Everyone wants to be treated with respect and kindness but what happens when this goal is not achieved? What happens when a person yells at another person, calls them stupid, or otherwise emotionally abuses them? This can be hurtful but is it criminal? Should a person who says mean things to another person be held accountable by the State?
Today we are going to cover emotional abuse and whether or not it is a punishable crime in California. If you have been accused of this or another type of domestic violence then it is time to contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for your free legal consultation.
The definition of emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is defined as behavior in which a person emotionally dominates and / or controls their victim. This can include insulting the person, criticizing them, calling them names, and other emotionally abusive behaviors. In the state of California, none of these are crimes in and of themselves but they can potentially be used as evidence when a person is charged with other related criminal acts.
Ways in which emotional abuse can be part of criminal charges
Whether or not a person can be charged with emotional abuse depends on many factors, including who the victim is and what the alleged perpetrator’s relationship to them is. If the emotional abuse includes threats that the police consider severe enough that the victim is reasonably fearful of their safety, then the offender can be charged with criminal threats.
If the emotional abuse involves harassing and / or following the victim, then the charge could be stalking. If the abuse is done over the phone, then Penal Code Section 653m could be relevant, which makes it a law to make “annoying or harassing” phone calls. If the victim is a minor, then the charge could be child endangerment, which involves inflicting mental suffering on a child.
Elder abuse is another potential crime that comes out of emotional abuse. It involves a victim who as 65 years or older. The abuse can involve things like withholding food or medicine, isolating the elderly person, or fraudulently using their money. Similar abuse charges can be levied if a caretaker of a person with a physical or mental disability emotionally abuses the person they are charged with caring for.
Fight against charges involving emotional abuse
In some cases, evidence of emotional abuse can be used when charging a person with another crime. When the jury or judge hears or sees this evidence, they may become prejudiced against the alleged perpetrator. For this reason, and because emotional abuse is not a crime on its own, we may be able to have it excluded.
There are many defense options for any of the crimes described above. If you have been accused of or charged with any type of domestic violence, reach out to Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 today.