Different Types of Sex Offenders in Indiana

September 30, 2022

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Different Types of Sex Offenders in Indiana 

Those charged with Indiana sex crimes face some of the most severe penalties that the criminal justice system has to offer. The prosecution against them will be harsh and aggressive, and if convicted, they face hefty fines and may have to spend years in prison. But the punishment doesn’t stop on the day of their release. Individuals charged with sex crimes often face years of day-to-day restrictions based on their status as sex offenders in Indiana.  

If you face allegations of sex crimes, you must act quickly to protect both your rights and your future. Therefore, contacting an experienced Indianapolis sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible is vital to maintaining your freedom. The criminal defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you navigate the complex criminal proceedings you may face and help fight the stigma attached to allegations made against you. Our firm knows, understands, and has experience in defending those charged with sex crimes. Let us be your advocate. To begin charting a path forward, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at (317) 751-7186 or schedule a free consultation online. 

Restriction Types for Sex Offenders in Indiana 

Those convicted of sex crimes in Indiana may be classified as one (or more) of five sex offender types and be required to register with the sex or violent offender’s registry for a period of ten years (unless lifetime registration is required). They also often face restrictions on where they can live, spend time, or with whom they can communicate. If found in violation of registration and/or requirements of their registration, they may face further criminal penalties up to a level 5 felony. 

Types of Classification for Sex Offenders in Indiana 

  • Sex Offender 
  • Sex or Violent Offender 
  • Serious Sex Offender 
  • Sexually Violent Offender 
  • Offender Against Children 

When reviewing which convictions warrant certain classifications in Indiana Code 11-8-8, it becomes clear that there may be some overlap between classification types. When an overlap occurs, the offender will be required to meet the requirements of each classification their conviction or convictions falls under. These overlapping restrictions can be incredibly burdensome on individuals, causing them to significantly alter their day-to-day lives. Therefore, it’s common for an offender to seek relief from these burdens by relocating to another state. Before doing so, it’s critical to speak with an attorney with a deep understanding of the laws surrounding sex crimes. Generally, relocation rarely allows an offender to discontinue their registration prior to the expiration of their required registration period. In fact, some moves may even require the offender to register for even longer.  

 

Sex Offenders in Indiana 

The Indiana Sex or Violent Offender Registry makes various pieces of information about each offender public, including a photograph, their name, aliases, age, and physical descriptors like height, weight, eye and hair color, prominent scars, and tattoos. It also lists the offenses they have committed and current home, work, school, volunteer, and other residential addresses.  

Furthermore, sex offenders in Indiana are required to report an array of personal information (which can be found in Indiana Code 11-8-8-8) to local law enforcement. Although this information may vary case-by-case, it may include  any change to their current residence, legal name, or electronic usernames like instant messenger, social media, or mail. In accordance with Indiana Code 11-8-8-14, sex offenders must also report in-person once a year to their local law enforcement authority in each location where they must register to be re-registered and photographed. 

Per Indiana Code 11-8-8-4.5, individuals required to register as sex offenders in Indiana have been convicted of one or more of the crimes listed below:  

  • Rape  
  • Criminal Deviate Conduct (before it was repealed) 
  • Child Molesting  
  • Child Exploitation 
  • Vicarious Sexual Gratification (including performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor)  
  • Child solicitation 
  • Child seduction 
  • Sexual Misconduct with a minor as a Level 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 felony, unless 
  • Unless the person was convicted of a Level 5 Felony; and 
  • The person is not more than four years older than the victim 
  • Incest  
  • Sexual Battery  
  • Kidnapping, if the victim is less than 18 years old, and the offender is not the victim’s parent or guardian 
  • Criminal confinement, if the victim is less than 18 years old, and the offender is not the victim’s parent or guardian 
  • Possession of child pornography 
  • Promoting prostitution as a Level 4 Felony  
  • Promotion of human trafficking  
  • Promotion of child sexual trafficking 
  • Promotion of sexual trafficking of a younger child 
  • Child sexual trafficking 
  • Human trafficking under Indiana Code 35-42-3.5-1.4 if the victim is over 18 years old 
  • Sexual misconduct by a service provider with a detained or supervised child 
  • Indiana Sex or Violent Offender   

Under Indiana Code 11-8-8-5, anyone charged with a crime that would require them to register as a “sex offender” (as listed above) must also register more broadly as a “sex or violent offender.” However, offenders convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter must also register under this classification. These offenders also have their personal information made public in the sex or violent offender registry and faces the same penalties for registration violations. 

Registration Violations by Sex Offenders in Indiana 

Sex offenders in Indiana, as well as sex or violent offenders, who are found in knowing or intentional violation of their registration commit a Level 6 Felony. Furthermore, they face a Level 5 felony if they have previous, unrelated offenses related to registration violations or failure to company with the requirements imposed upon them. Registration violations include failure to register when required; failure to register in every location where required; making material misstatements or omissions while registering; failure to register in person; and/or not residing in the registered address. 

Serious Sex Offenders in Indiana 

Indiana Code 35-42-4-14 that the classification of a “serious sex offender” applies to a person required to register as a sex offender who is found to be a “sexually violent predator,” in Indiana Code 35-38-1-7.5, or convicted of child molesting or exploitation, possession of child pornography, vicarious sexual gratification, performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor, child solicitation or seduction, or sexual misconduct with a minor.  

Offenders that are given this classification commit a Level 6 felony if they knowingly or intentionally enter school property, with one exception. Serious sex offenders in Indiana may be permitted to enter a school if a religious institution or house of worship is located on the school property, and that offender enters the property when no school-related activities are being held for the sole purpose of attending worship services or receiving religious instruction. In these situations, they may only arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the service or instruction and must leave within 30 min of its conclusion.

Sexually Violent Predators in Indiana 

Indiana Code 35-38-1-7.5 states that “sexually violent predator” means a person who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the individual likely to repeatedly commit a sex offense. The term also includes a person convicted in another jurisdiction who is identified as a sexually violent predator under Indiana Code 11-8-8-20.   

In addition, sex offenders in Indiana may be classified as a sexually violent predators if they are over 18 years old and have been convicted of rape, child molestation, sexual conduct in the presence of a minor under the age of 16 while (a) having a previous unrelated conviction for a sex offense for which the person is required to register as a sex or violent offender; (b) having had a previous unrelated adjudication as a delinquent child for an act that would be a sex offense if committed by an adult, if, after considering expert testimony, a court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person is likely to commit an additional sex offense; or (c) having had a previous unrelated adjudication as a delinquent child for an act that would be a sex offense if committed by an adult, if the person was required to register as a sex or violent offender under Indiana Code 11-8-8-5(b)(2).   

Furthermore, an offender may be classified as a sexually violent predator if they are over 18 years old and have been convicted of vicarious sexual gratification as described in Indiana Code 35-42-4-5(a) and Indiana Code 35-42-4-5(b). 

Restrictions on Sexually Violent Offenders 

If the court deems the offender to be a sexually violent offender, the person is required to register with local law enforcement and the court shall send notice to the department of correction. Furthermore, they are restricted from knowingly or intentionally working on school property, at a youth program center, a public park, as a childcare provider, for a childcare provider, or as a provider of respite care services, support services for primary or family caregivers, or adult day care service. If found in violation of this requirement, they commit a crime of Unlawful Employment by a Sexual Predator, which is a Level 6 felony. This penalty increases to a Level 5 penalty if they have been convicted of prior violations imposed on them due to their classification as a sex offender.  

Similar to other sex offenders in Indiana, sexually violent offenders must report in-person to their local law enforcement authority in each location where they must register to be re-registered and photographed. However, per Indiana Code 11-8-8-14, they are required to do so every 90-days, rather than once a year.

Relief for Sexually Violent Offenders 

As detailed in Indiana Code 35-38-1-7.5(g), individuals who have been classified as sexually violent offenders for a certain period may petition the court to consider removing their classification. However, once they qualify to petition, they can only do so once a year. To qualify, the petition must be filed 10 years after:  

  • The sentencing court or juvenile court’s determination; or  
  • The person is released from incarceration/secure detention 

The court may simply dismiss the petition if it sees fit, or it can conduct a hearing to re-evaluate the offender’s classification as a sexually violent offender. At this hearing, the court will appoint two psychologists or psychiatrists with expertise in criminal behavioral disorders. These experts will evaluate the offender and provide testimony to the court, regarding their classification. If the court does find that an offender should no longer carry this classification, they’ll send notice to the department of correction. The court will also remove all conditions imposed upon the offender as a result of the status as a sexually violent offender, including lifetime parole and/or GPS monitoring.  

While this might seem simple, petitioning to no longer be considered a sexually violent offender is not a straightforward process. It requires a deep understanding of Indiana criminal law and how Indiana courts evaluate these types of petitions. Therefore, it’s wise to consult with expert Indiana sex crime attorneys like those at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. To begin working on a petition, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at (317) 751-7186 or schedule a free consultation online.

Indiana Offenders Against Children 

As outlined in Indiana Code 35-42-4-11, an offender against children means a person who has been found, at any time, to be both a sexually violent predator under Indiana Code 35-38-1-7.5 and convicted of one or more of the following offenses: child molestation, child exploitation, child solicitation, child seduction, or kidnapping (if the victim is under 18-years-old and the offender is not their parent or guardian). 

If classified as an offender against children, the offender is not permitted to reside (which means to spend more than 3 nights in a residence or specific location within a 30-day period) within 1,000 feet of school property, youth program center, public park, or daycare center; establish a residence within one mile of their victim; or reside within a residence where a childcare provider provides childcare services. If found in violation of these requirements, they commit a Level 6 felony. 

Furthermore, sex offenders in Indiana that are classified as offenders against children are restricted from knowingly or intentionally working on school property, at a youth program center, a public park, as a childcare provider, for a childcare provider, or as a provider of respite care services, support services for primary or family caregivers, or adult day care service. If found within violation of this requirement, they commit a crime of Unlawful Employment by a Sexual Predator, which is a Level 6 felony. This penalty increases to a Level 5 penalty if they have been convicted of prior violations imposed on them due to their classification as a sex offender. 

 Speak with an Indiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today 

While the penalties and restrictions placed upon sex offenders in Indiana can be harsh, there are a variety of different defenses that have proven effective in cases like these. The sex crimes defense team at Keffer Hirschauer is not afraid to implement these strategies and challenge the prosecution’s evidence in pursuit of the best possible outcome for your case. If we discover that your fourth, fifth or sixth amendment rights were violated in any manner, we will use that to your advantage. We have years of experience in criminal defense and are ready to begin working on your case. Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at (317) 751-7186 or schedule a free consultation online. 

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