Florida takes elder abuse and elder assault issues very seriously. In fact, anyone convicted of assaulting someone over the age of 65 can face fines of up to $10,000, spend years in prison, and face long periods of probation.
If you have been accused of Florida elder assault, contact an experienced West Palm Beach elder assault lawyer to discuss the charges against you and determine what legal defenses might be available to you. These charges should always be taken seriously and having an experienced assault attorney on your side can make a tremendous difference.
Defining Assault Elder Assault
According to Florida Statute Sec. 784.08, someone can be found guilty of assault on an elder if they:
- Intentionally and unlawfully threatened, by word or act, to do violence to another person
- Had the apparent ability to carry out the threat of harm at the time the threat was made
- Used words or actions that created a well-founded fear in the other person of an imminent act of violence
- The person was over the age of 65
What are the Associated Penalties?
Elder assault is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in ail and paying a $1,000 fine. Those penalties substantially increase if the assault is considered to be aggravated, which generally means that the assault was more threatening or a weapon was used. Aggravated elder assault can result in spending a minimum three years in prison, paying a fine of up to $10,000, and being sentenced to up to 500 hours of community service. A West Palm Beach lawyer could help someone who has been accused of elder assault avoid or minimize the associated penalties.
Potential Defenses for Elder Assault Charges
While the penalties for elder abuse can be severe, it is important to keep in mind that there are also defenses, including whether the elderly person clearly understood what was being said, whether they suffered from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, whether the alleged abuser actually had the ability to carry out the threat of harm, and whether the words used in the alleged incident actually created fear in the victim.
The bottom line is that, while violence of any kind should never be tolerated, there are many circumstances in which words and actions can be misinterpreted. When that is the case, anyone charged with assault on a person over 65 should contact a West Palm Beach elder assault attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a West Palm Beach Elder Assault Attorney
If you have been accused of elder assault or elder abuse of any kind, contact a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney for help today. While Florida takes elder abuse and elder assault issues very seriously, an experienced attorney can review your situation and determine what legal defenses might be available to you and then get you the best possible result.
Your future is too important to risk being convicted of a crime if your actions did not rise to the level of assault, or the alleged victim was confused or misinformed about a particular situation and there may be many defenses to the charges against you. Contact a West Palm Beach elder assault lawyer to explore every one of them and have the peace of mind that someone is advocating for your rights and has your best interests at heart.