Graphic of Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual Offense

Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual

In 2021, the 87th Texas Legislature created an offense called Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual. This new law makes it a crime to offer to exert “undue influence” or otherwise wrongfully take, use or “financially abuse” elderly people. This offense is extraordinarily broad for a criminal statute. Learn more detailed information about the Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual offense below.

Have you been charged with Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 32 “Fraud.”

What is the current Texas law about Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

A person commits an offense if the person knowingly engages in the financial abuse of an elderly individual.

This does not tell us very much about the offense, however. The key language here is “financial abuse,” which is defined in §32.55(a)(2) as:

the wrongful taking, appropriation, obtaining, retention, or use of, or assisting in the wrongful taking, appropriation, obtaining, retention, or use of, money or other property of another person by any means, including by exerting undue influence. The term includes financial exploitation.

And “financial exploitation” is also defined. “Financial exploitation” is defined in §32.55(a)(3) as:

the wrongful taking, appropriation, obtaining, retention, or use of money or other property of another person by a person who has a relationship of confidence or trust with the other person. Financial exploitation may involve coercion, manipulation, threats, intimidation, misrepresentation, or the exerting of undue influence. The term includes:

(A) the breach of a fiduciary relationship,
including the misuse of a durable power of attorney or the abuse of guardianship powers, that results in the unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of another person’s property;

(B) the unauthorized taking of personal assets;

(C) the misappropriation, misuse, or unauthorized transfer of another person’s money from a personal or a joint account; and

(D) the knowing or intentional failure to effectively use another person’s income and assets for the necessities required for the person’s support and maintenance.

How can I be charged with Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual?

You can be charged with Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 32.43(c), as described in the section above, have been met.

What is the punishment for Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual?

A conviction for Financial Abuse of Elderly Individual is punished anywhere between a Class B misdemeanor to a First Degree felony Felony.2 Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

What is the definition of elderly individuals?

The statute defines elderly individuals in reference to Section 22.04,3 which defines elderly an individual as “a person 65 years of age or older.”4


Legal References:

1Texas Penal Code §32.55(c), as implemented by H.B. 1156, 87th Legislature, effective September 1, 2021

2Texas Penal Code §32.55(d)(1)-(6), as implemented by H.B. 1156, 87th Legislature, effective September 1, 2021

3Texas Penal Code §32.55(a)(1), as implemented by H.B. 1156, 87th Legislature, effective September 1, 2021

4Texas Penal Code §22.04(c)(2)

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