Nevada requires certain professionals to make reports of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, or isolation of older persons or vulnerable persons. Law enforcement officials are also required to follow appropriate protocol in conducting investigations of reports of suspected abuse of the elderly. The laws are strict with regards to making reports in order to protect seniors from being victimized by abusers.
Because professionals are required to make reports whenever they have reasonable cause to believe and because reports need to be made as soon as reasonably practicable, it is important to understand exactly what it takes to have reasonable cause to believe abuse is occurring. It is also important to understand the timeline for making reports that is considered to be reasonably practical.
Since penalties can be imposed for failing to comply with mandatory reporting, the definition of these words is very important because criminal penalties could hinge upon whether or not there was reasonable cause to believe abuse occurred or whether a report was made as soon as was reasonably practicable.
If you are accused of not making a mandatory report of abuse or neglect of a vulnerable person or a senior, you should talk with a Vegas criminal defense lawyer at LV Criminal Defense about what the law required of you, what a prosecutor must prove to show you broke the law, and what penalties you could face for failure to follow the rules. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can assist you if you are accused of failing to report abuse or neglect as soon as was reasonably practical do to so.
Both reasonable cause to believe and reasonably practical are defined within Nevada Revised Statute section 200.50925.
Under the relevant statute, a mandatory reporter is considered to have reasonable cause to believe that abuse is occurring if, in light of all of the surrounding facts and circumstances the mandatory reporter knows or should know, a reasonable person would believe that some type of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or isolation is occurring or has occurred.
In other words, the conduct of the mandatory reporter is compared to what an average reasonable person would have done under the specific circumstances. If a reasonable person would not have believed there was a risk of abuse or neglect, then the mandatory reporter won’t face consequences for not reporting. If a reasonable person would have suspected that something was wrong and made a report, then consequences can be imposed.
Under the definition of reasonably practical, the key question is whether the mandatory reporter acted as soon as it was appropriate and practical do to in light of all of the surrounding facts and circumstances that the mandatory reporter either knows or should know.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
If an average reasonable person would have acted more quickly than the mandated reporter took action, then the reporter failed in his obligation to take steps to report the suspected abuse or neglect as soon as it was reasonably practical to do so. If a reasonable person would have acted within the same general time period as the mandated reporter, then the person who was supposed to report the abuse or neglect did not violate his legal obligations.
Whether there was reasonable cause to believe and whether or not you acted as soon as practicable are both subjective questions. This means that the outcome of any case against you could hinge on the arguments made in trial and the success you have in convincing the court that you acted in an appropriate way given the circumstances and the facts you were privy to.
LV Criminal Defense can help you to fight accusations that you failed to report abuse or neglect of a senior or vulnerable person. Call our Las Vegas criminal defense law firm as soon as possible if you are accused of wrongdoing to get help fighting for your reputation and future.