Elder abuse, also termed elder neglect or elder mistreatment can be defined as a purposeful act or failure to respond that creates a risk of potential damage to an older adult. A person over the age of 60 is considered an elder person or a senior citizen of a society. The elder is mistreated by a caretaker or someone he or she loves and trusts. This article will significantly focus on elder abuse under California’s law, the legal penalties, and legal defenses in Malibu, CA.

Elder Abuse under California’s Law

Under California Penal Code Section 368, elder abuse is defined as the deliberate aggravation or an intentional act of bodily discomfort, physical injury, mental stress, unlawful detention, or the willful deprivation of essential resources of a disabled person or older adult. In Malibu, California, any type of activity that causes stress, agony, injury, or potential damage to the elderly is prohibited.

Elements of Elder Abuse

The prosecutor in Malibu, California, must be able to prove specific elements of the crime to secure a conviction against you. Following are the elements of an elder abuse crime:

  • The purported victim was at least 65 years old.
  • You intentionally caused unreasonable physical or mental distress on the accused person, or you permitted another person to do so or both.
  • Your behavior and actions may have jeopardized the elder’s life or health.

Legal Penalties for Elder Abuse

A lawsuit of elder abuse can be filed as a felony or misdemeanor crime, which is commonly known as a wobbler. The attorney’s decision on how to file criminal charges is typically based on the facts involved in the case and your previous convictions. You might suffer a penalty of up to one year of imprisonment in county jail, a fine of $6,000, restitution, and probation if you are guilty of misdemeanor elder abuse. However, if your criminal charge is based on a felony, you may suffer 4 years of imprisonment in state jail, a fine of $ 10,000, treatment, formal probation, and restitution. If the elderly victim experiences serious physical damage, the legal penalties will be doubled, and you may be subjected to California’s Three Strikes Law.

What are the Legal Defenses?

Depending on the facts and circumstances, the experienced criminal defense attorney from a well-reputed Cochran Firm Law, Los Angeles, California, could offer a range of legal defense strategies and services to defend older people from damage and loss. These are some of them:

  • Unexpected injury – In some cases, our attorneys may be able to efficiently argue that the victim’s injury was caused by an accident.
  • False allegation – There have been cases where accusations of elder abuse have been filed against a false or an innocent person. In these situations, the accused victim intentionally lied or was suffering from physiological or emotional symptoms that indicated neglect or violent assault. Our attorneys may be able to successfully claim that there is a little clue or evidence to support the accusation.
  • Self-defense: Our criminal defense attorneys may be able to demonstrate that you were acting in self-defense or the defense of another individual in some cases. There have been incidents where an elderly or dependent person becomes hostile, physically aggressive, and putting you in danger.


By summing up all counts and with all proven results, it is clear that elder abuse is a serious crime that is strictly prohibited under California Criminal Laws. However, if you believe that you are innocent and have not committed a crime, contact Cochran Firm Law right away for assistance.