Crimes Against the Elderly

Crimes Against the Elderly

Defense for People Accused of Elder Abuse Crimes

Elder abuse charges can allege both physical abuse and financial abuse. If you have been charged with exploiting the elderly, either through a theft crime or inflicting physical harm, it is time to seek the help of a skilled and experienced Lakeport criminal defense attorney. These charges are often based on the alleged victim’s word against yours. It is not unusual for there to be a simple misunderstanding blown out of proportion.

Working out of my office in Lakeport, I can serve as a Lakeport crimes against the elderly lawyer for people in that community, as well as Clearlake and the surrounding parts of Lake County and Mendocino County. Contact me today for a free initial consultation.

Theft Crimes Against the Elderly

Criminal theft charges against the elderly often stem from an individual managing finances for an elderly person. This can include family and friends. An elderly person may have simply forgotten or misunderstood the actions of someone who is trying to take care of their finances for them. Theft crimes include larceny, grand theft and even embezzlement charges. The criminal penalties are serious and include possible misdemeanor and felony convictions. I will thoroughly analyze all paperwork involved in your case and determine the source of any miscommunications.

Elderly – Physical Abuse Crimes

Healthcare workers and other professionals in charge of the care and well-being of the elderly are sometimes accused of physical abuse. Also referred to as “nursing home abuse” when an elderly person is in an assisted living facility, allegations include neglect, physical abuse, assault and even sexual abuse. I am here to make sure you are properly defended against such serious charges and to dispute the prosecutor’s claim. With a decade of experience, I am more than prepared to represent you aggressively in court.

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What To Expect If You Are Charged With A Crime

Charged With A Crime

Being charged with a crime can be a stressful experience. However, understanding the court process can help make the experience less intimidating.

There are three classifications of crime in California. Crimes are classified as infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies. Infractions carry a maximum penalty of a fine. Jail time cannot be imposed for committing an infraction. Infractions are the least serious of crimes and include common traffic violations such as speeding. Most misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of time in the county jail. The amount of time that can be imposed for a misdemeanor depends upon the crime. Up to a year in jail can be imposed for some misdemeanors. Misdemeanors include crimes such as petty theft and driving under the influence. Felonies are the most serious class of crimes. Felonies are punishable by time in the state prison. The amount of time that can be imposed for a felony depends upon the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Crimes such as murder, robbery, and possession of drugs for sale are examples of felonies.

Some crimes can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors. These crimes are referred to as wobblers. The level of the crime charged is determined by the prosecutor. However, for these crimes, a judge has the power to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor. Driving under the influence with injury, possession of methamphetamine, and domestic violence with injury are examples of wobblers. There are also crimes that can be charged as misdemeanors or infractions. Examples include driving without being licensed, and disturbing the peace.

Charged With A Crime

If a person commits a criminal violation of a state law in Lake County, the agency responsible for the prosecution is the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. In Mendocino County, the agency responsible for prosecution is the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney will normally file a charging document called a complaint to charge a defendant with a misdemeanor or felony. The criminal court process begins with the arraignment. At the arraignment, a judge will read the complaint and formally advise a defendant of his or her rights.

Every defendant charged with a misdemeanor or felony has a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney. If a defendant cannot afford an attorney, the judge will appoint a public defender to represent the defendant subject to reimbursement at the conclusion of the case.

After a defendant has been arraigned and has either hired an attorney or been appointed an attorney, a defendant normally pleads not guilty to all charges.

Every person charged with a felony has a statutory right to a preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the District Attorney must establish probable cause to believe the defendant committed the crimes charged. If the judge finds there is sufficient evidence to support the charges, the judge will issue a holding order. In order to proceed with the case, the District Attorney must file a charging document called an information within 15 days of the holding order.

A defendant’s guilt is determined at a jury trial unless that right is waived. Most defendants waive this right and enter into plea bargains. A plea bargain is an agreement between a defendant and the prosecution in which the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to a less serious offense and/or to fewer than all of the charges or allegations in exchange for a lesser sentence and/or dismissal of some of the charges or allegations. A plea bargain gives a defendant the opportunity to avoid sitting through a trial risking exposure to more time and/or conviction on the original more serious charges.

If the case cannot be resolved by agreement, a defendant is entitled to a jury trial. In a felony case, a defendant has a statutory right to a jury trial within 60 days of arraignment on the information or entry of plea, whichever is later. In a misdemeanor case, if a defendant is in custody, he or she has a right to a jury trial within 30 days of arraignment on the complaint or entry of plea, whichever is later. If a defendant is out of custody, he or she has a right to a jury trial within 45 days of arraignment on the complaint or entry of plea, whichever is later.

Charged With A Crime

At the trial, a defendant has certain constitutional rights including the following: right to confront and cross-examine witnesses; right to present evidence; right to remain silent; and the right to an attorney. Twelve members of the community are selected to serve as jurors in a trial. A defendant may not be convicted unless, after the presentation of all the evidence, all twelve jurors agree that the evidence proves the defendants guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

After a defendant is convicted of a crime, a judge sentences the defendant. As previously stated, a judge can impose jail time for misdemeanors and prison for felonies. However, in many situations, a defendant is granted probation in lieu of a harsher sentence such as a lengthy sentence in jail or prison. If a defendant is granted probation, he or she will have to comply with certain terms, which sometimes includes jail, during a probationary period. As long as the defendant complies with the terms of his or her probation, he or she will avoid the harsher penalty.

Although being charged with a crime can be stressful, having the assistance of an experienced criminal law attorney who can guide you through the process can help make the experience less intimidating.

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Child Molestation

Child Molestation

Nearly a Decade of Experience in Sex Crimes Criminal Defense

Child molestation charges are very serious. Those individuals who have been accused are potentially looking at lengthy jail time sentences and even worse, a lifetime as a registered sex offender. The sex offender registry is often equated by some as a lifetime in jail. No matter where a person goes, they are labeled a sex offender, face extreme social stigma, residential restrictions and often difficulty with career opportunities and employment.

As an experienced California criminal defense attorney and certified criminal law specialist, I can help you fight any allegations of child molestation. I have been able to get clients acquitted, while with others, I work hard to reduce charges and/or the consequences of conviction. Contact me for a free consultation at J. David Markham, Attorney at Law.

False Allegations of Child Molestation

In child molestation cases, children can be easily influenced by adults, parents, teachers, social workers and even police. This leads to misunderstandings and even false allegations. That is why it is so important you seek legal counsel as soon as possible in order to start building a strong defense.

Child molestation and other sex crimes accusations can include claims of sexual abuse, statutory rape, inappropriate touching of a minor, inappropriate touching over the clothes and indecent exposure.

The penalties under the statute can vary and depend on any past criminal history and the age of the child. In order for the prosecution to convict you for child molestation, they must prove that the touch was willful with the specific intent to arouse or gratify your or the child’s sexual desires. I will aggressively argue against this by using the facts in your favor as well as any discrepancies in the child’s version of events.

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