The elderly population in the United States is growing at an unprecedented rate. Experts estimate that by the year 2050 older Americans (age 65 and older) will outnumber their younger counterparts (age 21 and under) for the first time in recorded history. The reasons for this are numerous, including advances in medicine and a general improved quality of life in the U.S. Unfortunately, the increased elderly population has also led to a corresponding increase in elderly abuse. If you have been accused of abuse on an elderly person you likely want to know “Will the State of Nebraska prosecute me for battery on an elderly person?”
As a result of the increase in abuse and neglect of the elderly, many states in the U.S., including Nebraska, have passed legislation making it a crime to abuse or neglect an elderly individual. Though “battery” has long been a criminal offense, Nebraska Revised Statute 28-386 addresses “abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult”, stating as follows:
(1) A person commits knowing and intentional abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult if he or she through a knowing and intentional act causes or permits a vulnerable adult to be:
- Physically injured;
- Unreasonably confined;
- Sexually abused;
- Cruelly punished;
- Neglected; or
- Sexually exploited.
Conviction of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult is a Class IIIA felony in the State of Nebraska. If convicted, you face up to five years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
Although people often think of abuse and neglect of the elderly occurring in a nursing home or other long-term care setting, the reality is that family members or other caregivers are frequently the perpetrators of abuse and neglect. Sometimes, however, a family member is wrongly accused. This can be the result of conflict within the family that centers on control of the elderly individual’s finances and/or assets. Sadly, accusations of abuse or neglect are often an easy way to get control of those finances or assets.
Whether you work in a nursing home or are a family member providing care for an elderly individual, if you are accused of battery or any other type of abuse or neglect it is imperative that you mount a defense. Remember, these are not just harmless accusations – you could be sentenced to prison if convicted.
If you have been charged with battery on an elderly person in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.