Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse

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eldersThe Fresno County District Attorney’s Office is wholeheartedly committed to vigorously prosecuting those offenders who harm both our elder and dependent adult population.

If you are concerned for yourself, or suspect a loved one may be a victim of abuse, please consider the following options. In the field of elder and dependent adult abuse, there are two separate and distinct avenues to have these allegations investigated.

As to be expected, there is the traditional avenue of calling the local law enforcement agency, which will, in turn, send out an initial deputy or officer to take a report and route the follow-up investigation to a specialized elder or dependent adult investigator. Once the investigation is complete and if the law enforcement agency believes that criminal charges should be pursued, the matter will then be referred to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, and specifically this Unit, to consider filing charges, and ultimately for prosecution.

In addition to the law enforcement avenue as set forth above, there is another option which involves social workers from Adult Protective Services (APS). After being contacted, APS will open up a case and send out a case worker to evaluate the situation and make sure that no harm is being done to either an elder or a dependent adult. After considering the needs of our victim first, the APS worker will then complete an investigation, and if this worker believes that criminal activity is involved, will make the necessary referral to law enforcement, who will then conduct an investigation as set forth above.

Consequently, given the nature and circumstances of your concerns and immediate threat of harm, you should decide between the two options. A third and equally plausible scenario is simply to call both agencies.

Elder Abuse Links

California Penal Code Section 368

  • It is unlawful to willfully harm or to cause or permit harm to come to an elder, age 65 or older, or dependent adult.
  • It is unlawful to steal or embezzle from or falsely imprison an elder or dependent adult.

Types of Abuse

  • Neglect
  • Physical
  • Financial
  • Emotional
  • Sexual