Have you Been Charged with Exploitation and Intimidation of Disabled Adults or Elder Persons in Georgia?
Disabled adults and elder person need a lot of attention and help as they get older. With their increasing needs, the chances of elder adults getting taken advantage of also increases. That is why Georgia has numerous laws related to senior citizens to try and make sure they are protected. However, there are situations where residents get confused and accidentally accuse the wrong person or are mistaken about the facts. Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys understand the complexities that coincide with elder law cases and are here to help you. A charge is not the same as a conviction so let us assist you from the very beginning.
Georgia law O.C.G.A. §16-5-102 outlines the exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults and elder persons.
There are a couple of ways in which a person can violate this statute:
- Knowingly and willfully exploiting a disabled adult, elder person, or resident;
- Willfully inflicting physical pain, physical injury, sexual abuse, mental anguish, or unreasonable confinement upon a disabled adult, elder person, or resident;
- Willfully depriving a disabled adult, elder person, or resident of essential services. O.C.G.A. §16-5-102(a)
Another way a suspect can violate the statute is by threatening, intimidating, or attempting to intimidate a disabled adult or elder person who is the subject of an investigation. It is also a crime to knowingly and willfully obstruct or in any way impede an investigation. O.C.G.A. §16-5-102(b)-(c).
What Has to be Proven to be Convicted?
To be convicted of exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults or elder person in Georgia, the State must demonstrate that the suspect is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This involves showing that they intended to commit the crime.
Penalty for Violating O.C.G.A. §16-5-102
A person convicted of exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, elder persons or residents will be guilty of a felony and will be sentenced to prison between one and twenty years or a fine of no more than $50,000.00, or both prison and a fine.
If the suspect is guilty of violating O.C.G.A. §16-5-102(b) or (c), then the crime is treated as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
Georgia Defenses to Exploiting and Intimidating Disabled Adults, Elder Persons, or Residents
Lack of Intent: There must be evidence that the defendant knowingly and willfully exploited, inflicted physical pain, or deprived them of essential services. If the suspect was following orders or did not intentionally do these actions, then that is a valid defense.
Wrong person: There are occasions where an elder person or disabled adult may accuse the wrong person of committing the crime. Any evidence that demonstrates who actually was the wrongdoer or an alibi would be greatly beneficial to support this claim.
Exploitation and intimidation of elder persons or disabled adults carry significant penalties in Georgia. It is vital for you to retain experienced representation to assist you with your case. The Office of Lawson and Berry has over 21 years of experience in criminal law and is ready to help you with your case. Don't wait; contact us today for a free case evaluation.