Florida Caregiver’s Two-Hour Absence Results In Elderly Negligence Charge

Florida’s residents as well as its lawmakers have a deep appreciation for and understanding of the difficulties that the elderly face, particularly with being able to be independent. Many caretakers for the elderly slave every day to make sure that their needs are provided for. However, lawmakers have taken special precautions for when those caretakers make careless mistakes, like betting on their career as a caregiver. If one has been charged with an act similar to this, one should contact an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Mary Holly, a licensed nurse and caretaker, was accused of leaving her 95-year-old patient alone in a car outside a casino while she gambled for two hours. This charge comes after a visitor of the casino watched the elderly woman in her car for over an hour before calling the police. The elderly woman is reported to be fine, though, due to her dementia, could not answer any questions. casino-poker-chips.jpg

Jacksonville elderly abuse crimes are interesting crimes in that, like child abuse cases, typically the person that is accused of the crime is charged with the care of the victim. Many times, caretakers or caregivers get comfortable with their responsibilities and, due to the stresses of the responsibility, feel they need a stress reliever. However, on-the-job stress relief can cause problems for oneself.

Holly has been charged with neglect of an elderly person, which under Florida Statute 825.102, is failure or omission of a caregiver to provide the services necessary to maintain the elderly person’s physical or mental health, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine and medical services that a prudent person would consider vital to the well-being of that elderly person.
Neglect of an elderly person is a third degree felony which brings with it up to five years in jail and fines of up to $5,000. However, an experienced Jacksonville elderly crimes attorney can provide a series of mitigating factors and defenses to this crime that can lessen the amount of time served and the amount of fines rendered.

In this particular case, the elderly woman was only left for two hours in her car, which is not a considerably long time to be left alone. She was not harmed in any way. She was not dehydrated or hungry, as many are when left for longer periods of time. She did not have any knowledge that she had even been left alone. The hospital that the woman was taken to after the police arrived on the scene said that the time spent in the car had not harmed her in any way.

Holly has already been forbidden from having any contact with the elderly woman, and from caring for any other elderly patients until her case is over. At this point, Holly’s main source of income is diminished and as a result of this charge, she will probably lose her employment. An experienced attorney could ask for the judge to take these factors into consideration in the punishment portion of her case, should her case reach that point.

Many people make mistakes in their job. People become stressed because of their workload and slack off. However, that lapse in judgment in the workforce which will most likely already ruin their employment opportunities in the future should not transfer to a criminal charge that will substantially ruin the life of that individual forever.


One should not risk going to jail for a long period of time when an experienced attorney can make sure that their best defense is brought forth and their rights fought are fought for. The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source:95-year-old woman left in car while caretaker goes gambling, police say, Ihosvani Rodriguez, The Sun-Sentinel