New York Elder Abuse Defense Lawyer
Families entrust the care and security of their elderly family members to nurses and other caregivers. If you are taking care of an elderly individual, you have a serious responsibility. Unfortunately, if your charge suffers an injury while under your care, you could face accusations of elder abuse.
Elder abuse is an incredibly serious allegation. Defendants suspected of elder abuse can be dealt serious felony charges under New York law. You could suffer consequences to your professional license and your career, and you might even face jail time.
If you are under suspicion of elder abuse, or if you’ve been arrested for elder abuse in New York State, it’s vital to get a trusted and experienced elder abuse defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible. Call the zealous New York criminal defense lawyers at Dupée & Monroe to help you build your strongest defense and fight to have your charges reduced or dropped entirely.
Elder Abuse in the Second Degree: New York Penal Law § 135.20
Under New York’s Penal Law, elder abuse is referred to as “endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person.” The same section prohibits “endangering the welfare of . . . an incompetent or physically disabled person.”
A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person in the second degree when:
1. As a caregiver to an elderly person,
2. They cause injury to that person,
3. Either intentionally or recklessly.
A caregiver can also be guilty of second-degree elder abuse if:
● They injure an elderly person through criminal negligence by means of a “deadly weapon or dangerous instrument,” or
● They subject the elderly person to sexual contact without consent, including by way of the victim’s incapacity.
Elder Abuse in the First Degree: New York Penal Law § 135.20
A defendant may be charged with endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person in the first degree, a more serious charge, if their actions cause the victim more serious harm. If a caregiver causes “serious physical injury” to an elderly person either intentionally or through recklessness, they can be convicted of first-degree elder abuse.
Penalties for Elder Abuse in New York
Under any circumstances, elder abuse is a serious crime. Even the base-level offense is considered a felony, which can lead to heavy fines and years in prison. The higher-level offense carries even harsher penalties.
Per New York Law, elder abuse is punished as follows:
● Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person in the Second Degree is a Class E felony, punishable by up to $5,000 in fines, five (5) years of probation, and up to four (4) years in prison.
● Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person in the First Degree is a Class D felony, punishable by up to $5,000 in fines, five (5) years of probation, and up to seven (7) years in prison.
Defending Against Elder Abuse Charges
Conviction on either form of elder abuse requires proving that the defendant either intentionally or recklessly hurt the elderly person or exercised criminal negligence and hurt the elderly person by way of a firearm or other deadly weapon. If the elder was simply injured by accident, while the defendant was otherwise trying to take care of the elderly person, then the defendant should not be convicted of a crime. Accidents are not and should not be considered violent crimes.
Talk to an experienced elder abuse defense lawyer to start building your legal defense today. You should not lose your license or go to jail over a simple accident or misunderstanding. Your criminal defense attorney can help you convince the prosecutor, the court, and/or the jury that either some other cause led to the injury, or that you did not act intentionally or recklessly. It’s the prosecution’s job to prove all essential elements of the crime, and your defense attorney can help to point out the weaknesses in the government’s case on each element.
For Help Fighting Your Elder Abuse Charges, Call Our Hudson Valley Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you’re under investigation for elder abuse or you have been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of an elderly person, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C., in Goshen. We represent clients charged with elder abuse, domestic violence, and other serious offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.