Crimes against at risk elders occur when someone commits criminal negligence, assault, robbery, theft, caretaker neglect, sexual assault, or exploitation upon anyone 70 years or older. The majority of these offenses are felonies. Penalties can include a significant amount of time in prison, as well as steep financial penalties. Because those 70+ are typically more susceptible to neglect and crime, punishments are also more severe than the same offenses against adults ages 18-69. Being accused or charged with any offense where the victim(s) is an at risk elder requires representation from a experienced criminal defense attorney.
Colorado Elder Abuse Statute
C.R.S. 18-6.5-102 and 18-6.5-103 define the conduct of abuse and neglect against at risk elders in Colorado. When someone commits any of the following against an elder (70+) they can face a criminal charge:
- non-accidental bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or death,
- unreasonable confinement or restraint beyond caretaking standards,
- sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact,
- caretaker neglect,
Perhaps the most easily charged element of these offenses is Caretaker Neglect 18-6.5-102(6). So many of us fit the definition of a caretaker in Colorado. It includes those responsible or that assume responsibility for care as a family member, within a legal relationship, or paid care provider. This means that if your elderly mother-in-law is visiting and makes some risky choices while you're at work, you could face a devastating criminal charge. Providing things like adequate food, clothing, shelter, psychological care, physical care, medical care, and supervision are all responsibilities of a caretaker in Colorado.
What is the Punishment for Elder Abuse in Denver?
The consequences for conviction of a crime against at-risk adults vary depending on several factors. The underlying crime itself, whether it was committed knowingly, if the defendant was in a position of trust in relation to the elder, and in some cases the value of the item(s) involved all factor in regarding ramifications. The crimes of negligence, assault, robbery, theft, sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, and also exploitation against an at risk elder are all felony offenses. Consequences can include years to decades in prison, as well as fines in the six figure range. Caretaker Neglect is a class 1 misdemeanor, possibly resulting in 6 – 18 months in jail and fines of $500 – $5,000.
Crimes Against At Risk Elders | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney
Being accused or charged with a crime against at risk elders is serious. Calling an expert defense lawyer as soon as possible is an important step. There are specific details and impactful evidence that need to be carefully analyzed by an attorney with experience defending clients with similar charges. It is especially vital that those accused not speak with police or provide any statements. Exercise your right to remain silent in these situations and also contact a reputable defense attorney for a free consultation. Perhaps you weren't considered a caretaker or an injury occurred as a result of an accident. Nevertheless, we will hear your side of the situation and outline next steps to the best possible outcome.
If you or someone you know is facing a charge of crimes against at risk elders, be smart. Contact the highly rated defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
Photo Credit: Pexels – Matthias Zomer
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