Indiana Violent Offender Registry: Limitations on Your Freedom after Conviction
Defendants in criminal cases may believe their punishment ends once their imprisonment, parole, or probation expires. However, a new set of legal consequences may begin upon release from incarceration or other formal sentencing supervision for a certain group of defendants. Sex offenders and certain violent offenders must place themselves on the Indiana violent offender registry upon their release from imprisonment or other forms of punishment.
Legal authorities use the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry to keep tabs on defendants deemed dangerous to the community even after a term of incarceration, parole, or probation is completed. These defendants have limited opportunities to remove their names from the violent offender registry. An Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you navigate the various requirements of the violent offender registry and seek your removal from the list if you are eligible.
Recapping the Indiana Violent Offender Registry
Individuals who have been deemed sex and violent offenders in Indiana experience significant legal consequences that reach beyond prison and monetary fines. These consequences include required registration on the Indiana violent offender registry and following conditions that result from registration. Under Indiana Code § 11-8-8-4.5, anyone convicted of offenses like these is deemed a sex offender:
- Child molestation
- Child exploitation
- Sexual battery
Additionally, Indiana Code § 11-8-8-5 provides that anyone convicted of offenses like those above, murder, or voluntary manslaughter is deemed a sex or violent offender. Under Indiana Code § 11-8-8-7, these persons must register as part of the Indiana violent offender registry.
Some sex or violent offenders must register on the Indiana offender registry for ten years, while others must remain on the register for the rest of their lives. Those who must register for life include:
- Offenders age 18 and up who committed a sex or violent offense against a victim age 12 or under
- Offenders convicted of a crime that resulted in death or serious injury, used or threatened force, or caused the victim to be unable to give consent, whether due to lack of consciousness or other factors
- Sexually violent predators as defined by Indiana Code § 35-28-1-7.5
The registration period for the violent offender registry pauses during any period the defendant is incarcerated. However, the registration period does not start over if the defendant is found guilty of another offense. The defendant must register upon the later of the following events:
- Release from jail
- Placement in a community transition program
- Placement in a community corrections program under Indiana Code chapter 11-12-1
- Initiation of parole
- Initiation of probation
Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry Requirements
Once on the sex and violent offender registry, you must comply with various requirements, which include keeping the authorities updated on your residence, mailing address, and vehicle. In particular, individuals on the registry must report all property they own along with their current residence, and they have 72 hours to report a move to a new residence. Additionally, they must have their photograph taken for the registry’s public website and provide personal details that include their full name, a description of their vehicle, a physical description, and other identifying information.
Every individual on the registry is subject to in-person visits from a law enforcement for the purpose of verifying registry information. Every year, the defendant must report to law enforcement in person for re-registry and update their photograph. Keeping track of all the requirements—and ensuring you’re in compliance—can be difficult, but an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the Indiana violent offender registry requirements.
Notice of Defendant’s Duty to Register
A defendant’s release from incarceration is the end of the prison sentence, but that may not conclude the consequences of conviction. Fortunately, the law understands that the defendant may not know all of these duties of the registry when leaving jail. When a defendant is held in a secure private facility, such as a jail or community corrections program, within seven days of their release, an official of the facility must:
- Verbally inform the defendant of the duty to register on the Indiana violent offender registry
- Deliver a form advising the defendant of the duty to register
- Obtain the address where the defendant expects to reside after release
- Provide to the local authorities the defendant’s expected county of residence, name, date of release, new address, and offense
Violations of the Indiana Violent Offender Registry
Once on the violent offender registry, you must ensure you do not violate any requirements or rules governing registrants. The following are examples of violations of the Indiana violent offender registry pursuant to Indiana Code § 11-8-8-17:
- Not registering as required
- Not registering in all locations required
- Providing false information or omitting information during registration
- Not registering in person
- Residing at a different address than the one provided to the registry
Violations of these requirements may lead to significant penalties. A violation of the Indiana registry requirements is a Level 6 felony, which is punishable by six months to two and one-half years in jail plus a fine up to $10,000.
These punishments may increase when a previous, unrelated conviction is on the defendant’s record for an offense that requires registration. In such cases, violation is a Level 5 felony, which carries a potential prison term of one to six years and a fine up to $10,000. If you have violated the terms of the registry, contact an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer right away for help mitigating the consequences.
Removal from the Indiana Violent Offender Registry
There are times when officials incorrectly add a person to the Indiana violent offender registry or leave an individual on the registry after the time required as a registrant is completed. When this occurs, the defendant must petition the local law enforcement authorities and may even have to appeal the decision to the Indiana Department of Correction. If you feel your name is incorrectly included on the violent offender registry, contact an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney for help removing your name from the list.
There is a process for non-incarcerated registrants to challenge the registration requirement or remove themselves from the registry. To have your name removed from the violent offender registry, you must meet at least one of these specific conditions:
- After denial of a previous protest, a law enforcement officer has notified you of registry changes that may impact your status
- More than 30 days have passed since you submitted a request to change, remove, or update your registry information
When any of these criteria are met and the information in the registry is inaccurate or improperly included, the individual may be permitted to file a complaint requesting changes to or removal of personal information from the Indiana violent offender registry. You can challenge the registry’s decision on the following grounds:
- The registration incorrectly names the defendant, who is actually innocent
- The registry’s decision is based on incorrect public information and needs to be changed
- The registry’s decision utilized public information the registry should not have accessed
- The registry overlooked public information it should have referred to while making the decision
Requests to change or remove information must be submitted in writing and signed by the convicted person. An individual in this situation may submit such a request after a 30-day waiting period with no response from an Indiana law enforcement agency.
Your first challenge is made by filing a protest with the local law enforcement authority. To file a protest, you must submit a written document claiming either:
- The information included, proposed change, or request denial is inaccurate or based on inaccurate information
- Law enforcement did not follow proper procedure in reaching its decision and notifying the defendant of the decision regarding registration
If the local authorities deny your request, you may appeal to the Indiana Department of Correction. To appeal, you must submit a written document alleging any of the following:
- The local law enforcement authority’s proposed change or refusal is incorrect
- The authority has not correctly followed procedure in reaching its decision to make a proposed change or a refusal or in notifying the defendant of its decision
- The local authority has not correctly followed this procedure when ruling upon the protest the defendant submitted
Your opportunities to protest or appeal a decision regarding information included on the registry are limited, and one mistake can damage your opportunity for removal from the registry. To maximize your chance of a successful outcome, contact an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney as early in the process as possible.
Sex Offenders on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry
Just like violent offense convictions, sex crime convictions in Indiana carry significant legal penalties and can also result in lasting consequences outside of the criminal justice system. In addition to incarceration and/or a fine, you may have parole or probation requirements not to mention the impact a sex crime conviction can have on your reputation. Not least of these is the requirement to register on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry.
In addition, a sex crime conviction may compel the defendant to register on the violent offender registry after completing the sentence imposed. Registration further limits your life. For example, individuals on the registry cannot live within 1,000 feet of places where children are frequently present, such as schools, youth centers, public parks, and daycare centers. Additionally, they may not live within one mile of the victim or reside in a home where a person provides childcare services.
Violation of these requirements commits a Level 6 felony, which carries a penalty of incarceration for six months to two and one-half years and/or a fine up to $10,000. Should you face additional penalties for violating offender registration laws, contact an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP.
Finding the Right Indiana Criminal Defense Attorney
Conviction resulting in designation as a violent offender or sex offender often follows you long after you’ve served your sentence. This includes registration on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry. To avoid violations or being included on the registry in error, you need an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we are ready to help you navigate the requirements of the Indiana violent offender registry and make sure your rights are protected. For a free consultation, call (317) 857-0160 or complete our online contact form.