Dawson was detained in lieu of $50,000 bail before being released in the early afternoon.
Dawson would face at least a 10-game suspension and could be ordered to undergo counseling under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement if convicted of a violent felony. Charlotte's Jeffrey Taylor was suspended 24 games without pay in November 2014 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor battery charges.
"Obviously, it's an awful situation as far as I'm concerned," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "I have a daughter, so it's a terrible situation, but we'll figure out what we want to do and how we want to handle it."
The Clippers recalled Dawson on Saturday from the Erie BayHawks of the Development League. Dawson, 23, has appeared in only three games this season for the Clippers, who drafted him late in the second round last summer out of Michigan State after paying the New Orleans Hornets about $600,000 to acquire the pick.
It's the second violent incident involving a Clipper since late January, when star forward Blake Griffin punched team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi at a Toronto restaurant. The Clippers suspended Griffin four games for the episode, punishment he will serve after recovering from a broken right hand and a quadriceps injury.
Rivers said it was too early to speculate about potential punishment for Dawson, whose first court date is April 7.
Rivers said Griffin's hand was recovering more quickly than his quadriceps, a potentially worrisome development considering Griffin has had more than 2 1/2 months to rest the partially torn quadriceps tendon that he suffered on Christmas.
"He's in the same place, obviously," Rivers said of Griffin, who has not been cleared to fully practice. "We don't know when he's coming back. We are hoping as soon as possible."
Griffin recently increased the intensity of his workouts, leading to discomfort in the quadriceps that prevented him from taking the next step in his recovery. Rivers had gushed earlier this month about the way Griffin looked on the team's practice court but said he did not consider the lack of a definitive timetable for his return a setback.
"He told me today he's feeling a lot better, but he's just not ready to play," Rivers said. "If it was a playoff game, would he play? Probably, but I think you've got to be cautious and I think that's what we're going to be."
The Clippers have 17 games left in the regular season.
Forward Paul Pierce sat out a second consecutive game after testing his sore right big toe in warmups and deciding it had not sufficiently healed. . . . Hip-hop artist Kanye West weighed in on the Clippers' new mascot, Chuck the Condor, with a plea to team owner Steve Ballmer. "Steve Ballmer," West tweeted, "can I please redesign the Clippers mascot." Ballmer replied via Twitter that he loved Chuck "but love your creativity. . . . Let's grab a Clips game together and talk."
Times staff writer Kate Mather contributed to this report.