Contact Us Now: (951) 686-3457

All Felonies And
Misdemeanors Handled​


Criminal Defense Attorney in Riverside CA Gregory H. Comings

Elder Abuse or Neglect / Elder Crimes

Have you been accused of elder abuse, neglect, or any other elder crime? If you have been charged with elder abuse, know it is considered a severe crime, and you immediately need solid legal representation.

Contact us today if you need to speak to a Riverside criminal defense lawyer.

If you’ve been accused of abusing an older person, you may already be anxious about what may come next. This type of crime is multifaceted, but if you have solid legal representation, your criminal lawyer can help you get ready, and you will walk that road together.

Elder abuse encompasses various forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglectful mistreatment. Physical abuse involves inflicting pain or injury through hitting, pushing, or restraining.

Emotional abuse includes verbal assaults, humiliation, and isolation, leading to psychological distress.

Sexual abuse involves any non-consensual sexual contact with an older adult. Financial abuse is the unauthorized use or exploitation of an older person’s resources, assets, or property. Neglect occurs when caregivers fail to provide adequate care, resulting in harm or endangerment.

What Are Forms of Elder Abuse?

Physical Abuse:

  •       Hitting, kicking, or slapping an older adult.
  •       Restraining an older adult against their will.
  •       Force-feeding or withholding necessary medication.


Emotional or Psychological Abuse:

  •       Humiliating or ridiculing an older adult.
  •       Ignoring or isolating them from social activities.
  •       Threatening or intimidating behaviors.


Financial Abuse:

  •       Misusing an elder’s funds or assets without their consent.
  •       Coercing or manipulating an older adult to change their will or grant power of attorney.
  •       Stealing money or possessions from an elderly person.


Sexual Abuse:

  •       Engaging in any unwanted sexual activity with an elderly person without their consent.
  •       Forcing an older adult to view or participate in explicit sexual material.



  •       Failing to provide adequate food, clothing, or shelter.
  •       Ignoring an elder’s medical needs or denying them necessary healthcare.
  •       Abandoning or deserting an elderly person without assistance.


The Gravity of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse has devastating consequences for older adults, affecting their physical and mental health, as well as their overall well-being. Victims of abuse often experience deteriorating physical conditions, chronic pain, and increased vulnerability to illnesses.

The emotional toll can lead to depression, anxiety, and a loss of trust in others. Moreover, the financial exploitation of older adults can result in significant financial losses, leaving them impoverished and dependent on others for their basic needs.

What is the Impact of Elderly Abuse? ?

The impact of elder abuse extends beyond the individual victims. It burdens society considerably, including increased healthcare costs, the strain on social services, and the erosion of trust in caregiving institutions.

Furthermore, the emotional toll on families and communities affected by elder abuse cannot be underestimated. Addressing this issue is not only a matter of protecting the rights and well-being of older adults but also a responsibility toward building a compassionate and inclusive society. Recognizing the urgency of protecting older adults from abuse, many countries have enacted laws and established legal frameworks to combat elder abuse.

What is Role of Law in Elder Abuse? ?


Elder abuse law penalizes acts of elder abuse, ensuring that perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions. This includes physical assault, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.

Reporting and Investigation

Laws often require professionals, such as healthcare providers and social workers, to report suspected cases of elder abuse to the appropriate authorities. This enables timely intervention and investigation to protect victims and gather evidence against perpetrators.

Protective Measures

Legal frameworks empower courts and law enforcement to issue restraining orders, seize assets, and provide protective services to safeguard older adults from further harm. These measures may include temporary or permanent relocation to safe environments, access to counseling, or financial restitution.

Long-Term Care Regulations

Laws also regulate long-term care facilities, establishing standards of care, staff training requirements, and oversight and inspections mechanisms. These regulations aim to prevent abuse and neglect within institutional settings.

Furthermore, the emotional toll on families and communities affected by elder abuse cannot be underestimated. Addressing this issue is not only a matter of protecting the rights and well-being of older adults but also a responsibility toward building a compassionate and inclusive society. Recognizing the urgency of protecting older adults from abuse, many countries have enacted laws and established legal frameworks to combat elder abuse.

What is the Legal Process If You Are Charged with Elder Abuse? ?

Presumption of Innocence

In the United States, individuals charged with elder abuse are afforded the fundamental principle of “presumption of innocence.” This principle ensures that the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It places the burden of proof on the prosecution to provide substantial evidence of guilt.

Legal Representation

One of the critical steps to navigating the legal process is to secure competent legal representation. Hiring an experienced attorney specializing in elder abuse cases can significantly impact the outcome of your case. A skilled lawyer will assess the evidence, protect your rights, and guide you through complex legal procedures.

Due Process

The accused has the right to due process, guaranteeing fair treatment under the law. This includes the right to a timely and public trial, the right to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and present a defense. Due process ensures that the legal system operates fairly, impartially, and transparently.

Evidence Challenge and Defense Strategies:

Your attorney will work to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution. They will investigate the alleged abuse’s circumstances, scrutinize witness testimonies, and explore any potential inconsistencies or inaccuracies. They may also present alternative explanations or evidence to counter the charges.

Plea Bargaining

In some cases, a plea bargain may be an option. This involves negotiating with the prosecution to reduce the charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. The decision to accept a plea bargain should be made in consultation with your attorney, considering the strength of the evidence and potential consequences of going to trial.

Trial and Acquittal

If the case proceeds to trial, your attorney will present a defense strategy aimed at disproving the prosecution’s case beyond a reasonable doubt. This may involve presenting witnesses, expert testimony, or challenging the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence. A successful defense can result in an acquittal, where the accused is found not guilty of the charges.

Appeals Process

If convicted, the defense can appeal the decision to a higher court. The appeals process allows for a review of the trial proceedings, seeking errors in the application of the law, or constitutional violations. A successful appeal can result in a new trial or a modification of the sentence.

Alternative Sentencing and Rehabilitation

In some cases, the court may consider alternative sentencing options, such as probation, counseling, or community service. These options focus on rehabilitation rather than incarceration, particularly if the accused does not pose an ongoing threat to the elderly.

What is California Penal Code 368 PC? ?

California Penal Code 368 PC is a law that specifically addresses the crime of elder abuse. It protects elderly individuals (usually 65 or older) from various forms of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. Here is an easily readable summary of the critical points of the law:

Definition: The law defines elder abuse as any physical, emotional, financial, or neglectful mistreatment of a person aged 65 or older.

Forms of Abuse: It covers a wide range of abusive behaviors such as physical harm, emotional distress, financial exploitation, sexual abuse, and neglectful acts that endanger the health or well-being of an older adult.

Reporting Obligation: Certain professionals, including healthcare providers, social workers, and law enforcement officers, are legally required to report suspected elder abuse cases to the appropriate authorities.

Criminal Offense: Committing elder abuse is a criminal offense in California. Anyone found guilty of this crime can face significant penalties, including fines, imprisonment, or both, depending on the severity and circumstances of the abuse.

Aggravating Factors: The law recognizes aggravating factors that can result in enhanced penalties. These factors include causing great bodily harm, committing abuse with a deadly weapon, or having a prior conviction for elder abuse.

Mandated Reporting: California law also requires specific individuals, known as mandated reporters, to report suspected elder abuse cases. This includes healthcare professionals, clergy members, financial institution employees, and others who have regular contact with elderly individuals.

The California Penal Code 368 PC aims to protect vulnerable elderly individuals from harm, ensuring their safety, dignity, and well-being. It serves as a legal framework to hold perpetrators accountable for their abusive actions and encourages reporting to prevent further instances of elder abuse.

What Are the Penalties For Committing Elder Abuse Under California Penal Code 368 PC? ?

Under California Penal Code 368 PC, the penalties for committing elder abuse can vary depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense. Generally, elder abuse can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Here are the potential penalties:

Misdemeanor Elder Abuse:

  •       A misdemeanor conviction can result in up to one year in county jail.
  •       A fine of up to $6,000 may be imposed.

Felony Elder Abuse:

  •       If the abuse involves certain aggravating factors, it can be charged as a felony offense.
  •       Felony elder abuse convictions can lead to imprisonment in county jail for two, three, or four years.
  •       In some instances where the abuse causes significant bodily injury or death, the penalties can be increased to five, seven, or nine years in state prison.

Additional Penalties and Consequences:

  •       If the defendant has a prior conviction for elder abuse, the penalties can be enhanced, resulting in harsher sentencing.
  •       Restitution: The court may order the defendant to pay restitution to compensate the victim for any financial losses or medical expenses incurred due to the abuse.
  •       Probation: In some cases, the court may impose probation instead of imprisonment, requiring the defendant to comply with specific conditions, such as attending counseling or staying away from the victim.

If you find yourself facing charges of elder abuse, elder neglect, or any related elder crimes, remember to exercise your right to remain silent. Refrain from discussing your case unless you are in the presence of a Riverside Elder Abuse Defense Attorney, and do not sign any written statements without their approval.

The Law Office of Gregory H. Comings has experience in successfully defending against charges of elder abuse. Our firm is well-versed in the relevant California laws that pertain to your specific situation, and we are ready to advocate for your legal rights. Our track record includes assisting individuals across Riverside County and San Bernardino County, and we are available to potentially assist you as well. Contact the Law Office of Gregory H. Comings at (951) 686-3457 for reliable and experienced legal advice.



CALL 24/7

(951) 686-3457