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Sexual Battery Attorneys – California Penal Code 243.4 PC

Are You in Need of a Sexual Battery Attorney?

Sexual battery is a serious crime in California. If you have been charged with sexual battery, you are facing severe punishment, including a lengthy jail or prison sentence and lifetime registration as a sex offender (PC 290). California laws prohibiting sexual battery are complex and can be confusing. Oftentimes, people confuse sexual battery laws with rape or molestation laws. However, although the term sexual battery may seem similar to that of rape or molestation, the laws prohibiting this activity are distinct.

That is why it is essential that you speak with an experienced California sexual battery attorney right away.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending those facing sexual battery charges for over 30 years. Here is what some of our clients have to say about us:

You can place your trust in Wallin & Klarich. Our knowledgeable California sexual battery lawyers are committed to defending your rights and your freedom. Call us today for immediate help on your case.

For more information on these laws, read below or simply pick up the phone and speak to one of our skilled defense attorneys today.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation.


What is sexual battery in California?

California Penal Code 243.4 PC defines various actions which constitute the crime of sexual battery. If you commit any of the following, you may be charged with felony or misdemeanor sexual battery in California:

  • Touching another person in an unlawful sexual manner while they are restrained;
  • Touching, in an unlawful sexual manner, a person who is medically disabled or institutionalized;
  • Touching another person in an unlawful sexual manner under false pretenses;
  • Forcing another person to touch you or another person in an unlawful sexual manner; or
  • Touching another person in an unlawful sexual manner without any of the aforementioned circumstances.

Touching another person in an unlawful sexual manner while they are restrained

Under California Penal Code 243.4(a) PC, sexual battery is defined as “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”.

Touching, in an unlawful sexual manner, a person who is medically disabled or institutionalized

Under California Penal Code 243.4(b) PC, you commit sexual battery if you “touch an intimate part of another person who is institutionalized for medical treatment and who is seriously disabled or medically incapacitated, if the touching is against the will of the person touched, and if the touching is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse”.

Touching another person in an unlawful sexual manner under false pretenses

Under California Penal Code 243.4(c) PC, if you “touch an intimate part of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, and the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act because the perpetrator fraudulently represented that the touching served a professional purpose”, you may be found guilty of sexual battery. For example, if you are a doctor and touch your patient with sexual intent under the pretense of a medical exam, you can be convicted of sexual battery.

Forcing another person to touch yourself or another person in an unlawful sexual manner

Under California Penal Code 243.4(d) PC, sexual battery occurs if you “for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, cause another, against that person’s will while that person is unlawfully restrained either by the accused or an accomplice, or is institutionalized for medical treatment and is seriously disabled or medically incapacitated, to masturbate or touch an intimate part of either of those or a third person”.

Touching another person in an unlawful sexual manner without any of the aforementioned circumstances

Under California Penal Code 243.4(e)(1), if you “touch an intimate part of another person, if the touching is against the will of the person touched, and is for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse”, you may be charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.

Prosecution of Sexual Battery Charges

In order for you to be convicted of sexual battery in California, the prosecution must prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements differ depending on the type of sexual battery charges you are facing. These include:

Prosecution of Felony Sexual Battery under California Penal Codes 243.4(a) & (d) PC

prosecution of sexual battery charges

In order for you to be convicted of sexual battery on a person while they are restrained or by use of force under California Penal Codes 243.4(a) PC & 243.4(d) PC, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

  • You unlawfully restrained a person;
  • While he or she was restrained, you touched an intimate part of him or her; OR you caused him or her to touch his or her own intimate part or that of defendant or another third party;
  • You touched the person against his or her will; AND
  • The touching was for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse.

For purposes of a felony conviction, an intimate part is defined as the alleged victim’s anus, groin, sexual organ, buttocks, or female breast. Contact must have been made with the alleged victim’s bare skin. This means that you or a third party must have touched the bare skin of the alleged victim’s intimate part(s) or the alleged victim’s bare skin must have touched yours or a third party’s intimate part(s) either directly or through clothing.

Prosecution of Sexual Battery on an Institutionalized Victim under California Penal Codes 242, 243.4(b) & (d) PC

In order for you to be convicted of sexual battery on an institutionalized victim under California Penal Codes 242, 243.4(b) PC and 243.4(d) PC, the prosecution must prove all of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • While the victim was institutionalized for medical treatment and was seriously disabled or medically incapacitated:
    1. You touched an intimate part of him or her; OR
    2. You caused him or her to touch his or her own intimate part or that of another person;
  • You touched the person against his or her will; AND
  • The touching was done for sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.

 

Prosecution of Sexual Battery by Fraudulent Representation under California Penal Codes 242 PC, 243.4(c) PC

In order for you to be convicted of sexual battery by fraudulent representation, the prosecution must prove all of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You touched an intimate part of a person’s body;
  • You did so for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse;
  • You fraudulently represented that the touching served a professional purpose; AND
  • The person touched was not conscious of the sexual nature of the act due to fraudulent representation.

 

Prosecution of Misdemeanor Sexual Battery under California Penal Code 243.4(e)(1) PC

In order for you to be convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery under California Penal Code 243.4(e)(1) PC, the prosecution must prove all of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You touched an intimate part of someone else;
  • The touching was done against his or her will;
  • The touching was done for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.

 

Sentencing and Punishment of Sexual Battery in California

Sexual battery under California Penal Codes 243.4(a) PC to 243.4(d) PC is a “wobbler” crime, meaning you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific facts of your case, such as the severity or nature of your actions, or any previous criminal history you may have.

Punishment for Misdemeanor Sexual Battery under California Penal Codes 243.4(a) PC to 243.4(d) PC

If you are convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery for any violation of California Penal Codes 243.4(a) PC to 243.4 (d) PC, you can be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 364 days or a fine of up to $2,000.

Punishment for Felony Sexual Battery under California Penal Codes 243.4(a) PC to 243.4(d) PC

If you are convicted of felony sexual battery for any violation of California Penal Code 243.4(a) PC to 243.4(d) PC, you may be sentenced to state prison for two, three, or four years and fined up to $10,000. If you have a history of a prior felony conviction for sexual battery and you commit any act in violation of the aforementioned sections upon a minor (a person under 18 years old), you will be charged with a felony.

Punishment for Misdemeanor Sexual Battery under California Penal Codes 243.4(e)(1) PC

Sexual battery under California Penal Code 243.4(e)(1)  PC is a misdemeanor in California. If you are charged with a misdemeanor sexual battery in violation of California Penal Code 243.4(e)(1) PC, you can be sentenced to jail for up to six months or a $2,000 fine. However, if you are an employer and your victim was an employee of yours, you may receive a fine of up to $3,000.

Mandatory Sex Offender Registration under California Penal Code 290

punishment for sexual battery

In addition to the above penalties you face upon conviction of sexual battery, you will be required to register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code 290. This is a lifetime registration requirement that mandates you to disclose your home address, place of work and other identifying information with a local law enforcement agency annually, or every 30 to 90 days if you are transient (“homeless”). Additionally, if you attend school on a college campus, you must also register as a sex offender with the campus police. If you are moving to California and are required to register as a sex offender in your home state, you may be required to register in California.

In addition, this information is made public on California’s Megan’s Law website. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to help you get your information removed from the Megan’s Law website and/or stop your requirement to register as a sex offender.

Defenses to Sexual Battery Charges

A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to raise several defenses on your behalf. These defenses may include:

  • Consent. If you touched an adult person with sexual intent with their full knowledge and consent, you should not be convicted of sexual battery.
  • Insufficient evidence. A skilled criminal defense attorney can challenge the validity of the evidence presented by the prosecution and argue that there is not sufficient evidence to support the allegations of sexual battery against you.
  • The touching was not sexual in nature. If you touched another person on an intimate part against their will, but without the intent of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse, you should not be convicted of sexual battery. For example, getting into a physical altercation and inadvertently striking an “intimate part of a person’s body” does not meet the definition of sexual battery.

Frequently Asked Questions on Sexual Battery Laws

What is considered an “intimate part” of a person?

Under California Penal Code 243.4(g)(1) PC, an intimate part refers to the sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person (male or female) or the female breast(s).

What qualifies as “touching”?

Under California Penal Code 243.4(e)(2) PC, touching is any physical contact made with another person, either directly or indirectly (through clothing).

If you do not achieve any sexual arousal or gratification as a result of the act, does it still qualify as sexual battery?

Yes, the courts find that sexual abuse means any touching of a person’s intimate parts in order to cause pain, injury, or discomfort. The perpetrator does not need to achieve any sexual arousal or sexual gratification.

If I do not touch someone else’s bare skin, does it qualify as sexual battery?

If there is no bare skin contact, you may be subject to a misdemeanor sexual battery conviction. In order for you to be convicted of felony sexual battery, there must have been contact with the alleged victim’s bare skin.

Call the Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich if You Have Been Charged With Sexual Battery in California

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You will need a team of sex crimes attorneys.

If you are facing charges of sexual battery, you need to contact the experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich right away. Our skilled attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending those facing sexual battery charges. We are confident that we can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.

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