Financial Exploitation Laws
Physical Abuse Laws
Sexual Abuse/Assault Laws
PROHIBITION AGAINST ABUSE, NEGLECT, OR EXPLOITATION; PENALTIES; RELATION TO OTHER LAWS.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to abuse, neglect or exploit any vulnerable person.
(a) Any person who willfully commits an act or willfully omits the performance of any duty, which act or omission contributes to, tends to contribute to, or results in neglect, physical pain, injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement or deprivation of services which are necessary to maintain the mental or physical health of a vulnerable person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment not to exceed one (1) year in the county jail, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Any accepted medical procedure performed in the usual scope of practice shall not be a violation of this subsection.
(b) Any person who willfully exploits a vulnerable person, where the value of the exploitation is less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment not to exceed one (1) year in the county jail, or by both such fine and imprisonment; where the value of the exploitation is Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) or more, the person who exploits a vulnerable person shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than ten (10) years.
(3) Any person who willfully inflicts physical pain or injury upon a vulnerable person shall be guilty of felonious abuse or battery, or both, of a vulnerable person and, upon conviction thereof, may be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not more than twenty (20) years.
(4) Any person who willfully inflicts severe mental anguish upon a vulnerable person shall be guilty of a felony and shall be sentenced to not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections and shall be fined not less than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00).
(5) For any third or subsequent misdemeanor conviction of any person violating any part of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be guilty of a felony and shall be sentenced to not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections and shall be fined not less than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00).
(6) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent proceedings against a person under any statute of this state or municipal ordinance defining any act as a crime or misdemeanor.
PENALTIES SUBJECT TO ENHANCEMENT.
The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor which is a crime of violence or the crime of burglary or breaking and entering the dwelling of another shall be subject to enhancement as provided in Sections 99-19-351 through 99-19-357 if the felony or misdemeanor was committed against any victim who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older or who is disabled as described in 42 USCS 12102.
State Mandated Reporting
Who has to report?
Any person including, but not limited to a(n): attorney, physician, osteopathic physician, medical examiner, chiropractor or nurse engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of vulnerable persons; health professional or mental health professional; practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing; social worker, family protection worker, family protection specialist or other professional care, residential or institutional staff; state, county or municipal criminal justice employee or law enforcement officer; human rights advocacy committee or long-term care ombudsman council member; or accountant, stockbroker, financial advisor or consultant, insurance agent or consultant, investment advisor or consultant, financial planner, or any officer or employee of a bank, savings and loan, credit union or any other financial service provider.
When to report?
Any person who knows or suspects that a vulnerable person has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited.
How to report?
Reports shall be made immediately to the Department of Human Services or to the county department of human services where the vulnerable adult is located. The report may be made orally or in writing, but where made orally, it shall be followed up by a written report.
Mississippi Adult Protective Services Hotline: