California PC 243.4 - Sexual Battery

Under California Penal Code Section 243.4, sexual batter is defined as an act of touching an intimate part of another person against his or her will and while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice. The offender can face various penalties for violating California sexual assault law from a fine up to $10.000 to jail or prison time.
Below, Margarian Law Firm will introduce you the main elements of the California Sexual Battery Laws. Moreover, in the resources of our site you can find detailed information about different kind of Sex Crimes in California.
1. Definition of Sexual Assault by Force or Fear under California Law
a) Who is the Accomplice under California Sexual Battery Laws?
2. Criminal Elements of the Crime of Sexual Battery in California
3. Punishment for Committing Sexual Assault in California
4. Defenses to the Accusations of Having Committed Sexual Assault in California
5. Related Articles
Additionally, we are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning sex crime charges in California for free.

1. What is Sexual Battery under California Law?
Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 243.4, any person who touches an intimate part of another person while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice, and if the touching is against the will of the person touched and is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of sexual battery (sometimes also known as “Sexual Assault”).
An intimate part means:
– a female’s breast;
– the anus, groin, sexual organ or buttocks of anyone.
It should be mentioned that the contact between the offender and the victim should be made with bare skin. Another saying, the bare skin of victim’s intimate part must be touched by the offender and it must be carried out directly or through the victim’s clothing.
Pursuant to California jury instructions, the victim is considered to be unlawfully restrained when his or her liberty is controlled by words, acts, or authority of another and the restraint is against his or her will. A person is not supposed to be unlawfully restrained, if another person uses lawful authority for a lawful purpose.
Example: a doctor touching his patient’s intimate part for a medical treatment-related purpose cannot be convicted of California sexual battery.

a) Who is the Accomplice under California Sexual Battery Laws?
California jury instructions define an accomplice of sexual batter in California as a person subject to prosecution for the identical sexual battery crime charged against the defendant. It means that the accomplice:
1. knew of the criminal purpose of the person who committed the crime;
2. intended to, and did in fact, aid, facilitate, promote, encourage, or instigate the commission of the crime
2.1 participated in a criminal conspiracy to commit the crime.
2. What Must the Prosecutor Prove in Order to Find the Defendant Guilty of Sexual Assault in California?
In order to convict the defendant, the prosecution must prove the following elements of the California Sexual Battery:
1. The victim was unlawfully restrained;
2. At this time the defendant touched the intimate part of the victim or caused to touch his or her intimate parts;
3. There was no consent of the victim;
4. The touching was done for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.

3. What Penalties Can the Defendant Face if Violating California Penal Code Section 288?
California Sexual Battery is considered to a “wobbler”, it means that it up to the prosecutor to charge the offender either with a misdemeanor or a felony. Mainly, the charge depends on the following circumstances:
– Criminal history of the offender;
– Specific circumstances of the case.

Particularly, California Penal Code 243.4 PC sets forth special aggravating circumstances which make charge the offense as a felony. The felony rule is applied when the victim is:
– institutionalized and incapacitated or disabled,
– fraudulently convincing the victim that touching is for medical purpose.
The offense is charged as a misdemeanor when it is committed:
– by touching someone’s intimate part;
– there was no consent from the victim;
– for purposes of sexual gratification, arousal or abuse.
The convicted of misdemeanor may face the following penalties:
1. California “summary” or informal probation;
2. A jail time up to 6 months;
3. A fine up to $2.000($3000 if the crime is committed by the employee);
4. Community service;
5. Completion of a program designed to help people with issues of sexual abuse or compulsion (also known as Batter’s Class).
The person charged with and convicted of California sexual battery as a felony, may face the following penalties:
1. California “summary” or informal probation;
2. Sentencing to a state prison from 2 to 4 years;
3. A fine up to $10,000;
4. Registration as a California Sex Offender.

4. How Can I Fight California Rape Accusations?
It can happen that innocent people are accused of rape. Your defense attorney can use various legal defenses in order to get the best possible outcome for you. Below, you can find some of them:
False accusations
Plea bargain and dismissals
State of insanity
False confessions
– Mistaken Identity
– Consent of the partner.

5. What Are Sex Crimes in California?
There are a variety of sex crimes that fall under the umbrella of California law, including:

California Sex Crimes


Statutory Rape


Engaging in or Soliciting Lewd Conduct in Public – California Penal Code 647(a)

Oral Copulation by Force or Fear

Pimping and Pandering Laws

Prostitution & Solicitation Laws

Internet Pornography

Sex Offender Registration


If you or a loved one have been accused of such crimes but believe you are innocent, do not hesitate to contact us. The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. Our experienced attorneys will evaluate your case and prepare you for your defense trial as fast as possible.

We will do our best to get the best possible outcome for You!

You may file your request online, by telephone or mail. 818-553-1000

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