Being charged with an offense associated with abusing a vulnerable adult could bring about numerous negative consequences. If convicted, you may not only face the burden of being publicly embarrassed, but you may also be sentenced to jail. A jail sentence can ruin your life and affect your personal and professional life. If you have been charged, contact one of our seasoned attorneys at Leifert & Leifert. A Florida vulnerable adult abuse lawyer could help you build a strong defense.
Who Qualifies as a Vulnerable Adult in Florida?
A vulnerable adult is a person over the age of 18, who, by whatever circumstances, cannot seem to take care of themselves. The person could be mentally challenged or have psychological problems. Someone who is hospitalized and unconscious, or non-ambulatory would also be considered a vulnerable adult. Lastly, seniors may also be considered a vulnerable adult. People in these states are highly susceptible to any form of abuse.
Penalties Associated with Vulnerable Adult Abuse
The penalties that someone charged with abusing a vulnerable adult may face would depend upon what the act of abuse was. If the act of abuse was a simple slap across the face because the person is disoriented, that would be one thing.
The penalties associated with abusing a vulnerable would depend upon the act of the abuse itself. The more serious the abuse is, the more severe the punishment would be for the offense. For example, if the abuse occurred while the vulnerable person was in a coma, they could take that into account and punish the offense more severely. If a person were to steal from a vulnerable adult, the Court would also consider that when determining a sentence.
Proving the Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult
To demonstrate that a person should be convicted of criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult, a prosecutor must prove that someone committed an act of violence against a person who is not able to take care of themselves for whatever reason, whether it be physical, mental or emotional. It should also be proved that if it were not for that person’s weakness, challenge, or vulnerability, the abuse would not have happened. If it cannot be proved that an individual intentionally tried to harm a vulnerable adult, the case may end up getting dismissed.
Examples of Vulnerable Adult Abuse
An example of vulnerable adult abuse would be striking or hitting the vulnerable adult. Non-consensual sex is also a common form of abuse. A person causing this type of abuse could also be arrested for other criminal charges as well. Abuse does not have to be physical as many vulnerable adults suffer psychological trauma as well. If you have been charged with this offense, it may be in your best interest to contact a Florida vulnerable adult abuse lawyer immediately.
Call a Florida Vulnerable Adult Abuse Attorney
A person charged with abusing a vulnerable adult should contact a Florida domestic violence Lawyer the minute they are accused of causing any harm, damage, violence, or financial damage to a person. As soon as they are contacted by law enforcement, a family member, or some type of administrative body such as the Department of Children and Families, then it is time to talk to one of our trusted attorneys at Leifert & Leifert for legal assistance.