Elder Abuse in Nevada
Elder abuse can involve an allegation against a person who as the trust or confidence of an elderly person or who is acting under a guardianship or power of attorney to obtain control through deception, intimidation, undue influence over the money, assets or property of an older person or vulnerable person, with the intention of permanently depriving the older person or vulnerable person of the ownership, use, possession or benefit of those assets.
For an elder abuse case, the charge requires proof of the intentional infliction of pain, injury or mental anguish or intentional deprivation of necessary items, although proof of an intent to violate the law or the actual injury that resulted is not necessarily required.
Under Nevada law, any person who is 60 years or older can be classified under the elder abuse statute. Many cases of abuse against an elderly or disabled adult are also classified as “domestic violence.”
The allegations in these cases can be exaggerated because of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and sudden mood changes. The people most likely to be accused of elder abuse, including a partner, child, or caregiver. Many of these allegations involve an individual residing in long-term care facilities including homes for individual residential care, residential facilities for groups and nursing homes.
Attorneys for Elder Abuse in Las Vegas, Nevada
If you were accused of any form of elder abuse in Las Vegas, Clark County, or the surrounding areas in Nevada, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at .
Cases for "Elder Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation & Isolation" in Nevada are prosecuted under NRS 200.5099. This article, by a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada, at Gallo Law Office explains the prosecution of these cases and important defenses.
Nevada’s Laws Prohibiting Elder Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation
Nevada law prohibits the abuse, neglect, or financially exploit of the elderly. Although these crimes also impact people of any age, the law carries more severe penalties when the victim is elderly. Under NRS 200.5092, Nevada law defines an “elderly person” as a who is 60 years of age or older.
Mandatory reporters of elder abuse must make the report immediately after the event, but no later than 24 hours after there is reason to believe that an elderly person has been abandoned, abused, neglected, exploited, or isolated. Under Nevada law, mandatory reporters include:
- Medical professionals
- Employees of hospitals and home health agencies
- Law enforcement employees
- Mortuary or funeral home employees
- Social workers
- Adult or juvenile probation officers
- Department of Health and Human Services' employees
- Employees of the facilities providing care for older persons
Penalties for Elder Abuse Crimes
A person can be charged with a gross misdemeanor for a first conviction of elder abuse, neglect or isolation in Nevada. The penalties include up to 12 months in jail and / or a $2,000 in fines. The court can also order the defendant to pay restitution to the victim as a part of the sentence.
The penalties are more serious, even for a first conviction of elder abuse, neglect, or isolation if it is also alleged that the elderly victim suffered substantial bodily harm or substantial mental harm. Those crimes can be charged as a category B felony in Nevada.
Elder abuse can also be charged as a category B felony under Nevada law if the person accused as a prior conviction for elder abuse, neglect or isolation.
The penalties for the exploitation of an elderly person depends on the amount of money stolen from the elderly victim.
Defenses to Elder Abuse in Nevada
The most common defenses to elder abuse in Nevada including:
- the allegations are false or exaggerated;
- the person accused of the crime acted in self-defense or defense of another person;
- the injuries were an accident;
- the case involved inadvertent or ignorant acts.
Nevada Definitions Used in Elder Abuse Cases
The term “elder abuse” is defined broadly in Nevada. It includes the willful and unjustified infliction of mental anguish, injury, pain, or the deprivation of food, shelter, services or clothes that are necessary to maintain mental or physical health.
The term “elder neglect” is also defined broadly in Nevada to include the failure of a person to care for an elderly person when that person has a legal or contractual obligations to do so.
The term “elder isolation” is defined as willfully, maliciously and intentionally preventing an elderly person from having contact with another person. These charges are particularly common when the elderly person has limited mobility or is unable to walk.
The term “elder exploitation” is defined as deceptively obtaining control of an elderly person’s assets or depriving that person of their assets by a person having the victim’s trust or power of attorney.
The term “elder abandonment” is defined as a person with a legal duty to take care of or provide services to an elderly person. Abandonment occurs when the caretake deserts the elderly person in an unsafe manner. Abandonment can also occur when the caretaker withdraws necessary assistance.
Nevada Statutory Provisions Addressing Elder Abuse and Neglect
The State of Nevada and the city of Las Vegas has a rapidly growing elder population. Statutes in Nevada that impact elder abuse allegations can include elder abuse violations
- NRS 200.5099(1) and 200.5092(1) Elder abuse and penalty
- NRS 200.5099(1),(6) and NRS 200.5092(1) Elder abuse with substantial bodily harm or death and penalty
- NRS 200.5099(2) and NRS 200.5092(4) Neglect of an older person and penalty
- NRS 200.5099(2)(7) and NRS 200.5092(4) Neglect of an older person that results in substantial bodily harm or death and penalty
- NRS 200.5092(2) NRS 200.5099(3)(a), (b) or (c) - Exploitation of an older person (charging depends on combined value of the money, assets and/or property) and penalty
- NRS 200.5092(3) NRS 200.5099(5) - Isolation of an older person and penalty
- NRS 200.5099 - Conspiracy to commit abuse, exploitation or isolation of an older person and penalty
- NRS 200.50995(1) or (2) - Conspiracy to commit abuse, exploitation or isolation of an older person; first or subsequent offense; penalties
- NRS 193.167 - Sentencing enhancements for certain crimes if victim is 65 years of age or older
Nevada Elder Abuse Prevention Council - The NEAPC has developed a protocol for elder abuse, including domestic violence, neglect, exploitation, and isolation. If the Aging and Disability Services Division Elder Protective Service worker believes that a crime has been committed against an older person, a referral is made to the appropriate law enforcement agency for possible investigation and prosecution.
Nevada Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Unit - The MFCU investigates and prosecutes allegations that a provider of health-care cheats the system by obtaining Medicaid funds through fraudulent means. Providers include anyone who is paid by Medicaid for a health-care service including hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, doctors, or dentists. Under Nevada law, it is a crime for a provider to bill Medicaid for a service that was not actually provided. In most cases, a self-reporting provider will not be prosecuted on criminal fraud charges. The MFCU also investigates instances of patient abuse or neglect that take place in medical facilities as outlined in NRS 228.410 and NRS 449.0151.
Long-Term Care Ombudsmen- The Division of Aging Services Las Vegas, NV created the Nevada’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) under a federal mandate through the Older American’s Act. In Nevada, the Ombudsmen are called “Elder Rights Advocates.” Federal law requires Nevada to have a Long Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program headed by a State Long Term Care Ombudsman. Elder Rights Advocates receive, investigate and attempt to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents who reside in long term care facilities including homes for individual residential care, residential facilities for groups and nursing homes. Elder Rights Advocates work on behalf of the resident and his or her wishes and desires.
City of Las Vegas Senior Citizens Law Project - The mission of SNSLP a the Southern Nevada Senior Law Program is to provide free quality legal assistance and advocacy services to residents of Clark County age 60 and older and to enable them to remain independent while protecting their assets and documenting their end-of-life wishes.
Report Elder Abuse:
- Statewide - (800) 243-3638
- Local law enforcement agency
- In Clark County - Senior Protective Services (702) 455-8672
Abuse and Neglect Crimes in Nevada - Visit the website of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to learn more about the Metro's Abuse/Neglect Detail. The unit focuses on criminal investigations of elder abuse, neglect, isolation, and exploitation. The unit combines the expertise of civilian investigators with that of highly trained commissioned officers. The unit investigates allegations of elder and vulnerable person abuse, neglect and exploitation. Also find advice to the public if they suspect a person 60 years or older is being abused. That advice includes calling to report the abuse as soon as possible but within 24 hours to Senior Protective Services at 486-3545 or a local law enforcement agency.
- Elder and Vulnerable Person Exploitation - Any act taken by a person who has the trust/confidence; guardianship or power of attorney; to obtain control through deception, intimidation, undue influence over the money, assets or property of an older person or vulnerable person, with the intention of permanently depriving the older person or vulnerable person of the ownership, use, possession or benefit of those assets.
- Child Abuse, Neglect and Endangerment - The charge involves an allegation that a person willfully causes a child who is less than 18 years of age to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering as a result of an act of violence, abuse or neglect or to be placed in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering as the result of abuse or neglect.
Attorneys for the Abuse of the Elderly in Las Vegas, Nevada
If you were accused of an act of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation of the elderly in Las Vegas or Clark County, Nevada, or the surrounding areas, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Gallo Law Office. We represent children and other family members when the crime of elder abuse is also charged as a form of domestic violence. We also represent caregivers in these difficult cases.
Call us for a free consultation at 813-250-0500.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 23, 2016.