West Palm Beach Elder Abuse & Exploitation Attorney
In 2014, Florida passed a law clarifying the criminal repercussions of taking advantage of either a disabled individual or an elder. These laws, which can be found in Florida Code 825.103, make it easier for prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against those who commit fraud or other crimes against those who are particularly vulnerable.
Because of the fact that these crimes often spur both public outrage and personal outrage, it’s important to have a criminal defense attorney that will advocate on your behalf. The tendency for prosecutors is to go for the jugular when those in a disadvantaged position are targeted for exploitation. But each of us under the U.S. Constitution deserves a fair trial with an impartial jury. That means not having the book thrown at you for being charged with exploitation. The West Palm Beach elder abuse & exploitation attorneys at Skier Law Firm, P.A. have handled many exploitation cases and ready to help you with yours.
How Florida’s Revised Statute Defines Exploitation
The newest version of the statute focuses on the financial exploitation of the elderly and disabled. It focuses on the criminalizing of abusive tactics that are aimed at using an elderly or disabled person’s financial assets for fraudulent reasons or attempting to defraud them of their assets. This means using them for someone else’s benefit other than that of the elderly or disabled person.
In addition, it targets those who breach fiduciary duties with disabled or elderly clients. This includes misappropriating their money. In some cases, those on social security, disability, or who get money from a trust, have payee whose job it is to see that their money is disbursed for the purpose of managing their daily needs. Anyone who uses that relationship to deprive the disabled or elderly person of their assets can be charged with exploitation.
Who is Liable Under Florida’s Exploitation Statute?
The Florida statute identifies who can be charged with exploitation under the revised statute. They include:
- Any individual who is in a position of trust with an elderly or disabled person
- Any individual who is in a business relationship with an elderly or disabled person
- Any individual who considered a legal guardian of an elderly or disabled person
- Any individual who acts as a trustee for an elderly or disabled person
- Any individual who acts as a caregiver for an elderly or disabled person
Florida Will Sometimes Legally Presume Exploitation
Florida law will assume or presume there was exploitation if person over the age of 64 transfers more than $10,000 worth of property to a non-relative who was known to the elder for less than 2 years. It must also be apparent that the transferor did not receive an equitable value in the transfer.
You Need a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
Exploitation is a serious crime with a variety serious penalties. You need an attorney who can drain the emotional response from the situation and defend you on the merit of the facts presented by the prosecution.
West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Scott Skier has handled both high profile criminal trials and routine DUIs. If you’ve been charged with exploitation, give us a call at 561-820-1508 or contact us online and we can begin preparing your defense to these charges.