Elder Abuse

Under Florida Statute § 825.102(1), abuse of an elderly person can include:

  • active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or psychological injury to an elderly person;
  • an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or psychological injury to an elderly person; or
  • intentional infliction of physical or psychological injury upon an elderly person.

Under Florida Statute § 415.1034(1)(a)5, some types of professionals are required to report incidents of suspected "elder abuse" including any state, county, or municipal criminal justice employee or law enforcement officer who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited shall immediately report such knowledge or suspicion to the central abuse hotline. 

In Broward County, FL, injunctive relief for elder abuse can be granted through an Order for Protection Against Domestic Violence when the petitioner and respondent must be family or household members as explained in § 741.30(1)(e). When the abuse involves non-relative caregivers a petition for an Order for Protection Against Repeat Violence when there are two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.

These petitions can be filed at the main courthouse in Fort Lauderdale or the regional courthouse in Plantation, FL.

Attorney for Elder Abuse in Fort Lauderdale, FL

The attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm are experienced in fighting accusations of elder abuse including a petition for an order of protection or a criminal charge. We can help you understand the accusations against you and the best ways to mount an aggressive defense.

Contact us by calling (954) 500-5555 to schedule an office visit or telephone conference.

When Does Elder Abuse Occur in Florida?

As explained in § 825.102(2), aggravated abuse of an elderly person occurs when a person:

  • knowingly or willfully abuses an elderly person and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; 
  • willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages, an elderly person; or
  • commits aggravated battery on an elderly person.

In the State of Florida, the term “elder abuse” is defined in § 825.101(5) as applying to:

  • a person 60 years of age or older;
  • who is suffering from the infirmities of aging as manifested by:
    • advanced age;
    • organic brain damage; or
    • other physical, mental, or emotional dysfunctioning
  • to the extent that the ability of the person to provide adequately for the person’s own care or protection is impaired.

Neglect of an Elderly Person under § 825.102(3)

Neglect of an elderly person is defined in § 825.102(3) to include:

  • A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide an elderly person with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the elderly person’s physical and mental health; or
  • A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect an elderly person from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.

Exploitation of an Elderly Person in Florida

In Florida, the exploitation of an elderly person means:

  • All forms of elder abuse as defined in Chapter 825 are felonies under § 825.102;
  • Knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtaining or using, or endeavoring to obtain or use, an elderly person’s or disabled adult’s funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elderly person under § 825.103(1)(a).

Under § 825.1025(3)(a), lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person include:

  • Lewd or lascivious battery upon an elderly person or disabled person;
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation of an elderly person or disabled person; and
  • Lewd or lascivious exhibition in the presence of an elderly person or disabled person.

The term “caregiver” is defined in §§ 825.101(2) and (6) to mean to include any person who:

  •  has been entrusted with or has assumed responsibility for the care or the property of an elderly person including:
    • relatives
    • court-appointed or voluntary guardians
    • adult household members;
    • neighbors;
    • health care providers; and
    • employees and volunteers of facilities.

This article was last updated on Sunday, November 12, 2017.