When we think about domestic violence, our minds instantly imagine the victims as spouses and children. While this remains largely true, there are other victims that also need utmost attention: the elders.
Due to their vulnerability, elders are even more prone to be violently treated by their relatives. In Nevada, there are a lot of reported cases of these factors. Most often, people who are found guilty of abusing the elderly in a domestic setting will face heavier penalties than when you abuse your kin of other ages. Read more of this blog about elder abuse in Nevada as based from the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) for further information.
What is domestic violence and elder abuse in Nevada?
As we have previously discussed in our recent Nevada Domestic Violence Laws blog, domestic violence is the act of performing physical and mental maltreatment to a person who you are related by marriage and blood (NRS 33.018). These acts of maltreatment include battery, assault, threats, sexual assault, stalking, arson, larceny, unlawful imprisonment, and more.
As stated in the NRS 200.5092, an individual is an elderly if he or she is 60 years of age or older. This chapter provides more details about what constitutes as abuse to the elderly which are infliction of injuries, food deprivation, controlling their money and other assets through the use of force or deception, isolation, and ultimately neglecting them.
What are the penalties for elder abuse in Nevada
An elder abuse in Nevada becomes domestic violence when the perpetrator is a family member of the elderly. Usual scenarios are children hurting their old parents because of being too much of a weight or younger spouses hurting their older partners out of spite.
If you have these characteristics and you are found guilty of the mentioned violations, you will be imposed with these penalties:
First offense is a gross misdemeanor with:
- A year behind bars
- Fines of at least $2,000
If it is a repeat offense or you have been charged with similar charges in the past, you will be charged with category B felony which includes two to six years of term in prison.
Domestic violence cases where the elderly is primarily neglected, isolated, and altogether abandoned to suffer carries also carries a charge of gross misdemeanor that could escalate to a category B felony if there are extreme injuries. If it is exploitation, the penalty is based on the amount of money and assets taken from the senior. You can read more about the penalties as written in Nevada’s elder abuse statutes here.
Reports and investigations of elder abuse in a domestic setting
Just like cases of domestic violence involving other age groups, the state of Nevada is very much focused on putting a stop to elder abuse, particularly those situations where family members are concerned.
Nevada’s Adult Protective Services is a division of the Family Caregiver Alliance that is open to provide care to elders who are abused. They have a hotline that you can call if you are a family or a concerned citizen who thinks a senior is currently being mistreated in the vicinity of his or her own home. Of course there is the official department of the State of Nevada for abused elders, the Aging and Disability Services Division. Once you report suspected elder abuse activities, the division will perform an investigation that is begun within three days after the report, an evaluation, and eventual referral to the law enforcement once an elder abuse is proven.
Only recently, the Nevada Attorney General’s office released a guide on how the law enforcement should approach reports of elder abuse in Nevada in order to effectively protect the victims and to increase the residents’ awareness regarding the issue. This guide is composed of information of elements of abuse and parameters about accessing civil legal remedies.
Due to similar efforts, Nevada was ranked as the second most outstanding State for elder-abuse protection by Wallethub.
Defenses against false accusations of elder abuse in a domestic setting
When you are a close family or a relative of an elderly that also provides the major care, there could be a chance of you being the prime suspect when signs of domestic violence is uncovered. To protect yourself from these false allegations, you can apply these defenses in the court:
- The physical injury found on the elder were obtained from an accident
- The elder was mentally unstable, self-inflicted the wounds, and blamed it on you
- There are no enough or hard evidences to press you on the matter
- You were only acting out of self-defense
Hurting and neglecting the elderly, especially in their supposed sanctuary is more than a crime but a betrayal of humanity their descendants are supposed to offer. When you commit elder abuse in Nevada, know that you yourself suffer if you are found guilty of damaging an elder’s mind and body and it is fitting if you are indeed guilty.
However, if you believe that you are not, you also have more than the right to fight for your innocence. The next best thing to do is to acquire the help of a criminal defense attorney that works in Las Vegas or other distant areas to determine what to do and what to expect according to Nevada’s elder abuse statutes.