Defending against False Allegations of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is considered a serious offense under Texas law. Elder abuse is defined in Section 22.04 of the Texas Penal Code, which are actions that cause serious mental or physical injuries to a disabled person or an adult over the age of 65 committed by an individual or a caregiver of those individuals. Exploitation of these individuals for profit or benefit to the caregivers is also considered a criminal offense in the state of Texas.
The most common forms of elder abuse include the following:
Physical abuse comprises a wide range of offenses that include pinching, biting, hitting, administering inappropriate or dangerous medications, or restraining the elderly individual for prolonged periods or in a dangerous or painful way.
Mental abuse charges can result from threats, insults, humiliation or other verbal assaults against the older adult.
Neglecting the physical, emotional, and medical needs of an elderly person can result in misdemeanor or felony charges in the state of Texas.
Exploitation occurs when the financial or property resources of a senior citizen or disabled person are misused by caregivers or others with access to or control of these resources. Improper use of funds from bank accounts, misappropriation of Social Security checks, and other financial exploitation of senior citizens can lead to criminal charges against the party responsible.
Failing to properly care for the needs of elderly individuals can lead to accusations of elder abuse, especially for older people who are already in poor health. Bruising caused by common medications can sometimes be mistaken for evidence of elder abuse. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can also result in delusional states that can lead to false allegations and accusations from mentally fragile older individuals.
Under the oversight of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the Texas Adult Protective Services (APS) agency looks into allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of elderly individuals and disabled persons. In some cases, APS can help families obtain the services needed to ensure proper care for older people in facilities or the home. Too often, however, APS investigations are used to support prosecutions in cases where no abuse or neglect has occurred or can be proven.
In many cases, elderly individuals may not be reliable sources of information for investigators looking into claims of elder abuse. If you are the target of an investigation by APS or by any other law enforcement agency, it is essential to obtain the services of a Houston criminal defense attorney to defend yourself against any potential allegations. Texas investigation teams are often eager to bring charges in cases of suspected elder abuse because of the increased public attention to this issue in recent years.
Matthew Gallagher has defended numerous clients against false allegations and can provide you with the most effective defense strategies to defend your good name and will relentlessly work to achieve the best outcome for your case. As a licensed Houston criminal defense lawyer, Matthew Gallagher can deliver the legal skills and knowledge you need to fight against any charges you may be facing in a court of law.