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Domestic Violence Against Seniors in Fort Lauderdale


When most people hear the phrase “domestic violence,” they assume that it refers to incidents between spouses. However, the term “domestic” encompasses all incidents that occur within a household – and in some cases beyond it. In Florida, this may include violence against senior household members – including grandparents, great-uncles, elderly in-laws, and so on. If you have been accused of domestic violence against seniors in Fort Lauderdale, you should know that you face serious consequences.

Seniors Qualify as Household Members in Florida 

First of all, it is important to understand that seniors can qualify as “household members” under Florida’s domestic violence statute. This law protects those who have a close relationship with the alleged perpetrator, including anyone related by blood or marriage, people who live together as a family, and even people who once lived together as a family. This covers a wide range of potential seniors – including elderly parents, in-laws, and grandparents who live in basement suites.

The penalties for domestic violence in Florida vary depending on numerous factors – including whether or not the victim suffered a serious injury. For serious incidents, you could face years in prison, mandatory anger-management classes, probation, community service, and the loss of your civil liberties. It is worth pointing out that senior citizens may be much more prone to serious injury than younger, healthier adults. Even if you merely prod them with a finger, it could cause them to fall over. Seniors often struggle to maintain their footing, and even a slight fall can cause fractures, head injuries, and death.

Florida Has Separate Elder Abuse Laws 

For a State with one of the highest senior populations in the nation, Florida somewhat predictably has tough laws against elder abuse. If you are accused of abusing a senior, you face additional penalties under a statute separate from domestic violence laws. Perhaps most notably, the definition of elder abuse includes not only physical injuries, but also psychological harm. In addition, any act that “could reasonably be expected” to result in physical or psychological harm constitutes elder abuse in Florida. Therefore, an incredibly wide range of acts against seniors could be illegal.

If you do not cause a senior to suffer a serious injury, you still face a felony of the third degree. This could put you in prison for many years. If you cause a serious injury, you could also face a felony of the first degree. This could lead to up to 30 years in prison. Note that you may also be charged with additional penalties under the domestic violence statute for an even more serious sentence.

Find a Qualified Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale 

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, look no further than Haber Blank. With our help, you can strive for positive results after being accused of domestic violence. Many potential defense strategies may prove useful in this situation, and we can discuss the possibilities in more detail during a consultation. Reach out today to get started.




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