Florida Exploitation of the Elderly Criminal Law

Jacksonville FL Lawyer

Florida Law for Exploitation of Elderly

I wrote an article last week on the 20 Miles Law Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer website.  It was about a local attorney that was arrested for Jacksonville grand theft and exploitation of the elderly.  Cynthia Nichols was investigated for over a year.  She was suspected of stealing money from her clients while she was in a position of trust.  To learn more about this case, read Jacksonville Attorney Arrested for Grand Theft and Exploiting Elderly.

Nichols was a guardianship attorney.  Guardianship attorneys tend to have greater access to clients’ funds than other attorneys.  For instance, Jacksonville criminal lawyers do not have anything to do with their client’s bank accounts and property.  Still, we still need to our clients to trust us.  Jacksonville lawyers are in a position where they need their client’s to trust them in order to work for their best interests.  In general, Florida attorneys are ethical.  The Nichols case is an exception to the rule.

Here is the Exploitation of Elderly Statute from the Florida Statutes website.  This is one of the crimes that Nichols was charged with.  I have copied it in it’s entirety below:

825.103 Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult; penalties.

(1) “Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult” means:

(a) Knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtaining or using, or endeavoring to obtain or use, an elderly person’s or disabled adult’s funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elderly person or disabled adult, by a person who:

1. Stands in a position of trust and confidence with the elderly person or disabled adult; or

2. Has a business relationship with the elderly person or disabled adult;

(b) Obtaining or using, endeavoring to obtain or use, or conspiring with another to obtain or use an elderly person’s or disabled adult’s funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elderly person or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elderly person or disabled adult, by a person who knows or reasonably should know that the elderly person or disabled adult lacks the capacity to consent; or

(c) Breach of a fiduciary duty to an elderly person or disabled adult by the person’s guardian or agent under a power of attorney which results in an unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of property.

(2)(a) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at $100,000 or more, the offender commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000, the offender commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult is valued at less than $20,000, the offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

About Cynthia, 20 Miles Law

Cynthia Veintemillas

Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer Cynthia Veintemillas Photo

Cynthia Veintemillas is an experienced Florida attorney. She began her legal career at the public defender’s office in Jacksonville, Florida. Her primary practice fields include criminal defense, litigation, and family law. She has also represented many people facing foreclosure in Duval County, Clay County, and St. Johns County, Florida.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Florida, 2006
  • South Carolina, 2007
  • Middle District of Florida, 2009

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

  • Florida Bar 
Member Since: 2006
  • South Carolina 
Member Since: 2007
  • Jacksonville Bar 
Member Since: 2008
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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