Florida Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult Injunction
Florida has one of the largest and fastest-growing elderly populations in the United States. This requires state agencies and officials to stay vigilant in protecting those seniors from exploitation, abuse, and neglect. Sadly, a large number of those convicted of exploitation of a vulnerable adult turns out to be a caregiver responsible for the well-being and property of the older or disabled adult.
If you or a family member qualify as a vulnerable adult, and you feel that you need protection from exploitation or abuse, it’s vital to hire a Florida attorney trained in this area of law right away. By having an attorney by your side, you have a person you can trust to look out for your best interests and protect your rights during the case process. Those who get charged with this type of crime face serious repercussions if found guilty of this offense, so having a skilled attorney to represent your case is critical.
Who is Considered a Vulnerable Adult in Florida?
The State of Florida defines the term “vulnerable adults” with a few characteristics, but usually involves someone who is elderly or disabled. Specifically, the courts use one or more of the following criteria when determining if someone is considered vulnerable:
- Over the age of 18
- Susceptible to age-related weaknesses in mental acuity and physical ability
- Is unable to take care of themselves on their own due to emotional, physical, neurological, or mental dysfunction and/or disability
- Are in current danger of exploitation or abuse
What Constitutes Exploitation or Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult?
The state of Florida and its counties recognize the seriousness of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults who are vulnerable. For those who rely on others for care due to disability or age, it’s important they have appropriate protections to safeguard their well-being. Prosecutors and law enforcement know that mistreatment can manifest in numerous ways, including:
- Purposeful physical or psychological harm
- Intentional acts exposing or leading to an elderly or disabled person’s injury
- Encouraging another to perform an act that may or will hurt a vulnerable adult physically or emotionally
- Financial exploitation or neglecting of fiduciary responsibilities in providing care
- Lack of care of the home, food, and/or clothing
- Depriving the vulnerable adult of social interaction
Charges of exploiting a disabled or elderly person carry heavy consequences in the courtroom and in public life. If you or a loved one has suffered damages due to the maliciousness of another, or if you’re under investigation for this crime, speak with an experienced Tampa injunction attorney immediately to learn what steps you can take to protect yourself.
How Florida Courts Determine Reasonable Cause of Exploitation
When requesting an injunction, an authorized guardian or third party permitted by the victim can file the necessary paperwork with the county clerk where the victim resides. Florida government has tried to make this action easily accessible by not requiring a filing fee and allowing the clerk to arrange for service as needed.
In the courtroom, consideration and evaluation of all relevant evidence and background history should be presented, including the following:
- Any previous protection orders issued against the parties involved
- Previous exploitation history by the alleged defendant regarding any other vulnerable adults
- Evidence of the petitioner previously being exploited
- Consideration of the vulnerable adult’s capacity for decision making about money and assets
- Assessment of the victim’s susceptibility to outside influences
- Additional history by the respondent with adult protective services
- Determination of physical or emotional injuries sustained by the vulnerable adult and if caused by the defendant’s actions
Evidence is a critical part of the injunction process and may seem overwhelming for the victim to gather. Fighter Law has dedicated attorneys on hand to take care of this complicated part of your case. We have the resources available to obtain any needed affidavits, police reports, financial statements, and requests for special accommodations. Our firm dedicates itself to protecting the rights of vulnerable members of society and fights tirelessly to prevent and confront criminal exploitation.
Florida Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult Injunction Attorneys
If you suspect or know an elderly or otherwise disabled adult who may be suffering from abuse, neglect, or exploitation, it’s critical to make a call to the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873 or the police. Many times, victims don’t even realize the advantages taken of them by those they trust the most.
Victims and the accused have the right to legal representation in these types of cases and working with Fighter Law will ensure your best interests and voice are top priorities throughout your actions. Our experienced injunction attorneys work around the clock to get the best possible outcomes for your situation. As a Board-Certified and AV Rated Preeminent criminal defense lawyer, attorney Thomas Feiter has the reputation and experience you can trust to find solutions that work for you. Contact us online or by phone at (407) 344-4837.