Elder Abuse Laws (Criminal)

Code Section Description Penalty
PENAL CODE § 187
(Murder)
  • A human being was killed
  • The killing was unlawful
  • The killing was done with malice aforethought or occurred during the commission of a felony inherently dangerous to human life

  • Death
  • Life Without Possibility of Parole
  • 25 Years to Life
PENAL CODE § 261
(Rape)
  • Act of sexual intercourse (with person not spouse) under any of the following circumstances:
  • Person is incapable, because of mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent and this is known or reasonably should be known to person committing act
  • Accomplished against person's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury
  • Person prevented from resisting by intoxicating or anesthetic substance
  • Person unconscious of nature of the act and this is known to accused


  • State prison 3, 6 or 8 Years
PENAL CODE
§ 288(a);(b)(2);(c)(2)

(Lewd or Lascivious Acts)
  • A person willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, with intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person...
  • Person is a caretaker and commits act upon dependent person by use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim
  • Person is a caretaker and commits act upon dependent person is guilty of a public offense


  • Felony - state prison 5, 8 or 10 years and $10,000 fine; State prison 1, 2 or 3 years or 1 year county jail
PENAL CODE § 289
(Sexual Penetration)
  • A person commits an act of sexual penetration
  • Against victim's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury
  • Victim is incapable, because of mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving consent
  • And this is known or reasonably should be known to person committing act


  • State prison 3, 6 or 8 years
PENAL CODE
§ 368(b)(1)(2)(3)

(Causes or permits infliction of physical pain or mental suffering on elder or dependent adult under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death)

  • A person, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits an elder or dependent adult to suffer
  • With knowledge that he or she is an elder or dependent adult
  • Unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering
  • One year county jail and $6,000 fine or state prison two, three, or four years
  • If victim suffers great bodily injury - then additional state prison:
    • 3 years if victim under 70 years
    • 5 years if victim 70 years or older
  • If defendant causes death of victim - then additional state prison:
    • 5 years if victim under 70 years
    • 7 years if victim 70 years or older


PENAL CODE § 368(c)
(Causes or permits infliction of physical pain or mental suffering on elder or dependent adult under circumstances or conditions not likely to produce great bodily harm or death)
  • A person, under circumstances or conditions other than those likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits an elder or dependent adult to suffer
  • With knowledge that he or she is an elder or dependent adult
  • Unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering


  • Misdemeanor
PENAL CODE § 368(d)
(Violates provision of law proscribing theft or embezzlement - not a caretaker)
  • A person, not a caretaker violates provision of law proscribing theft or embezzlement with respect to property or personal identifying information of an elder or dependent adult
  • With knowledge that he or she is an elder or dependent adult
  • When value of property taken exceeds $950:
  • One year county jail and $1,000 fine or state prison 2, 3 or 4 years
  • When value of property taken does not exceed $950:
  • One year county jail and $1,000 fine


PENAL CODE § 368(e)
(Violates provision of law proscribing theft or embezzlement - caretaker)
  • A caretaker violates provision of law proscribing theft or embezzlement with respect to property of an elder or dependent adult
  • When value of property taken exceeds $950:
  • Misdemeanor or felony: One year county jail and $1,000 fine or state prison 2, 3, or 4 years
  • When value of property taken does not exceed $950:
  • One year county jail and $1,000 fine


PENAL CODE § 422
(Elements of Offense - Willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury)
  • A person willfully threatens to commit a crime which
  • Will result in death or great bodily injury to another
  • With specific intent that the statement ... is to be taken as a threat
  • Causes person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety


  • County jail not to exceed one year or state prison
HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 1290(c)(Violations, Penalties Relating to Operation or Maintenance of Long-Term Healthcare Facilities)

  • Willfully or repeatedly violating chapter or rule or regulation adopted under chapter relating to operation or maintenance of long-term health care facility
  • Misdemeanor - $2,500 fine and 180 days county jail
WELFARE & INSTITUTIONS CODE
§ 15630

(Mandated Reporters of Abuse)
  • Defines mandated reporters
  • Known or suspected abuse of elder or dependent adult:
  • Physical
  • Abandonment
  • Abduction
  • Isolation
  • Financial
  • Neglect
  • Reporting requirements


  • Failure to report - misdemeanor:
    • Six months county jail and $1,000 fine
  • Failure to report - felony - where abuse results in death or great bodily injury:
    • One year county jail and $5,000 fine