In situations where a senior or vulnerable person is being abused, neglected, extorted or isolated, certain professionals are mandated reporters. Those who become aware of abuse or mistreatment of a senior as part of their professional capacity will need to make reports of abuse. This can include doctors, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists ambulance drivers, clinical therapists, and most other professionals who provide any type of physical or mental health treatment to seniors.
Those who become aware of abuse in a professional capacity must report their suspicions as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so. Law enforcement officials and others including Adult Protective Services agencies and state agencies will conduct investigations when there is reasonable cause to believe abuse occurred and can take legal action against abusers if there is sufficient evidence that wrongdoing occurred against any vulnerable or older person.
There are several different laws related to the abuse, neglect, exploitation, or isolation of vulnerable seniors. These laws are found within a special subcategory of Chapter 200, which is the Chapter of Nevada law dealing with crimes against persons. Among the laws that are found within this subsection is a rule related to whether reports of abuse can be admissible in court.
Nevada Revised Statute section 200.5097 is the statute that details the rules for admissibility of reports of abuse that were made in accordance with the laws on mandatory reporting. According to N.R.S. 200.5097, any report that is made about suspected abuse or neglect, the contents of the report, and other facts related to the older person’s condition or the vulnerable person’s condition cannot be excluded even if the matter would otherwise be privileged against disclosure.
This law ensures that important evidence of suspected abuse, neglect or wrongdoing can actually be presented by the prosecutor to the courts. If evidence is excluded and cannot be presented, a prosecutor is forbidden from raising the evidence in court and sharing it with the judge or with the jury who is deciding the case.
When evidence is precluded from being presented in court, especially important evidence like an initial report that prompted an abuse investigation, it becomes much harder for a prosecutor to successfully convict a defendant for a crime.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Because the admissibility of the report could potentially impact the outcome of a criminal case, it is important for all who are involved in a case related to the suspected abuse of an elderly person to understand what the law permits when it comes to reports being admitted and when evidence is excluded from being presented.
LV Criminal Defense can provide assistance in all criminal proceedings connected with the suspected abuse, neglect, isolation, or exploitation of a senior or a vulnerable person. We can provide representation to mandated reports who are facing accusations that they failed to follow the rules for reporting and we can provide representation to individuals who have been accused of actually engaging in abusive or wrongful behavior against a senior citizen.
Our legal team knows the laws in Chapter 200 very well and we have represented many defendants accused of various types of crimes against the person. We can put our legal experience to work in helping you to devise a legal strategy, make informed choices about how to handle your case, and either fight for your freedom in court or negotiate the most favorable plea agreement possible.
To find out more about how our firm can provide protection to you in connection with crimes related to the abuse, exploitation, isolation or neglect of the elderly, give us a call today.