Orange County Elder Abuse Lawyers

Lately, the crime of Elder Abuse has been receiving a great deal of attention in California. Tales of harm inflicted on defenseless elderly people have stirred up public outcry. What possible reason could someone have for injuring a helpless elderly person? Certainly, those who commit the crime of Elder Abuse need to be held accountable. However, the public mood makes it difficult for the people who have been wrongly accused of Elder Abuse to receive a fair trial. For a variety of reasons, a surprising number of people charged with Elder Abuse find themselves having to defend actions which are false, mischaracterized or misunderstood.

If you are facing a charge of Elder abuse in Orange County, you should contact an attorney right away. At The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, we will explain California Penal Code § 368 (Elder Abuse), and the law under which you have been charged. We will listen to your story and use our experience in defending Orange County clients against accusations of Elder abuse. Additionally, we will negotiate on your behalf and, if necessary, help you construct a solid defense for your specific case. 

What is CPC § 368?

Essentially, there are four kinds of Elder Abuse that comprise CPC § 368. They are as follows:

  • Unjustifiable physical abuse which occurs when the abuser causes or allows physical harm or suffering to the senior. 
  • Unjustifiable, emotional abuse which occurs when the abuser causes or allows emotional suffering or mental anguish to the senior.
  • Neglect and endangerment which occur when the abuser puts the senior in circumstances compromising their health and safety.
  • Financial exploitation which occurs when the abuser steals or embezzles the senior’s property or identity.

What the Prosecution Must Prove

In order for the prosecution to sustain a conviction for Elder Abuse, the prosecution must prove two facts beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. Great bodily harm — Great bodily harm means that injuries were substantial, not merely superficial. However, in cases of Elder Abuse, the prosecution does not have to show that the abused senior actually suffered great bodily harm, only that the circumstances might have allowed them to have suffered such harm.
  2. You were in charge — If you are charged with Elder Abuse by criminal negligence, the prosecution must prove that you were in charge of taking care of the senior and, therefore, had a legal duty to act to prevent the criminal negligence. 

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Elder Abuse 

Under PC § 368, Elder Abuse may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime of Elder Abuse will be determined by The Orange County District Attorney’s office after their assessment of the facts of the case. The elements of each crime are similar.


  • The accused willfully or by criminal negligence subjected an elderly person to unjustifiable physical harm, mental suffering, or the accused allowed someone else to commit these acts.
  • The accused knew or should have known that the victim was elderly.
  • The conduct of the accused occurred in a situation that may have threatened the health or life of the elderly victim.


  • The accused willfully or by criminal negligence subjected an elderly person to unjustifiable physical harm, mental suffering, or the accused allowed someone else to commit these acts.
  • The accused knew or should have known that the victim was elderly.
  • The conduct of the accused occurred in circumstances that were likely to produce great bodily harm or death of the elderly victim.
Orange County Elder Abuse Lawyers


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During the consultation, we will help you understand your rights and the charges against you.

Penalties For Elder Abuse

Penalties for misdemeanor Elder Abuse may include:

  • Informal (summary) probation
  • One year in county jail
  • $6,000 fine for the first offense
  • $10,000 fine for subsequent offenses
  • Restitution to the victim
  • Counseling as directed by the court

Penalties for felony Elder Abuse may include:

  • Formal probation
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • 2, 3 or4 years in a California state prison; 3, 5 or 7 additional years in prison if the victim suffered great bodily harm or death
  • Restitution to the victim
  • Counseling as directed by the court

With so much at stake, it is imperative that you contact an Orange County criminal defense attorney experienced in defending Elder Abuse cases immediately. In doing so, your attorney will be able to begin investigating the charges against you, contact the filing District Attorney, along with initiating a vigorous defense strategy geared toward a successful outcome of the case. 

Common Defenses For Elder Abuse

Defending against a charge of Elder Abuse requires a great deal of care. Because the elderly can be fragile or sick, they can be easy targets of abuse.  At the same time, the elderly can become confused or even forgetful. They may bruise easily, and can make mistakes in their accusations. At The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, we have identified  the top four (4)  defenses used for persons accused of Elder Abuse:

  • The elderly person in your care was injured in an accident. For example, if you are trying to assist the senior in your care and bump into something which falls over and hits them, any resulting harm may be accidental. Because you did not act willfully or with criminally negligence, you may not be liable for the criminal charge.
  • Sometimes people fabricate facts and simply do not tell the truth. You may have been falsely accused by someone intentionally trying to cause trouble for you.
  • Sometimes abuse may happen to an elderly person who is in your care, but you did not commit the abuse or allow such abuse to occur. Nevertheless you are the one accused. Such cases of mistaken identity can happen. 
  • In some cases, the prosecution produces insufficient evidence. Perhaps the elderly person shows physical signs consistent with abuse, but expert testimony establishes that those signs are consistent with an accident or some other means not related to your “willful” actions. 

Protect your Rights

If you have been accused of PC § 368, Elder Abuse, in Orange County, you need to act quickly to protect your rights. Hiring an attorney with experience defending clients in Elder Abuse cases is the best way to protect your rights. Led by former Orange County Deputy District Attorney Bryan R. Kazarian, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will listen to the facts of your case and help with a solid defense that protects your rights. Our attorneys will then negotiate with the Orange County District Attorney’s office on your behalf, and work toward a meaningful resolution. Should the negotiated result not be acceptable, we will then work with you to set the matter for trial and mount an aggressive defense in your case. Call or schedule a consultation right away with The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian.

We have offices in Santa Ana, Westminster, Newport Beach and Fullerton to serve clients with matters heard at the Central, West, Harbor, and North Justice Centers, respectively, for all of Orange County.  The lawyers at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are here to help!  Book an online consultation to get started today.
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