Did you know that between 4,600 and 6,900 Arizona seniors will suffer some form of abuse this year? Sadly, reports of elder abuse have increased in Arizona by 150 percent in the last ten years alone. Older adults are at an increased risk for suffering abuse and neglect because they often lack the physical and cognitive skills necessary to defend themselves against abuse. This vulnerability makes them easy targets for a wide range of abuse. Fortunately, Arizona elder abuse statutes protect your loved ones by holding abusers accountable.
Arizona Elder Abuse Statutes
The law defines elder abuse as injury or harm to a vulnerable adult. It includes individuals who suffer physical injuries, emotional harm, or financial harm. It also includes placing a vulnerable adult in a dangerous situation.
In Arizona, ARS 13-3623 is the Arizona elder abuse statute. It defines the crime of elder abuse and outlines the penalties and consequences abusers face if convicted. A violation of this statute can lead to a Class 2 felony charge that is punishable by more than 12 years in prison.
The crime of elder abuse is significant. Prosecutors can charge the offense as either a Class 6 felony, Class 5 felony, Class 4 felony, Class 3 felony, or Class 2 felony. The charge will depend on the circumstances of the case and the severity of the abuse. A class 2 felony is the most severe charge.
Criminal statutes punish the abuser but don’t always compensate the victim or the survivors for their harms and losses. The unfortunate fact is that far too few criminal actions are brought because of enforcement understaffing.
That is why Arizona has aggressive civil statutes which permit a lawsuit to be filed against the abuser for money damages. In reality, these civil lawsuits do a far better job of encouraging proper treatment of vulnerable adults by hitting companies where it hurts—their wallets. In this way, we can help your family to be compensated for harm and death and discourage the abuse of others.
Elder abuse laws in Arizona protect against a variety of abuse and neglect, including:
- Physical abuse
- Mental abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse or exploitation
What Can I Do If I Suspect Elder Abuse?
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse or neglect, you should report this to law enforcement as soon as possible to prevent further abuse. In emergency situations, it is important to call 911. For non-emergent situations, you can contact any of these services:
- Adult Protective Services (APS) Abuse Hotline. (877) SOS-ADULT or (877) 767-2385
- Area Agency on Aging 24hr Helpline. (602) 264-HELP or (602) 264-4357
- Attorney General’s Taskforce Against Senior Abuse (TASA) Helpline. (844) 894-4735 or (602) 542-2124
You should also contact an experienced Arizona elder abuse attorney. Your attorney can help you make a report, protect your loved one from further abuse, and seek civil compensation for the harm your loved one suffered.
While the authorities will work on the criminal aspect of your case, your attorney can focus on helping you and your family get the compensation you need to move forward in life after elder abuse.
You Need an Experienced Arizona Elder Abuse Attorney to Help You
If you have questions about elder abuse, call our law firm today. A reputable, experienced elder abuse attorney will guide you through the process of protecting your loved one. We represent injured nursing home abuse victims and their families and can hold abusive caregivers and negligent institutions accountable. Contact the lawyers at Miller Kory Rowe LLP today by calling (602) 461-8640. We are here to help you through this difficult time.