Looking for an Indiana Sex Crimes Lawyer?
The tremendous weight of being charged with an Indiana sex crime is often too much for one to handle on their own. It’s easy to feel both isolated and defeated, even before the trial has begun. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By hiring an experienced, aggressive Indiana sex crimes lawyer, a defendant can invest in securing the best possible outcome in the case against them.
The criminal defense team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is made up of former deputy prosecutors who have an intimate understanding of how the Indiana criminal justice system works. They have personally prosecuted Indiana sex crime cases in the past and now stand ready to build your defense and aggressively seek the best outcome in the State’s case against you. If you’d like to speak with one of our Indiana sex crime lawyers today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.
Different Types of Sex Crimes in Indiana
Sex crimes in Indiana is a broad category of criminal offense that involve sexual conduct committed against or otherwise victimizing another person. It also encompasses certain conduct involving or relating to minors. However, it’s important to note that allegations of rape and sexual assault on college campuses tend to follow a different path and those accused would be best served by hiring an attorney who is experienced in Title IX defense.
Indiana Sex Crimes
- Rape: Having sexual intercourse, or causing someone to submit to or perform other sexual conduct, by way of force (without consent) or with a victim who is legally unable to consent
- Sexual battery: Fondling/touching a person for sexual arousal by force, threat of force, or without consent, even if the person being touched is unaware
- Prostitution: Performing or agreeing to perform sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct, in exchange for payment or other goods
- Human trafficking: Selling or transferring custody of either a child or adult for the purpose of participating in sexual conduct
Indiana Sex Crimes Related to Minors
- Child exploitation: A range of offenses including both child exploitation and possession of child pornography, criminalizes the production, exhibition, possession, and dissemination of material considered to be obscene and involving the depiction of anyone under the age of 18 years old
- Sale or distribution of obscene matter: This self-explanatory offense is elevated to a Level 6 felony if the victim is under the age of 18 years old
- Vicarious sexual gratification/sexual conduct in presence of a minor: Directing, aiding, inducing, or causing a child under age 16 to touch him- or herself or another child less than 16 years old for the child’s or the viewer’s sexual gratification
- Child solicitation: Commanding, authorizing, urging, inciting, requesting, or advising by an adult of a child less than 14 years old, or believed to be under the age of 14, to engage in specified sexual acts
- Sexual misconduct with a minor: Sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct, or fondling or touching with intent to sexually arouse either the minor or the accused when the minor is 14 or 15 years old
- Child seduction: Sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct, or fondling or touching by a stepparent, adoptive parent, adoptive grandparent, guardian, custodian childcare worker, or military recruiter with intent to sexually arouse either a minor (aged 16 or 17) or the accused
- Child molesting: Sexual conduct with someone less than 14 years old, even if the accused believed the child to be over the age of 14 at the time of the conduct
- Unlawful employment by a sexual predator: Employment or volunteering by an offender against children or a sexually violent predator at a prohibited list of locations including schools, parks, and youth program centers
The Importance of Hiring an Indiana Sex Crimes Lawyer
In Indiana, the prosecution of sex crimes is aggressive. The criminal penalties for those convicted are among the most severe and the consequences of even being charged or prosecuted for a sex crime can last a lifetime. If convicted, a defendant will face lengthy imprisonment, large fines, and may be required to register as one or more of the six types of sex offenders in Indiana. Their reputation will also suffer a massive hit. Many people who have been charged or convicted of sex crimes in Indiana find it challenging to get a job, build a social life, or find a place to live. They also experience difficulties when trying to obtain government benefits or maintain custody or visitation rights over their children.
Given what’s at stake, a defendant facing sex crime charges must invest in their defense by hiring the best Indiana sex crimes lawyer possible. The only way to successfully navigate the trial process, minimize penalties, and/or avoid the most severe consequences is to have the counsel of an experienced attorney who knows how to identify the best course of action and the right kind of defense strategy to deploy.
The Role of an Indiana Sex Crimes Lawyer in the Criminal Process
When someone is arrested for a sex crime in Indiana, it’s crucial for them to remember that it’s their right to remain silent, except to notify law enforcement that they will not answer any questions without their attorney present. When the chance presents itself, they should call an Indiana sex crimes lawyer immediately and then wait for them to arrive prior to engaging in conversation with anyone.
The events that follow an arrest for a sex crime are the same as most other criminal offenses. Before the criminal trial in Indiana, the defendant will attend an initial hearing where, per Indiana Code 35-33-7-5, the judge must inform them of the specific charges they face, as well as their rights. The defendant will then have a chance to enter a plea, such as guilty or not guilty. Once the initial hearing has concluded, the defense counsel and the prosecution will begin the investigation and discovery phase. During this time both sides will obtain evidence and witnesses and share this information with one another. Each side may also file pre-trial motions in an attempt to suppress evidence or testimony that was illegally obtained.
Potential Penalties for Sex Crimes in Indiana
Given the severity of the criminal penalties, it’s vital for anyone charged with a sex crime in Indiana to hire the best possible defense attorney. Per Indiana sex crimes law, located in Indiana Code 35-42-4, one faces a potential conviction range of Class A Misdemeanor to Level 1 Felony, the most severe conviction in Indiana, outside of murder. In addition, those convicted of a felony in the past may be adjudicated as habitual offenders, allowing the court to enhance their conviction, which could add 2-20 years to their sentence. Similarly, courts can adjudicate someone as a repeat sexual offender, which could add up to 10 years to their sentence.
Defense Strategies Used by Indiana Sex Crime Lawyers
When someone is being prosecuted for a sex crime in Indiana, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. This means that the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a defendant committed the alleged crime. When representing a client charged with a sex crime, the best Indiana sex crime lawyers often deploy one of six defense strategies aimed at disrupting the prosecution’s case. These include defenses of consent, mistaken identity, accident or mistake, false accusation, lack of intent, and mistaken belief (as to age).
It’s important to note, however, that each of these defenses applies to specific crimes and/or circumstances. Therefore, it’s best to fully understand each defense strategy and the context in which the strategy should be used. If you’d like to learn more about these defense strategies, one of the Indiana sex crime lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can walk you through each strategy and help you understand which one may best apply to your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form.
The defense of consent is commonly deployed when a defendant has been charged with rape or sexual assault, as both of those crimes require that the victim did not consent to the sexual conduct in question. Until recently, however, the definition of consent in Indiana was murky. In fact, Indiana law didn’t even have a definition for consent prior to the signing of House Bill 1079 in March 2022. Now, when a person, knowingly or intentionally has sexual intercourse with another person or knowingly or intentionally causes another person to perform or submit to other sexual conduct when “the person disregarded the other person’s attempts to physically, verbally or by other visible conduct refuse the person’s acts,” they commit Level 3 felony rape in Indiana.
Given this, one common defense that Indiana sex crime lawyers deploy is the mistaken identity defense. Why? Well, trauma can have a significant impact on an individual’s memory and therefore it’s not uncommon for a victim to mistakenly identify their attacker when looking at a police lineup or photo array. Furthermore, if there is any reasonable belief that mistaken identity may be at play in a certain case, then the prosecution must pursue another avenue in order to prove that the defendant did commit the crime.
Being falsely accused of a sex crime in Indiana is more common than most would imagine, and in situations like this, it’s vital to hire an attorney immediately. False accusation defense strategies involve a tremendous amount of evidence gathering, which can be challenging for a defendant to do on their own. However, a skilled Indiana sex crimes lawyer will know how to obtain evidence that will be critical in building a sound defense. This may include video camera evidence, eyewitness testimony, or even location data.
Lack of Intent
When a defendant’s Indiana sex crimes lawyer deploys the lack of intent defense, they’re essentially saying that the defendant did not possess the required criminal intent at the time they committed the illegal act. To prove a lack of intent, the lawyer will often attempt to demonstrate an absence of intent on the defendant’s behalf. For example, in a sexual assault case, the defendant may have made a mistake of fact and had reasonable belief that the situation was consensual. An attorney may also attempt to use the involuntary intoxication defense, arguing that the defendant was unable to form the required intent due to intoxication.
For sex crimes that involve an element of consent, a mistaken belief defense may be available. This defense relies on the belief that there was an incapacity of consent that was interpreted by the defendant as consent. To successfully deploy this defense, an Indiana sex crimes lawyer must show that there was evidence of equivocality or ambiguity that demonstrates the possibility of mistaken belief, provided that the defendant was not willfully reckless regarding consent.
Need to Speak with an Indiana Sex Crimes Lawyer?
If you have been arrested or already charged with a sex crime in Indiana, it’s vital that you contact an experienced, aggressive Indiana sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Without one, you run the risk of incurring some of the most serious criminal penalties possible in the state of Indiana. If you’d like to take action and invest in the best possible outcome in your case, contact the Indiana sex crime lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP today. Our team will do everything it takes to secure the best results for you – whether that is a dismissal or reduction of charges, or a not guilty verdict. We will provide you with high-quality, dedicated criminal defense and stand by your side, from initial consultation to investigation, trial and criminal appeal. To protect your rights and future, call us today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.