Officers served an arrest warrant on an employee who works with disabled patients. The defendant is accused of illegally using the victims’ ATM cards to steal cash. Surveillance cameras photographed the defendant illegally using the ATM machine. After her arrest, the defendant provided a written confession to police on four charges of exploiting elderly or disabled persons.
Arrest warrants are issued by judges for many different reasons. Probation may be violated, there may be criminal charges against someone, or an individual did not show up for a court date.
Exploiting Elderly or Disabled Persons
Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult is a Florida Statute that became active in October 2014. Signs this may be happening to the elderly or disabled include when these individuals are asked to sign documents that are not clear to them, bills are not paid even though there are funds to pay them, or money is transferred out of an account with consent from the owner. Checks may be written out for cash for considerable amounts. Cash, valuable possessions, or financial statements may also go missing.
Exploitation can happen in the following instances:
- The person who has the trust and confidence of an elderly or disabled adult knowingly obtains or attempts to obtain any funds, assets, or property. This person will have the intention to deprive the elderly or disabled adult of using or benefiting from the possessions.
- Unauthorized changes are made by the trusted person on wills or other estate documents.
- The trusted person transfers or misuses money from the elderly or disabled adult’s account ( personal, trust fund, or convenience)
- The trusted caregiver of the elderly or disabled adult intentionally neglects them from using their income or assets to maintain themselves and their support.
- The person under a power of attorney breached their fiduciary duty by engaging in any unauthorized sale or transfer of the elderly or disabled adult’s property.
Penalties For Exploiting Elderly or Disabled Persons
The penalty for exploiting elderly or disabled persons will depend on how much was taken from the individual. This includes money, assets, or private possessions.
If the possessions taken are under $10,000 it is considered a third-degree felony. A $5,000 fine, 5-year prison term, and 5 years probation can be imposed.
If the possessions taken is between $10,000 and $50,000 it will be considered a second-degree felony. This is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years probation, and a $10,000 fine.
If the possessions taken exceed $50,000, the crime can be considered a first-degree felony. Up to 30 years in prison can be given to the offender, as well as 30 years probation and a $10,000 fine.
RESULT: With the evidence stacked against the client, the skill of the defense prevailed. The attorney arranged for three out of the four charges to be DROPPED and the Court ruled no formal finding of guilt for the remaining offense resulting in NO CONVICTION!