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Michigan Vulnerable Adult Abuse Defense Attorneys

What is Vulnerable Adult Abuse?

Vulnerable Adult Abuse felonies in Michigan are serious charges that can lead to jail, prison and fines.  These charges are emotionally charged for juries and require a serious defense. The law firm of The Kronzek Firm has successfully defended these charges.  The best way to avoid a significant sentence is to avoid being found guilty.   If you or a loved one is charged with any type of abuse crime, our experienced defense team can help.  Call (866) 766-5245 to consult with one of our attorneys.

The Vulnerable Adult Abuse Act criminalizes abuse of a specific category of adults.  Some people may refer to the crime as “elder abuse,” however, there is no requirement that the alleged victim be a senior citizen.  Vulnerable adult abuse is where a caregiver who directly cares for or has physical custody of a vulnerable adult abuses that person under his or her supervision.  A “vulnerable adult” is either (1) a person over age 18 who requires personal care or supervision and cannot live independently due to developmental disability, physical disability,  mental illness, or age. (2) An adult in need of adult protective services; or (3) An individual living in an adult foster care home.

First Degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse

A caregiver has committed vulnerable adult abuse in the first degree when he or she intentionally inflicts serious mental harm or serious physical harm on a vulnerable adult. This is felony with a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison, a $10,000.00 fine, or both.

Second Degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse

Vulnerable adult abuse in the second degree is where a caregiver commits a reckless failure to act or reckless act inflicting serious mental harm or serious physical harm to a vulnerable adult. This is a felony with a maximum penalty up to 4 years in prison, a fine up to $5,000.00, or both.

Third Degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse

Third degree vulnerable adult abuse occurs when a caregiver intentionally inflicts physical harm on a vulnerable adult. This is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty up to 2 years in prison, a $2,500.00 fine, or both.

Fourth Degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse

A caregiver has committed vulnerable adult abuse in the fourth degree if a reckless failure to act of reckless act causes physical harm on a vulnerable adult. This is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000.00 fine, or both.

Other Provisions

Operators of an unlicensed facility that requires licensure (like an adult foster care facility) that are the proximate cause of the death of a vulnerable adult have committed a felony with a maximum punishment up to 5 years in prison, a $75,000.00 fine, or both.

A caregiver  who intentionally does one or more of the following has committed a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment up to 2 years in prison, a $25,000.00 fine, or both: (1) Borrows or commingles funds of a facility resident that are required by law to be held in a separate trust account (2) Obstructs investigation of an adult foster care facility (3) Files misleading or false information required as part of the Adult Foster Care Facility Licensing Act.

A caregiver who retaliates against a vulnerable adult for doing one or more of the following has committed a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty up to 2 years in prison, a fine up to $25,000.00, or both: (1) Provides information to officials enforcing the Adult Foster Care Facility Licensing Act. (2) Files a complaint against an adult foster care facility (3) Participates in a civil suit or criminal action against an adult foster care facility. The same protection is given to employees of a caregiver of a vulnerable adult, except the penalty for a violation is a maximum punishment up to 1 year or, a fine up to $10,000.00, or both

If a caregiver retaliates against a vulnerable adult to a lesser degree for providing information to officials who enforce the Adult Foster Care Licensing Act or files a complaint against a facility, then this is a misdemeanor with a punishment up to 1 year in jail, a fine up to $10,000.00, or both.

A caregiver who has been convicted of a second or subsequent violation has committed a felony with a maximum penalty up to 5 years, a fine up to $75,000.00, or both.

Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult

The Anti-Exploitation Act prohibits individuals from using deceit, fraud, unjust enrichment, or coercion to gain control of a vulnerable adult’s money when it is known or there is reason to know this is indeed a vulnerable adult. In other words, this is embezzlement [link to embezzlement page] from a vulnerable adult.

If the value of the property or money obtained is less than $200.00, this is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty up to 93 days in jail, a fine up to $500.00, or 3 times the value of the property or money taken, whichever is greater, or both.

If (a) the value of the property or money obtained is greater than $200.00 but less than $1,000.00, or if (b) the value is less than $200.00 and the individual has one or more prior convictions, then this is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty up to 1 year in jail, a fine up to $2,000.00, or 3 times the value of the property or money, whichever is greater, or both.

If (a) the property or money obtained has a value of $1,000.00 up to $20,000.00, or (b) the value of property or money is $200.00 to $1,000.00 plus one or more prior convictions, then this is a felony with a maximum penalty up to 5 years in prison, a fine up to $10,000.00, or 3 times the value of the property or money, whichever is greater, or both.

If (a) the value of the property or money obtained is greater than $20,000.00 but less than $50,000.00 or (b) the value of the property or money is $1,000.00 to $20,000.00 plus two or more prior convictions, then this is a felony with a penalty up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $15,000.00, or 3 times the value of the money or property, whichever is greater, or both.

If (a) the value of the property or money obtained is $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 or (b) the value of the property or money is $20,000.00 to $50,000.00 plus two or more prior convictions, then this is a felony with a maximum penalty up to 15 years in prison, a fine up to $15,000.00, or 3 times the value of the property or money, whichever is greater, or both.

Finally, if (a) the value of the property or money is $100,000.00 or more or (b) the value of the property or money is $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 plus two or more prior convictions, then this is a felony with a maximum penalty up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $50,000.00, or 3 times the value of the property or money, whichever is greater, or both.

The values of property or money can be aggregated over a 12-month period to determine the total value of money or property taken. However, if the scheme is against only one person, there is no time limit for this aggregation.

Mandated Reporters of Suspected Vulnerable Adult Abuse

Individuals of certain specific professions are required to report suspected vulnerable adult neglect, abuse, or exploitation. These include:

  • Health care professionals
  • Providers of social or human services, educational, or mental health services
  • Law enforcement officers or employees of the county medical examiner

These people are required to report the name of the vulnerable adult with a description of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation to the county department of social services. Then the county department will report to police any instances of criminal conduct.

Get the Advantage of Experienced Legal Representation on Your Side

Allegations of vulnerable adult abuse can adversely affect the accused’s life and livelihood. Our firm even assists people at the pre-charging phase before charges have been brought against an individual. Our experienced lawyers aggressively defend clients every step of the way. At The Kronzek Firm PLC, we have decades of experience in criminal defense. Call us for a free consultation at (866) 7-NoJail!. Our attorneys are standing by.

 

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