near me
California Sexual Battery (assault) Laws | Penal Code 243.4 Pc


In California, it is against the law to touch someone’s intimate body parts without their permission, with the intention of obtaining personal pleasure or arousal. These intimate parts include the genital area, buttocks, or female breast(s).

Engaging in such behavior can lead to charges of sexual battery, which is also referred to as “sexual assault” under California Penal Code 243.4 PC. The specific classification of the charge, whether felony or misdemeanor, depends on the details of the case. Regardless, the consequences of a conviction are typically significant.

One of the serious outcomes of a sexual battery conviction is the requirement to register as a sex offender. Being listed on the sex offender registry can have far-reaching consequences that often surpass those of a prison sentence. Sex offender registration can make it very challenging to find employment, secure housing, and maintain personal relationships.

If you or someone you care about is facing an accusation of sexual assault, it is crucial to consult with an attorney promptly. An experienced lawyer specializing in sex crimes can assist you in comprehending the charges against you and developing a strong defense strategy.


To prove the crime of misdemeanor sexual battery, the prosecution must establish the following elements:

  • The defendant willfully touched the intimate part of another person, or caused the other person to touch the defendant’s intimate part, for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.
  • The touching was against the will of the other person, or the other person was unlawfully restrained, or the touching occurred in a threatening, coercive, or intimidating manner.
  • The defendant was not married to the other person at the time of the incident.


In order to establish that a defendant has committed felony sexual battery, a prosecutor must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant (or an accomplice) unlawfully restrained another person.
  • While the person was restrained, the defendant touched an intimate part of that person or touched that person with their own intimate part.
  • The touching was against the other person’s will.
  • The touching was done with the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.

An intimate part is legally defined as the anus, groin, sexual organ, buttocks, or the breast of a female.

To fulfill the requirement of contact with bare skin, the following must apply:

  • The defendant must have touched the bare skin of the other person’s intimate part.
  • Alternatively, the other person’s bare skin must have touched the defendant’s intimate part directly or through clothing.

Unlawful restraint occurs when an individual’s freedom is controlled by the words, actions, or authority of another person, and the restraint is against their will. It is important to note that unlawful restraint encompasses more than just the physical force required for sexual touching.

In the case of misdemeanor sexual battery, the requirement of restraint and contact with bare skin is removed. Thus, someone who fondles a woman’s breast over her shirt could be charged with misdemeanor sexual battery as long as the victim was not restrained.


Let’s say you find yourself in a crowded room and accidentally touch someone’s buttocks while passing by. In such a situation, without any additional factors or inappropriate behavior, this would generally not be classified as sexual assault. However, if you intentionally touch someone’s buttocks while walking past them and simultaneously make a sexually explicit or suggestive comment, that would likely be considered sexual assault. It’s important to understand that the combination of physical contact and the accompanying verbal behavior can determine whether an action crosses the line into sexual assault.


In California, sexual battery (Assault) can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. When the following circumstances apply, sexual assault cases are elevated to felony status

  • The victim was deceived into believing the touching was for professional purposes, commonly seen with medical or therapeutic practitioners.
  • The victim was unlawfully restrained during the incident.
  • The victim was institutionalized and either medically incapacitated or severely disabled.
  • The victim was coerced into engaging in activities such as masturbation or touching their own or another person’s intimate parts under any of the above circumstances.

If charged as a misdemeanor, sexual assault in California carries the following penalties:

  • A sentence of six months to one year in county jail.
  • Fines of up to $2,000 (or $3,000 if the victim was your employee).
  • A mandatory minimum requirement of ten years to register as a tier one sex offender.

On the other hand, if charged as a felony, sexual assault can result in the following punishments:

  • A prison sentence of up to four years in the California state prison system
  • Fines of up to $10,000.
  • Lifetime registration as a tier three sex offender.

In addition to these criminal penalties, there is also the possibility of facing civil penalties if the victim decides to pursue legal action for damages.


Even if you are eventually cleared of sexual assault charges, the mere accusation of such a crime can have long-lasting impacts on your life. The social stigma associated with sex crimes is substantial, and you may face difficulties in maintaining personal relationships or securing and retaining employment.

If you find yourself accused of sexual assault, it is crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can provide valuable guidance, helping you comprehend the charges brought against you and assisting in building a strong defense.

Your attorney can act as your advocate in the public sphere, working to clear your name and protect your reputation. It is essential not to face such serious accusations alone. Seek the support and expertise of an experienced criminal defense lawyer without delay.


When facing sexual battery charges in California, there are several defenses that can be used to challenge the accusations. It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the viability of a defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances. Some common defenses against sexual battery charges in California include:

  • Consent: Arguing that the alleged sexual contact was consensual and that both parties willingly engaged in the activity can be a defense. This defense typically requires presenting evidence or testimony that supports the claim of mutual consent.
  • Lack of intent: Claiming that the touching or contact was accidental or unintentional can be a defense. It involves demonstrating that there was no deliberate act or purpose to engage in sexual battery.
  • Mistaken identity: Asserting that you were misidentified as the perpetrator and providing evidence or alibi to show that you were not present at the time of the alleged incident can be a defense.
  • False accusations: Alleging that the accuser made false or fabricated allegations for personal reasons, such as revenge, jealousy, or manipulation, can be a defense. It may involve presenting evidence or witnesses that challenge the credibility of the accuser.
  • Lack of evidence: If there is insufficient physical evidence or witnesses to support the prosecution’s case, the defense can argue that the evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged sexual battery occurred.

Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to evaluate the specific details of your case and determine the most effective defense strategy. They can assess the evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong defense tailored to your situation.


If you are not a citizen of the United States, a conviction for sexual battery may have negative consequences for your immigration status. Contact an immigration attorney for further guidance. The Tabibnia Law Firm can also refer you to an excellent immigration lawyer if you require one.


Sexual battery allegations can be challenging to defend due to the nature of the crime, often occurring in one-on-one situations without independent witnesses or tangible evidence. Regrettably, sexual assault accusations have become increasingly common during divorce or child custody disputes.

Cyrus Tabibnia, a sex crime defense lawyer based in Los Angeles, recognizes the profound impact a sexual battery conviction can have on both personal and professional aspects of your life.

At Tabibnia Law Firm, numerous clients have been successfully defended against sexual battery accusations. Cyrus, an experienced criminal attorney, has developed effective defense strategies that include mitigating sentencing to potentially avoid incarceration.

If you are facing allegations of sexual battery, it is advisable to reach out to Cyrus Tabibnia for a thorough review of your case details and legal assistance.

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia

Tabibnia Law Firm retains years of experience successfully representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes,Theft Crimes, Crime Against Children, Driving Crimes, Rape Crimes, driving under the influence (DUIs), domestic violence cases, drug possession cases, state and federal crimes, white color crimes, driving on a suspended license offenses, violent crimes, sex crimes, Forgery and all other criminal defense cases throughout Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Orange County, San Fernando Valley, Ventura County, Riverside County, San Bernardino, Van Nuys, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills. An expungement attorney in Los Angeles who can assist you in clearing your criminal record in the state of California. Call for a consultation today: 866-713-2159

    Get A Case Review Today

    Please prove you are human by selecting the Key.

    EXCELLENT rating
    Based on 28 reviews
    Let’s be real needing a Criminal Defense Attorney is always unexpected and stressful. If the unexpected happens call Cyrus, he is extremely knowledgeable and professional. Grateful we had Cyrus on as a defense Attorney!
    Isaac Lopez
    Isaac Lopez
    18 September 2023
    Cyrus is the best criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, California. As a satisfied customer, I can confidently say that his expertise, dedication, and unwavering support are unmatched. His in-depth knowledge of the legal system, combined with his relentless advocacy, makes him the go-to choice for anyone facing criminal charges. With Cyrus by your side, you can trust that your rights will be fiercely protected, and your future will be in the most capable hands. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone in need of exceptional legal representation."
    Christian Horniman
    Christian Horniman
    11 September 2023
    Several years ago, I was contending with a serious legal issue. Out of the blue, I became aware that a corporation had obtained a large civil money judgment against me, in court, and on a case I was not aware of. When I became apprised of the judgment and the company's efforts to enforce the debt against me, I became angry and concerned. How would this case and judgment affect my financial future? Was there any way to fix this? I approached several other attorneys for assistance, but they all said the same thing: that because the judgment was over a year old (almost 2 years old, actually) it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove the judgment and to re-open the case. Given what other attorneys had told me about my case, I was not hopeful. But I decided to turn to and hire the Tabibnia Law Firm because I was aware of their strong reputation in both civil law matters and criminal defense cases. Mr. Tabibnia went out of his way to fight for me. To my great surprise, he convinced the court to set aside the judgment against me and to re-open the case. And months after getting the case re-opened, I was astonished when he then got the case completely dismissed! So, I went from having a large money judgment against me to getting the judgment removed and case dismissed in a matter of months. Throughout the process, I found Mr. Tabibnia to be honest, aggressive, competent and extremely fair with his fees. Most importantly, he kept me informed throughout the case. I cannot recommend the Tabibnia Law Firm highly enough.
    Arian T
    Arian T
    27 August 2023
    Hello Mr. Attorney Shahruz Tabibnia. I Wanna To Say All People..!! Mr. Attorney Shahruz Tabibnia Is Amazing Profecianal Attorney With High Knowledge.!! Mr. Shahruz Tabibnia Is Very Honest And Espricual Attorney.!! I Had Very Hard Case In The Court But Mr. Shahruz Tabibnia With His Knowledge And His High Experience Helped Me To Become Winner My Case In The Court.!! I'm Really Appriciated Mr. Shahruz Tabibnia. Thank You For Help Me To Winner My Case.!! I Look Forward To Work With You . Best Regards. Mike P.
    Mike Panadar
    Mike Panadar
    24 July 2023
    I had the pleasure of working with the Cyrus at Tabibnia Law on my case and I could not have been more pleased with the results. From the start, he gave my case the time and attention it deserved and showed a deep understanding and knowledge of the law. He provided clear guidance through the entire process and was always available to answer questions and provide legal advice. He really went the extra mile to make sure I got the best possible outcome and was extremely understanding and patient, always taking the time to explain the details and nuances of the law to me. I am very grateful for his expertise and the care they took in my case and it was definitely worth every penny. I highly recommend his services and would not hesitate to use him again in the future. Tabibnia Law is truly a top-notch law firm and I am so thankful to have worked with them.
    F V
    F V
    15 March 2023
    Having never needed a lawyer before, and being very scared and confused, I reached out to Cyrus after reading some outstanding reviews online. Cyrus gave me peace of mind and made me feel like I was in good hands. I highly recommend and I will probably use them again for any future legal needs that may arise. Thank you Cyrus.
    Ehab Totri
    Ehab Totri
    9 March 2023
    HIGHLY RECOMMEND CYRUS! I have been working with Cyrus on a bank fraud case and you will not be disappointed. He is nice and very humble. I never had a problem trying to get a hold of him. Cyrus is in top of your case and answers to emails/text messages promptly. Well talented attorney and his professionalism is to the next level. He is affordable and would work with you depending on your situation.
    13 September 2022
    This correspondence shall serve to memorialize that Cyrus is a excellent attorney, I recommend Cyrus because he is intuitive and has great communication skills. Cyrus is very honest and will never drag a case just to make more money
    Bobby Vafa
    Bobby Vafa
    29 July 2022
    I am here, writing on the behalf of Mr. Cyrus Tabibnia. From the very first moment we formally introduced ourselves to one another, I felt nothing but sincerity and authenticity from this man. At that very moment I knew, that this was the person ideal to represent me and to do diligence. In which in fact he did do so. He was able to significantly get my DUI and Car Theft charges reduced from felonies to misdemeanors and with one case, completely dismissed. I was not only impressed and satisfied completely, but I was not suprised one bit with the outcome. I highly suggest this gentlemen if you are in deed seeking counsel from someone who legitimately cares, and who will go the extra mile and above and beyond for you.
    DJ Cab
    DJ Cab
    7 July 2022

    Recent Posts

    Practice Areas

    Locations We Serve