Exploitation Law & Legal Definition


Exploitation generally means to take unfair advantage of a person. State laws on the subject vary.

Example of a state statute on exploitation

In North Carolina exploitation of an elder adult or disabled adult is a specific offence according to § 14-112.2 of North Carolina General Statutes.

Any person who

1. stands in a position of trust and confidence with an elder adult or disabled adult or

2. who has a business relationship with an elder adult or disabled adult

is guilty of exploitation of an elder adult or disabled adult if he or she knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtain or use, or try to obtain or use, an elder adult's or disabled adult's funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elder adult or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elder adult or disabled adult.

Likewise it is unlawful for any person who has knows or reasonably should know that an elder adult or disabled adult lacks the capacity to consent, to obtain or use, try to obtain or use, or conspire with another to obtain or use an elder adult's or disabled adult's funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elder adult or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or benefit someone other than the elder adult or disabled adult.

The punishment for the offences depends on the value of the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation.

The statute defines a disabled adult as any person 18 years of age or older or a lawfully emancipated minor who is present in the State of North Carolina and who is physically or mentally incapacitated. An Elder adult is a person 60 years of age or older who is not able to provide for the social, medical, psychiatric, psychological, financial, or legal services necessary to safeguard the person's rights and resources and to maintain the person's physical and mental well-being.

The relevant law reads as follows:

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-112.2 Exploitation of an elder adult or disabled adult

(a) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Disabled adult. -- A person 18 years of age or older or a lawfully emancipated minor who is present in the State of North Carolina and who is physically or mentally incapacitated as defined in G.S. 108A-101(d).

(2) Elder adult. -- A person 60 years of age or older who is not able to provide for the social, medical, psychiatric, psychological, financial, or legal services necessary to safeguard the person's rights and resources and to maintain the person's physical and mental well-being.

(b) It is unlawful for a person: (i) who stands in a position of trust and confidence with an elder adult or disabled adult, or (ii) who has a business relationship with an elder adult or disabled adult to knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtain or use, or endeavor to obtain or use, an elder adult's or disabled adult's funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elder adult or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or to benefit someone other than the elder adult or disabled adult.

(c) It is unlawful for a person, who knows or reasonably should know that an elder adult or disabled adult lacks the capacity to consent, to obtain or use, endeavor to obtain or use, or conspire with another to obtain or use an elder adult's or disabled adult's funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the elder adult or disabled adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property, or benefit someone other than the elder adult or disabled adult. This subsection shall not apply to a person acting within the scope of that person's lawful authority as the agent for the elder adult or disabled adult.

(d) A violation of subsection (b) of this section is punishable as follows:

(1) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at one hundred thousand dollars ($ 100,000) or more, then the offense is a Class F felony.

(2) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000) or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars ($ 100,000), then the offense is a Class G felony.

(3) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at less than twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000), then the offense is a Class H felony.

(e) A violation of subsection (c) of this section is punishable as follows:

(1) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at one hundred thousand dollars ($ 100,000) or more, then the offense is a Class G felony.

(2) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000) or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars ($ 100,000), then the offense is a Class H felony.

(3) If the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly person or disabled adult is valued at less than twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000), then the offense is a Class I felony.