Indiana Sex Offender Laws
The Indiana sex offender laws are considered to be some of the strictest in the United States. As a result, registrants must often navigate this next chapter in their life under the immense pressure of constant compliance with a variety of restrictions and registration requirements. Given this, it’s vital that anyone who is required to register as a sex or violent offender in Indiana fully understand the laws governing Indiana sex offender registration, their sex offender registration type, and the seriousness of the penalties associated with violating their registration.
If you’re required to register as a sex or violent offender and are concerned about potential violations, the Indiana sex crimes attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are available to assist you. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys have a strong understanding of the sex offender restrictions in Indiana and how violations are handled by local law enforcement and the Courts, at large. If you’d like to speak with one of our sex crime lawyers today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.
Who Must Register Under the Indiana Sex Offender Laws?
The Indiana Sex or Violent Offender registry was established in 2003 with the enactment of the Indiana sex offender laws, otherwise known as Zachary’s Law. Under these laws, the privacy rights of sex or violent offender registrants are severely limited for the purposes of protecting the community-at-large.
- Criminal deviate conduct (convictions taking place before its repeal)
- Child molesting
- Child exploitation
- Vicarious sexual gratification
- Child solicitation
- Child seduction
- Sexual misconduct with a minor
- Sexual battery
- Kidnapping (if the victim is less than 18 years of age, and the person who kidnapped the victim is not the victim’s parent or guardian)
- Criminal confinement (if the victim is less than 18 years of age, and the person who confined the victim is not the victim’s parent or guardian)
- Possession of child pornography
- Promoting prostitution
- Promotion of human sexual trafficking
- Promotion of child sexual trafficking
- Promotion of sexual trafficking of a younger child
- Child sexual trafficking
- Human trafficking (if the victim is less than 18 years of age)
- Sexual misconduct by a service provider with a detained or supervised child
Furthermore, as stated in Indiana Code 11-8-8-7, this requirement to register under the Indiana sex offender laws extends to people who live in Indiana but were adjudicated to be a sex offender in another jurisdiction. In other words, if a person was deemed a sex offender in Ohio, but they reside in Indiana, they must also register here.
Are There Different Types of Sex Offenders in Indiana?
Yes, under the Indiana sex offender laws, located in Indiana Code 11-8-8, there are several different sex offender types, including sex offender; sex or violent offender; serious sex offender; sexually violent predator; and offender against children. Most of these classification types share some overlap and therefore many sex offenders in Indiana must register and meet the requirements of multiple registries.
What are the Indiana Sex Offender Registry Requirements?
As stated in Indiana Code 11-8-8-8, required offenders must provide the registry with their full name, date of birth, social security and driver’s license number, vehicle and vehicle identification numbers, as well as their principal, temporary and/or secondary residential addresses, and mailing address (if applicable). The Indiana sex offender laws also require registrants to provide the registry with a photo of themselves, as well as descriptors like their sex, race, height, weight, hair and eye color, and any scars, markings or tattoos on their body. Furthermore, sex offenders may need to provide the registry with additional personal information, such as electronic usernames like social media or gaming handles, forum account names, or email addresses; current work or school addresses; and “any other information required by the department.”
In addition, if a sex offender registrant intends to use electronic communications and chooses to register information regarding their usernames, they are providing implicit consent to have their computer or device searched, at any time, by law enforcement. They’re also implicitly agreeing to have monitoring hardware or software installed on their device, at their own expense.
As provided in Indiana Code 11-8-8-11, all individuals required to register as a sex or violent offender must report a variety of changes in their life to a relevant law enforcement authority. First, they must report any change to their principal residence or the place where they stay in Indiana within 72 hours of the change. This change must be reported to the local law enforcement authority with jurisdiction over the new location. Second, if a sex or violent offender changes their principle place of employment, vocation or education, they must report in person to the local law enforcement authority within 72 hours of the change. Finally, they must report any change to or new e-mail address, instant messaging username, chat room username or social networking handle to local law enforcement within 72 hours of the change or creation of the address or username.
The Indiana sex offender laws also require that a sex or violent offender obtain and keep a valid, up-to-date driver’s license or state issued identification card on their person, at all times. If found without this document, the offender would commit Failure of Sex or Violent Offender to Possess Identification, a class A misdemeanor under Indiana Code 11-8-8-15. This charge may also be elevated to a Level 6 felony if the person is a sexually violent predator or has a prior, unrelated conviction based on their failure to comply with any requirement imposed on them due to their classification as a sex or violent offender.
What if a Sex Offender Doesn’t Have a Principal Address?
Under the Indiana sex offender laws, an offender who lives in a temporary residence, they must register in person within the local law enforcement authority within 72 hours of moving into the residence. During the period of time that the offender is living in the temporary residence, they must report in person within the local law enforcement authority once every seven days following their initial registration.
If an offender does not have a principal or temporary residence, Indiana Code 11-8-8-12 states that they must report in person to local law enforcement at least once every seven days to report an address for the location where the sex or violent offender will stay during the time in which the sex or violent offender lacks a principal address or temporary residence.
How Long Must You Register as a Sex Offender in Indiana?
Depending on the crime that was committed, a past offender may be required to register as sex offender for a period of ten years or for the rest of the life.
In addition to the requirements to register for either 10 years or life, the Indiana sex offender laws in Indiana Code 11-8-8-14 state that a sex or violent offender must report in person to a local law enforcement authority, register, and be photographed once every 365 days, in each location they’re required to register. On top of that, those classified as “sexually violent predators” (under Indiana Code 35-38-1-7.5) must register every 90 days.
Do Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors in Indiana?
No, in Indiana, sex offenders do not have to notify their neighbors of their registration with the sex or violent offender registry. However, it is important for offenders to understand that community members may elect to receive notifications from the Registry when a registrant changes their address to a location near them.
What are Sex Offenders NOT allowed to do in Indiana?
Under the Indiana sex offender laws there are a handful of things that a registered sex offender is prohibited from doing. Some of these sex offender restrictions include being employed at a variety of places, communicating with children, entering certain locations, and under some circumstances changing their name. In addition, sex or violent offenders are prohibited from knowingly or intentionally violating their sex offender registration requirements. Under Indiana Code 11-8-8-7, a sex or violent offender who fails to register when required; fails to register in every location required; makes a material misstatement or omission while registering; fails to register in person; or does not reside at their registered address; commits a Level 6 felony in Indiana.
Where are Sex Offenders Restricted from Working?
Indiana Code 35-42-4-10 prohibits “offenders against children” and “sexually violent predators” from working or volunteering on school property, at a youth program center, or at a public park. It also prohibits them from working as or for a childcare provider or as a provider of respite care or adult day care services. If a registrant is found to be in violation of this law, they would be charged with unlawful employment by a sexual predator, a Level 6 felony in Indiana. If the registrant has previously been convicted of an offense relating to their failure to comply with any requirement imposed on them due to their status as a sex or violent offender, that charge would be elevated to a Level 5 felony.
Do the Indiana Sex Offender Place Restrictions on Where Registrants Can Live?
Yes, under some circumstances there are restrictions on where sex offenders can live in Indiana. Registrants classified simply as “sex or violent offenders” in Indiana may live wherever they choose. However, there are restrictions placed on “offenders against children” and “sexually violent predators.”
Under the sex offender residency restrictions located in Indiana Code 35-42-4-11, a registrant deemed a sexually violent predator or offender against children cannot knowingly or intentionally reside for more than three nights within a 30-day period in a residence or particular location located within 1,000 feet of a school property, youth program center, public park, or licensed day care facility. They may also not establish residence within one mile of their victim’s residence or reside in a residence where a childcare provider provides childcare services. If a registrant fails to meet this requirement, they may be charged with a sex offender residency offense, which is a Level 6 felony in Indiana.
What do the Indiana Sex Offender Laws Say About Name Changes?
As stated in Indiana Code 11-8-8-16, a sex or violent offender may not petition to change their name if they are currently required to register as a sex offender. It should be noted however, that a sex or violent offender may change their name due to marriage. However, they must register with local law enforcement no more than seven days after the name change.
Can Sex Offenders Talk to Children In-Person?
Yes, technically, sex or violent offenders may talk with children in-person. However, as stated in Indiana Code 35-42-4-13, a sex or violent offender who knowingly or intentionally communicates with an individual whom the person believes to be a child younger than fourteen (14) years of age, concerning sexual activity with the intent to gratify the sexual desires of the person or the individual, commits inappropriate communication with a child, a Level 6 felony.
What Restrictions are Placed on Sex Offenders’ Internet Usage?
Some sex or violent offender registrants may be subject to conditions of parole or probation that limit their ability to participate in online communication with children under the age of 16. If that’s the case, and a registrant knowingly or intentionally violates that condition, they could be charged with a sex offender internet offense under Indiana Code 35-42-4-12. For first-time offenders, this is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, if the registrant has been convicted of this offense in the past, they would be charged with a Level 6 felony.
Can Sex Offenders Be on School Property?
The Indiana sex offender laws place some restrictions on which registrants may enter school property. Per Indiana Code 35-42-4-14, a “serious sex offender” or “sexually violent predator,” may only enter school property under very narrow circumstances.
Convictions That Warrant a “Serious Sex Offender” Classification
- Child molestation
- Child exploitation, under Indiana Code 35-42-4-4(b) and 35-42-4-4(c)
- Possession of child pornography, under Indiana Code 35-42-4-4(d) or 35-42-4-4(e)
- Vicarious sexual gratification, under Indiana Code 35-42-4-5(a) and 35-42-4-5(b)
- Performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor
- Child solicitation
- Sexual misconduct with a minor
It should be noted that there is one exception to this law, which allows serious sex offender or sexually violent predator to enter school property. If a religious institution or house of worship is located on the property and no classes, extracurricular activities or any other school activities are currently being held, a registrant may enter school property no earlier than 30 minutes prior to the beginning of worship service or religious instruction and must leave no later than 30 minutes following the conclusion of service or instruction.
Further Questions about the Indiana Sex Offender Laws?
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 lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer are not afraid to implement these strategies to challenge the prosecution’s evidence in pursuit of protecting your fourth, fifth, and sixth amendment rights and securing the best possible outcome in the case against you.
As former deputy prosecutors, our Indianapolis attorneys 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.