Sexual Battery

Sexual battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the case. Sexual battery involves touching an intimate part of another person against their will for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. Under the penal code, sexual battery involves touching, or physical contact with the skin or through the clothing, of a sexual organ, anus, groin, buttocks, or the breast of a female.

Under California law, sexual battery is separate from the crimes of rape, and sexual assault where penetration occurred.  There are separate provisions for felony sexual battery against:

  • A person who is unlawfully restrained
  • a person who is institutionalized and seriously disabled or medically incapacitated;
  • a person who is unaware of the act because the perpetrator falsely represents that the touching is for a professional purpose;
  • a person forced to masturbate or touch an intimate part of themselves, the perpetrator, or a third person; and
  • a minor.

Sexual battery can be charged as a misdemeanor when a person touches an intimate part of another person against their will, for the purpose of sexual gratification. This differs from a felony charge where the victim is generally restrained.

See CA Penal Code 243.4.


Penalties for sexual battery are severe. The circumstances surrounding the crime will affect the extent of the penalties, including if force was used, the age of the alleged victim, and the relation between the accused and alleged victim. In addition, a person could face civil charges for sexual battery with significant money damages.

Felony sexual battery is punishable by imprisonment for up to four (4) years, and fines of up to $10,000. Misdemeanor sexual battery is punishable by jail up to six (6) months, and a fine of up to $2,000. It is  possible for a person convicted of sexual battery to receive a sentence of probation without jail. This depends on the unique circumstances of the case and of the person accused.

Sex Offender Registration

In addition to the penalties noted, the defendant may be forced to register as a sex offender. If you are required to register as a sex offender, it will follow you for the rest of your life. You will be required to register with the police, or your college or university. Any time you move, you will again be required to register as a sex offender while living, attending school, or working in California.

Defenses to Sexual Battery

Sex crime laws are complex, and possible defenses vary greatly depending on the specific facts of the case. A qualified legal team, specializing in defense of sex crimes will look at the facts of each individual case to determine how best to form their defense strategy. This could include arguing that the individual was not restrained, that the accuser consented to the touching, that the touching did not involve an intimate body part, that the accused lacked a specific sexual intent, or that the act alleged did not happen.

Contact the offices of White Goldstein to speak with an attorney who specializes in defending people accused of sexual battery. We will provide you or your loved one with superior legal representation. We are dedicated to giving our clients the highest level of service. We will thoroughly investigate the charges you or your loved one face and will tirelessly work to have them dismissed.

Free Confidential Consultation

Call White Goldstein today at (310) 295-1810 for a free, confidential consultation.

White Goldstein

At White Goldstein, we provide our clients, and their loved ones, with nothing less than excellence in criminal defense. Unlike many criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles, we fight for our clients with compassion and emotion as well as intellect and skill because we genuinely care for our clients and their families