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Laws on Child Solicitation in Indiana 

As with all other sex crimes, the laws on child solicitation in Indiana are located in Indiana Code 35-42-4. Generally, the offense of child solicitation is classified as a Level 5 felony, which is punishable by up to six years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. However, under some circumstances, this charge can be elevated to a Level 4 felony, which could result in up to 12 years in prison. Furthermore, those convicted of child solicitation may also need to register as a sex offender in Indiana, a classification which carries its own set of strict requirements and restrictions.  

Anyone who has been accused of or charged with a sex crime in Indiana should understand that the prosecution of such crimes will be aggressive, and the penalties can be harsh. On top of that, the collateral consequences of being charged, prosecuted, convicted of a sex crime can follow a person for the rest of their life. Given this, it’s vital that the accused speak with the best Indiana sex crimes attorney available.  

Many of the Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are former deputy prosecutors who have a broad understanding of Indiana criminal law. This means that they can anticipate how the prosecution may approach your case and provide you with a better chance of securing the most optimal outcome. If you’d like to speak with one of our sex crime attorneys today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at  317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.    

Looking for a Criminal Defense Attorney in Indiana? Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP Today.

Criminal Code on Child Solicitation in Indiana 

Indiana Code 35-42-4-6 defines child solicitation in Indiana as an act involving a person, 18 years of age or older, who knowingly or intentionally solicits a child under the age of 14, or whom they believe to be under the age of 14, to engage in sexual intercourse, other sexual conduct, or any fondling or touching intended to arouse the sexual desires of the child or the older person. The law further states that this applies to similar scenarios where the child is, or believed to be, older than the age of 14 but younger than the age of 16.  

For the purposes of this law, the term, “solicit,” can be understood as commanding, authorizing, urging, inciting, requesting, or advising an individual to perform an act of sexual intercourse, other sexual conduct, or fondling or touching with the intent to arouse. Furthermore, an act of solicitation can be done in person; by telephone or electronic device; in writing; by using a computer network; by advertisement of any kind; or by any other means. 

Generally, child solicitation in Indiana is a Level 5 felony. However, that classification can be elevated to a Level 4 felony if the offender committed the offense using a computer network and traveled to meet the child, or individual whom they believed to be a child; or the offender has a previous, unrelated conviction for child solicitation.

Per the Indiana sentencing guidelines, a Level 5 felony in Indiana is punishable by 1-6 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000; while a Level 4 felony is punishable by 6-12 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. In addition to these prescribed penalties, those convicted of this offense would also be required to register as a sex offender under Indiana Code 11-8-8-4.5, as well as a sex or violent offender under Indiana Code 11-8-8-5

Sex Offender Registration Requirements 

Anyone convicted of child solicitation in Indiana will undoubtedly face some of the most serious criminal penalties available under the law. But even if they successfully complete their sentence, their punishment will continue for many years as a result of being classified and required to register as a sex or violent offender in Indiana.  

When someone is required to register as one of the various types of sex offenders in Indiana, they’ll have their personal information made public by the sex or violent offender registry. This includes their photograph, 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 any current home, work, school, volunteer, and other residential addresses.   

In addition, sex offenders must report a swath of personal information (which can be found in Indiana Code 11-8-8-8) to local law enforcement. This information varies case-by-case, but could 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 are also required to report in person to their local law enforcement authority, once per year, in every location where they must register to be re-registered and photographed.  

Sex Offender Violations in Indiana 

Sex offenders in Indiana, as well as sex or violent offenders, who knowingly or intentionally violate their registration requirements, commit a Level 6 Felony. If they have previous, unrelated offenses related to registration violations or fail to comply with the requirements imposed upon them, that charge could be elevated to a Level 5 felony. Some of the most common 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 
  • not residing in the registered address 

Serious Sex Offender Violations 

It’s important to note that anyone convicted of child solicitation in Indiana would also be considered a “serious sex offender,” under Indiana code 35-42-4-14. Given this, if they knowingly or intentionally enter school property, they could be charged with a Level 6 felony for the offense of “unlawful entry by a serious sex offender.” 

There is, however, a statutory defense available to those charged with this offense. As stated in Indiana code 35-42-4-14(c), it is an applicable defense that a religious institution or house of worship is located on the school property and the person entered that property when classes, extracurricular activities or any other school activities were not being held. However, they must adequately demonstrate that their sole purpose of being at the school was for attending worship services or receiving religious instruction and that they left the school property no later than 30 minutes following the conclusion of the service or instruction.  

Indiana Offenders Against Children Violations 

Under Indiana Code 35-42-4-11, anyone convicted of child solicitation in Indiana would be considered to be an “offender against children,” which carries a unique own set of residency restrictions. Under this law, an offender against children is not permitted to reside (or spend more than three nights per 30-day period of time in a specific location or residence) within 1,000 feet of a youth program center, public park, daycare center, or school property. They also cannot establish residence within 1 mile of their victim or reside in a residence where a childcare provider provides childcare services. If an offender is found to be in violation of these requirements, they can be charged with a Level 6 felony in Indiana.  

In addition to residency restrictions, offenders against children also face employment restrictions. This means that a person who has been convicted of child solicitation in Indiana is barred from knowingly or intentionally working at a youth program center, at a public park, or on school property. Furthermore, they cannot work for or as a childcare provider or a provider of respite care; nor can they provide support services for primary or family caregivers or work at an adult daycare service. Once again, if an offender against children is found to have violated these employment restrictions, they could be charged with a Level 6 felony in Indiana. However, this charge could be elevated to a Level 5 felony if they have previously violated any restrictions placed upon them as a result of being a registered sex offender.  

Charged or Accused of Child Solicitation in Indiana? 

If you’ve been charged or accused of child solicitation in Indiana, you’re probably feeling quite anxious about your future. However, it’s important to understand that there are a variety of different defenses that have proven effective in cases like yours. The sex crime defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are not afraid to implement these strategies and will aggressively challenge the prosecution while pursuing the most optimal outcome in the case against you. Furthermore, our Indianapolis law firm takes a teamwork-based approach to criminal defense cases. This means that your Indiana defense attorney will have ample time and resources to fully investigate your case and see you through the entire criminal justice process; from negotiation to trial, through the criminal appeals process, and even when pursuing post-conviction relief.  

To protect your rights and future, speak with an attorney today by calling (317) 751-7186 or opting to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.  

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Laws on Child Solicitation in Indiana
Article Name
Laws on Child Solicitation in Indiana
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This article details the laws on child solicitation in Indiana, the penalties associated with the offense, and the collateral consequences of being deemed a sex or violent offender in Indiana.
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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