What's The Difference Between Sexual Battery and Rape? :: Temecula, Murrieta and Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney

Sexual crimes are often the ones people find the hardest to talk about, and they can be some of the most confusing. For example, what does the term "sexual battery" even mean? How is it different from rape? What do you have to do (or not do) in order for your conduct to be considered a sexual crime?

Let's clear some of this up.

Sexual Battery

According to California Penal Code 243.4, sexual battery occurs when you touch the intimate part of someone without that person's consent and the touching is done for a sexual purpose. Consent is the key to this crime. Whether someone is unconscious and unable to give consent, or restrained and unable to say no, or not old enough to legally consent, or makes it very clear that sexual contact is not wanted and that desire for the contact to end is ignored, these situations are all considered sexual battery.


The broad definition of sexual battery seems to fit rape just as easily. After all, isn't sexual contact without someone's consent the basis also used for rape? Yes, but rape is a more severe crime, and it typically involves penetration. Sexual battery can happen when someone is clothed or not, and it can quite literally be a single, unwanted touch. Put in stark terms, if a person is groped without consent then the person who did the groping committed sexual battery. If a person is forced to engage in penetration then that person has been the victim of rape.

Serious Crimes

Sexual crimes are always a serious matter. While the crimes themselves are rarely cut and dry, those involved need to have representatives who can help steer them through a turbulent case. If you or someone you care about is involved in a sexual battery, rape, or other form of sexual criminal case then contact us immediately to make sure someone qualified is looking out for their interests.

Since 1999, our office has defended individuals against many different types of felony and misdemeanor sex-related criminal offenses. We are located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta and we represent individuals who have been arrested in the Riverside County cities of Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Banning, Corona and Riverside.

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