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2nd Degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse in Michigan is a felony, punishable by up to four years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both. MCL 750.145n(2)

What is Second Degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse?

A caregiver or other person with authority is guilty of this crime where the person’s reckless act or reckless failure to act causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a vulnerable adult.

A caregiver is someone who directly cares for or has physical custody of a vulnerable adult.

What Does Reckless Act or Reckless Failure to Act Mean?

Such actions are where a person’s conduct demonstrates a deliberate disregard of the likelihood that the natural tendency of the act or failure to act is to cause serious physical harm or serious mental harm.

Who is a Vulnerable Adult?

A vulnerable adult is either

  • An individual age 18 or over who because of age, developmental disability, mental illness or physical handicap requires supervision or personal care or lacks the personal and social skills required to live independently, or
  • A person 18 years of age or older who is placed in an adult foster care family home or an adult foster care small group home, or
  • A person not less than 18 years of age who is suspected of being or believed to be abused, neglected, or being exploited.

What is Serious Physical or Serious Mental Harm?

Serious physical harm is an injury that threatens the life of a vulnerable adult, causes substantial bodily disfigurement, or serious impairs the functioning or well-being of the vulnerable adult.

Serious mental harm is an injury that results in a substantial alteration of mental functioning that is manifested in a visibly demonstrable manner.

Matter of Degrees

This article discusses second degree vulnerable adult abuse. There are four different vulnerable adult crimes, varying in seriousness of act and punishment by degrees. These include

Contact us

Call Sam Bernstein at 734.883.9584 or e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is an Criminal Attorney in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.