Minnesota Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult
Minnesota Lawyers Experienced in Defending Charges of Exploiting Vulnerable Adults
The financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult is a crime in Minnesota. The law defines a vulnerable adult as someone who has a mental, emotional or physical issue that impairs their ability to take care of themselves. They might live on their own or with somebody, or even in a facility designed to care for vulnerable adults.
The impairment might be a physical disability, the result of an injury or illness, or something such as dementia. Whatever the cause, the vulnerable adult requires help with their day-to-day living and, as a result, are not able to protect themselves against being mistreated by others. The law and the courts have little patience with people who are convicted of exploiting vulnerable adults.
What is Exploiting a Vulnerable Adult in Minnesota?
It happens when a person has a position of trust with the vulnerable person. For example, the adult at risk might sign a power of attorney giving a caretaker the authority to handle their financial affairs, effectively transferring control of their assets. As a result, the “attorney in fact,” as the law calls it, is responsible for providing for the person’s food, housing, clothing, health care, or financial well-being.
The crime occurs when the trusted individual uses the financial resources of the vulnerable for their own ends and profit. It is also a crime to acquire property and assets from a vulnerable person by using undue influence, threats, or harassment. There are occasions when other family members allege exploitation for their own reasons which have nothing to do with the situation at hand. Nevertheless, the state is obliged to investigate, which casts a shadow over the responsible individual.
Strong Defense Lawyers to Counter Charges of Exploiting Vulnerable Adults
If you learn or believe you are being investigated for exploiting a vulnerable adult in Minnesota, you need to do two things immediately. Do not speak to investigators or the police without having an attorney present. Investigators are not your friend and will use anything you might say – even off-handedly – against you to bring charges and at a trial. At the same time, you need to phone an attorney at Sieben Edmunds Miller right away. We know how to protect your rights and conduct our own investigation into the circumstances surrounding the allegation.
Even before a trial, the state must prove that the adult was vulnerable when the alleged offense was supposedly committed. For instance, there may be a reasonable doubt that the victim was legally vulnerable and we can bring in expert witnesses who will make it difficult for the state to prove its case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Likewise, a vulnerable adult with a disability may have been mentally competent to give the suspect consent to perform whatever acts are at issue. Also, it’s not all that uncommon for the police to have violated the law in gathering evidence against you and we can move to have the evidence suppressed.
If you are accused or under suspicion of exploiting a vulnerable adult in Mendota Heights, Eagan, the Twin Cities, or anywhere in Minnesota and Wisconsin, protect your rights and your future by contacting the attorneys at Sieben Edmunds Miller who are experienced at representing people accused of exploiting vulnerable adults.