas

Penalties for elder abuse and neglect vary based on the specific offenses and any prior convictions for similar crimes. Under Nevada Revised Statute Section 200.5099, a first offense of abuse is classified as a gross misdemeanor. However, repeat offenses can escalate to a Category B felony, which carries a prison sentence ranging from a minimum of two years to a maximum of six years, unless the abusive act warrants a more severe penalty.

A first offense of neglect—whether by failing to provide necessary care or placing a senior in a position of vulnerability to physical or mental suffering—is also considered a gross misdemeanor, as is the first offense of isolating an older person.

When the charges pertain to the exploitation of a senior, the amount of money or assets involved determines the severity of the charges and penalties. If less than $250 is wrongfully obtained or the senior is deprived of less than $250, the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Penalties increase with the value of the assets taken, and if the amount reaches $5,000 or more, the convicted individual faces a prison term of two to 20 years.

The Stigma and Personal Impact

Elder abuse accusations carry a significant stigma that can affect relationships, career opportunities, professional licenses, and overall quality of life. The emotional toll on the accused and their family can be overwhelming, making it essential to address these charges proactively and with the best legal support available. Contact our skilled Las Vegas elder abuse defense lawyers today to learn more about how we can help.

Defending Against Elder Abuse Charges

Initial Consultation

The first step in defending against elder abuse charges is an initial consultation. During this meeting, we will discuss the details of your case, review any evidence, and outline potential defense strategies. This consultation is confidential and aimed at providing you with a clear understanding of your legal options.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

A thorough investigation is crucial for building a strong defense. Our criminal defense legal team will:

  • Collect Evidence: Gather medical records, financial documents, and any other relevant evidence.
  • Interview Witnesses: Speak with caregivers, medical professionals, and anyone else who can provide insight into the allegations.
  • Review Procedures: Examine the protocols and procedures of the facility or caregiving environment to identify any lapses or inconsistencies.

Defense Strategies

Several defense strategies can be employed in elder abuse cases, depending on the specifics of the situation. These may include:

  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that the accused did not intend to cause harm.
  • False Accusations: Providing evidence that the allegations are unfounded or motivated by ulterior motives.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s evidence and highlighting gaps or inconsistencies.
  • Consent: In cases of financial transactions or personal care, showing that the elderly person consented to the actions in question.

Negotiation and Trial

If a case cannot be resolved through negotiation or dismissal, we are prepared to take it to trial. Our attorneys are skilled litigators with extensive courtroom experience. We will present a compelling defense on your behalf, cross-examine witnesses, and aim to achieve the best possible outcome.

Building a Strong Case

Importance of Documentation

Documentation is key in elder abuse defense. Keeping detailed records of interactions, care provided, and any incidents can be invaluable in disproving allegations. Our team will guide you on what documentation is needed and how to obtain it.

Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses can provide crucial testimony in elder abuse cases. Medical experts can speak to the condition and care of the elderly person, while financial experts can address allegations of exploitation. We have a network of reputable experts ready to assist in your defense.

Family and Character Witnesses

Family members and character witnesses can also play a vital role in defending against elder abuse charges. They can provide context to the caregiving relationship, testify to the accused’s character, and offer alternative explanations for any alleged abuse.

Understanding Your Rights

Legal Rights During Investigation

If you are under investigation for elder abuse, it is important to understand your rights:

  • Right to Remain Silent: You are not obligated to answer questions without an attorney present.
  • Right to Legal Representation: You have the right to consult with and be represented by an attorney.
  • Right to a Fair Trial: You are entitled to a fair and impartial trial.

Protecting Your Rights

At Spartacus Law Firm, we are committed to protecting your rights throughout the legal process. From the initial investigation to trial, we will ensure that your rights are upheld and that you receive fair treatment under the law.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do if I Am Accused of Elder Abuse?

If you are accused of elder abuse, it is crucial to seek legal representation immediately. Do not speak to investigators or make any statements without your lawyer present. Your elder abuse defense attorney in Las Vegas will advise you on how to proceed and protect your rights during the investigation.

Can Elder Abuse Charges Be Dropped?

Yes, elder abuse charges can be dropped if there is insufficient evidence or if it is proven that the allegations are unfounded. An experienced defense attorney can help facilitate this process.

How Long Does an Elder Abuse Case Take?

The duration of an elder abuse case can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the legal processes involved. While some cases may be resolved quickly, others may take several months or longer.

Can You Seal Your Record With an Elder Abuse Charge?

If you have been convicted of elder abuse in Nevada, you may be eligible to have your record sealed after a specified period, provided there have been no subsequent arrests. This process removes the arrest, charges, conviction, and sentencing information from background checks for employment, allowing you to answer “No” on applications and in interviews regarding any criminal record.

You can seek to seal the records two years after completing your sentence for a gross misdemeanor, which includes most first-offense elder abuse convictions. For a Category B felony, typically involving a second or subsequent offense or elder abuse that resulted in substantial harm or death, you can seek to seal the records five years after completing your sentence.

Sealing records in Nevada offers significant benefits but is a complex process that usually requires legal assistance. The Spartacus Law is available day or night to help you navigate this process and discuss how they can assist you in sealing your records.

What Are The 5 Categories of Elder Abuse in Nevada?

It encompasses physical or mental abuse, neglect, isolation, abandonment, and financial exploitation. The following is a brief overview of each category:

  1. Physical Abuse: Any form of physical force that results in pain, injury, or impairment.
  2. Mental Abuse: Inflicting emotional distress or anguish through words or actions, causing psychological harm.
  3. Neglect: Failure to provide basic necessities such as food, shelter, or medical care for an elderly person under your care or responsibility.
  4. Isolation: Preventing an elderly person from having contact with family and friends, leading to social isolation and loneliness.
  5. Financial Exploitation: Unauthorized use of an elderly person’s finances or property for personal gain without their knowledge.

Is Forced Isolation a Form of Elder Abuse in Nevada?

Isolation refers to preventing the older person from receiving visitors, mail, or telephone calls. If someone is convicted of elder abuse as a first offense, they will be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If it is their second conviction of elder abuse or a similar crime, they will be charged with a Category B felony and serve a prison term of between two and six years.

What Are the Penalties for Elder Abuse in Nevada?

Penalties for elder abuse in Nevada can include jail or prison time, fines, probation, and a permanent criminal record. The severity of the penalties depends on the nature and extent of the abuse.

Who Are The Mandatory Reporters of Elder Abuse?

Under Nevada law, specific professionals must report suspected elder abuse or neglect as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after becoming aware of it. The report can be made to:

Some of Nevada’s mandatory reporters include:

Intentionally neglecting to report elder abuse is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or fines up to $1,000. Mandatory reporters are protected from lawsuits or prosecution for false reports, provided the report was made in good faith.

Contact Our Las Vegas Elder Abuse Defense Lawyers Now

Facing elder abuse charges can be an overwhelming and distressing experience. At Spartacus Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to help you navigate this challenging time. Our expertise, personalized approach, and commitment to justice make us the ideal choice for defending against elder abuse allegations in Las Vegas.

If you or a loved one are facing elder abuse charges, don’t wait—contact our experienced Las Vegas elder abuse defense lawyers at Spartacus Law Firm today for a confidential consultation. Together, we can build a strong defense and protect your future.

Last Modified: June 20, 2024
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