Elder abuse in the first degree in Alabama is when a person intentionally abuses the elder and causes serious physical harm to them. A person is an elder once they reach the age of 60. Intentionally abusing an elderly person and causing serious physical harm to them is a Class A felony.
Beyond a reasonable doubt
In Alabama, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally abused the elder and this abuse caused their serious injury. If your situation is one of nursing home neglect, the same rules apply, and it is still a class A felony whether it was abuse or neglect. Elder neglect is failing to provide food, medicine, clothing, shelter and medical services to the elder.
Serious physical injury
Serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of a bodily organ and protracted impairment of health count as serious physical injury. Any injury that causes a substantial risk of death is also a serious physical injury. Substantial pain counts as physical injury too.
It’s not just intending to cause an injury that counts as having intention. If the perpetrator intended to engage in the conduct that they did, then this is having intention.
Who is a caregiver?
Alabama defines a caregiver as anyone who has the responsibility to care for the elderly person, which could be the result of a familial relationship with them or friendship. A person who voluntarily accepts responsibility to care for the elder is also a caregiver.
Financial abuse of an elderly person in Alabama is a Class B felony, Class C felony or a Class A misdemeanor. If the perpetrator took a value of $2,500 from the elder, then this is a Class B felony. When the value doesn’t exceed $500, it is a Class A misdemeanor.
The law has clear definitions on what counts as elder abuse and neglect. Serious elder abuse is Class A felony. When the injury isn’t serious, it is still elder abuse and/or neglect, but the classification is lower.