Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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What Happens First When I Report Elder Abuse Or Neglect?

If you call the police department first, the officer may request that an Adult Protective Services (APS) worker be assigned to the victim if they need services.

If APS is contacted first, the APS caseworker will contact police if it appears that the victim has been harmed. The APS caseworker will arrange services if necessary. This may include contacting financial institutions to protect the victim and their finances, and/or referral for petition for guardian/conservator.

You will be given a police department report number for reference. A suspect may be taken to jail. A Police Department Victim Assistance volunteer will help guide the victim through the process.

What happens next?

A detective investigating the case you reported may want to interview you. The detective may also want to interview the victim. If there is enough evidence, the detective will submit the case to a prosecutor for review, who will decide whether to file criminal charges. Not all cases are charged. Some cases are not charged because there is insufficient evidence to support the charges. In other cases, for various reasons, the victim may decline to pursue prosecution.

If charged, a victim’s rights advocate from the prosecutor’s office will contact the victim of elder abuse and explain their rights as a victim. Rights include being notified of all court dates and being present at a trial or hearing, speaking to the judge and the prosecutor and expressing their opinion about any possible plea offers made to the person accused of the abuse.