Could a wife be charged with negligence and spousal abuse if her husband died from a fall?

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Could a wife be charged with negligence and spousal abuse if her husband died from a fall?

A 71 year old man, who was in a wheelchair, fell and hit his head. This caused bleeders in the brain and ultimate death. Could the wife, who was at work and did not get home until several hours later, be charged with neglect and spousal abuse?

Asked on November 12, 2016 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, this is not spousal abuse. Spousal abuse means more than simply not being around for a valid reason (like working) when a spouse has an accident: it means either affirmativley abusing the spouse or failing to meet his/her basic needs without a supervening legitimate cause (like failing to provide food or medical care for prolonged periods for a spouse who cannot provide for him/herself). What you describe is a tragedy, not a crime.


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