California Penal Code 243.4 PC

PC 243.4 – Sexual Assault; Sexual Battery

PC 243.4 - Sexual Assault; Sexual Battery

Sexual Assault; Sexual Battery – Table of Contents

Sexual Assault; Sexual Battery Overview

Being falsely accused of sexual assault; sexual battery are a difficult situation to be in. There are many social and economic consequences of sex crime allegations, so it is important to learn as much as you can about what you are accused of.

In general, battery occurs when one person touches another person without consent. Contrary to popular belief, the touching does not have to cause injury, the mere fact that someone else’s physical integrity was violated via unwanted touching has been enough to qualify as battery.

The crimes of sexual assault; sexual battery are different. These crimes are very clearly defined in the sexual assault; sexual battery penal code by section 243.4 and cover a wide rang of conduct.

Sexual Assault; Sexual Battery PC 243.4

An excerpt of section 243.4 is presented below. It provides a basis for understanding what makes sexual assault; battery unique.

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.

Direct your attention to the bolded portion of the excerpt. That language identifies what kinds of touching are forbidden, and shows that the violation of this section hinges on the intent of the person doing the unwanted touching.

sexual assault in California

Other sections of section 243.4 are unique as well. PC 243.4 (b) extends this idea to professionals like doctors and nurses and creates a unique penalty for them. Section 243.4 (e)(1) creates unique penalties for employers who sexually assault their employees. Consult a licensed criminal defense attorney to get advice about the details of your case.

Important things to Consider:

  • Touches: Physical contact with another person, whether accomplished directly, through the clothing of the person committing the offense, or through the clothing of the victim. If the case involves an employer, touching includes contact on top of clothing
  • Intimate Part: The sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, and the breast of a female.
  • Against the will of the person being touched: This does not require that the person being touched resist the unwanted touching, the unwanted touching only needs to be achieved without the free and voluntary consent of the person being touched. Consent requires that the person being touched understand and appreciate all of the important facts of the touching.

    For example, if you falsely claim to be a doctor, and claim that your touching of another person’s intimate parts are part of a medical exam, you may be guilty of sexual assault; sexual battery. This is so even if the person you touch gives their permission because they did not have all of the facts needed to give a free and voluntary consent.

These definitions are important because they explain what the law considers an “intimate part,” and what parts of a person are considered “intimate.” Most importantly, though, is the idea of consent and that it must be freely and voluntarily given before any touching of intimate parts take place.

PC 243.4 Penalties

A violation of sexual assault; sexual battery PC 243.4 are generally a misdemeanor. However, some aggravating factors, like our fake doctor example above, are considered “wobblers,” meaning they can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies based on the facts and circumstances of the individual case.

Misdemeanor Penalties

  1. Up to 6 months in jail
  2. A fine of up to $3,000 depending on the circumstances OR BOTH, AND
  3. Summary (informal) probation AND
  4. LIFETIME registration as a sex offender

Felony Penalties

  1. Up to 5 years in state prison
  2. A fine of up to $10,000 depending on the circumstances, OR BOTH; AND
  3. Felony (formal) probation AND
  4. LIFETIME registration as a sex offender

Lifetime registration as a sex offender is a very serious penalty that can severely limit where you are allowed to live, where you are allowed to work, and will put your face and information related to a sexual assault; sexual battery conviction on a searchable database accessible by anyone on the internet.

Related Articles:

We Want to Help

If you have been charged with a Sex Crime, it is important to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away. Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases, including PC 243.4.

Consult a licensed criminal attorney to determine what your options are.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

Contact Us:         
Esfandi Law Group QR Code
Esfandi Law Group
Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

Get a Free Consultation

    Free Consultation Form