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If a third party takes advantage of our mental or physical fragility to extort money or goods from us, we can be the victim of abuse of weakness. It must then be proven by bringing together all the incriminating elements and taking legal action.

What is the abuse of weakness?
This situation is characterized by being in a state of weakness and being influenced by a third party, a relative or even a seller when, for example, giving goods or taking contractual commitments. People feel that they are under the influence due to physical frailty such as illness or mental vulnerability linked, for example, to trying personal difficulties which de facto alter their judgment.

How to prove it?
It is necessary to gather all the elements in charge of donations: photocopies of cheques, transfers, title deeds, etc. Furthermore, it is important to gather evidence demonstrating their state of weakness at the time the donations were made: testimonials from relatives, medical documents, dismissal letters…

What means of action?
Once the evidence of abuse of weakness has been gathered, you must file a complaint with the police or the public prosecutor, who will decide whether to give a favorable response. In this case, the alleged perpetrator is sent back to the criminal court. You can then bring a civil action to claim damages and restitution of property by invoking material and moral damage.

What are the sanctions?
The author found guilty of abuse of weakness risks up to three years in prison and a fine of 375,000 euros. Because the number of victims of abuse of weakness by sectarian groups is high, the law is stricter against them: penalties can go up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of 700,000 euros.
DAMY law firm, Nice, Am I the victim of an abuse of weakness? Update 2022