Indiana Sex Offender Registration: What You Need to Know
Being convicted of a crime can be a life-altering experience. In addition to fines or jail time, the stigma that a conviction carries can follow you for the rest of your life, making it extremely difficult—if not impossible—to find a good job, secure housing, and even enter into a relationship. The consequences of a criminal conviction are heightened when the conviction carries with it an Indiana sex offender registration requirement—and society subsequently views you as a threat.
If you are facing criminal charges for conduct that could lead to a requirement to register as a sex offender, it is essential that you engage an experienced Indiana criminal defense lawyer. There are many defenses that an attorney can explore for you—including consent, statute of limitations, mistaken identity, alibi, and mental incapacity to have had intent to commit the crime. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate a criminal charge against you—from assessing the initial charges through trial and appeal, if necessary, in case of conviction.
Introduction to the Indiana Sex Offender Registration
Pursuant to Indiana Code § 11-8-2-12.4, the Indiana Department of Correction is required to establish a sex offender registry, and pursuant to Indiana Code § 36-2-13-5.5, county sheriffs in Indiana are jointly responsible for maintaining the registry. Indiana has been keeping records of sex offenders since 2003, when Zachary’s Law was first enacted.
The Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry provides detailed information about individuals who register as sex or violent offenders in Indiana. Indiana sex offender registration is intended to inform the public about the identity, location, and appearance of offenders who reside, work, or attend schools in Indiana. A person registered as a sex offender has far less privacy than the average citizen. Members of the public can go online and get information about sex offenders who live, work, or attend school in their communities. The public can also sign up for email alerts to let them know when a registered sex offender moves into their neighborhood.
While advised not to, some people in the community may use this information to harass registered offenders and their families. This is yet another reason to take seriously any charges against you, and to engage qualified counsel to vigorously defend you against those charges. The quality of your future and the lives of your family members could be at stake.
Criminal Convictions Requiring Registration as a Sex Offender in Indiana
Indiana sex offender registration is required for individuals convicted of certain Indiana criminal offenses that occur under certain circumstances. An adult adjudicated to be a sex offender must register following conviction for any of the following offenses:
- 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
A minor may also be required to register if the following apply:
- The minor was 14 years old or older when committing the offense
- The minor has been released from confinement in a state institution or juvenile facility
- The minor is still likely to commit an act that would be considered a sex offense if committed by an adult
Appealing Indiana Sex Offender Registration Requirement
There is an appeal process for non-incarcerated registrants to challenge the requirement for them to register as sex offenders or to remove themselves or certain information from the list if already registered. Specific rules set out how, when, and to whom a person ordered to register may protest and appeal. If those rules are not followed, you may lose the right to any review.
Given the significant impact Indiana sex offender registration can have on many aspects of an individual’s life, consultation as early as possible with an attorney experienced with the laws and procedures relating to sex offender registration in Indiana is critical.
Duration of Sex Offender Registration in Indiana
Indiana sex offender registration may be required for either ten years or the offender’s lifetime. The registration term ordered depends on the underlying conviction. Ten years is the minimum length of registration that is required for sex offenders, and that period is tolled for any time during which the offender is incarcerated.
Indiana Code § 11-8-8-19 specifies the circumstances under which an individual will be required to register as a sex offender for life. These circumstances include cases of sexually violent predators, cases involving a victim less than 12 years old, when the underlying offense resulted in serious bodily harm to or the death of the victim, or the offender has been convicted of two or more of the offenses listed above and found in Indiana Code § 11-8-8-5.
All individuals required to register as a sex offender for 10 years must verify their personal information with law enforcement once a year. Individuals required to register for a lifetime have a heightened requirement to verify their information every 90 days.
What Information Is Disclosed Pursuant to Sex Offender Registration in Indiana?
Indiana Code § 11-8-8-8 sets out the required registration information, which includes the following about the registrant:
- Full name (including aliases and former names)
- Recent photograph
- Date of birth
- Hair color
- Eye color
- Any scars, marks, or tattoos
- Social security number
- Driver’s license number or state ID card number
- Vehicle description and vehicle identification number
- Principal and secondary residential addresses
- Mailing address (if different from the principal residential address)
The information collected for the Indiana sex offender registry is of a type normally not published in other circumstances. Given the high stakes and the complete loss of privacy involved with a conviction requiring registration as a sex offender, retaining an experienced Indiana criminal law lawyer is imperative.
Indiana Sex Offender Restrictions
Under Indiana Code § 11-8-8-7, the requirement to register as a sex offender extends to people who:
- Live in Indiana
- Work in Indiana (continuously or for a period of time)
- Enroll in an Indiana school
The requirement to register as a sex offender in Indiana also extends to people in Indiana who are required to register as a sex offender as a result of a conviction in another jurisdiction.
Being on the Indiana sex offender registry does not necessarily result in any additional restrictions. However, your status as a sex offender may result in additional special probation conditions. In addition to being on the sex offender registry, these can include conditions such as:
- Prohibition from residing within 1000 feet of the following:
- School property
- Public park
- Licensed daycare center
- Youth center program
- Prohibition from working at a:
- Public park
- Licensed daycare center
- Youth center program
- Prohibition from residing within one mile victim of the sex offense
- Consent to a search of your computer and any device with Internet capacity
- Prohibition from accessing certain chat rooms, websites, and instant message applications frequented by children and a prohibition from tampering with your computer or any device with Internet capacity to conceal such activity
- Prohibition against using chat rooms to communicate with
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Indiana
Once an individual has been convicted and the requirement to register as a sex offender has been imposed, an offender is committing a felony if he or she knowingly or intentionally fails to register at all, fails to register in the right location, or fails to provide accurate information in their registration. Experienced guidance from a sex crimes defense attorney will help ensure that you do not add another conviction to your record.
Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP for Representation Relating to Indiana Sex Offender Registration
The possibility or actuality of registering as a sex offender will negatively impact your life in countless ways. Understanding Indiana law on sex offender registration requirements is essential if you or a loved one is facing registration. Having to register as a sex offender radically alters the rest of your life, it drastically reduces your privacy, and it exposes both you and your loved ones to future harassment.
If you’ve been accused—or convicted—of a sex crime that requires Indiana sex offender registration, you need an experienced Indianapolis sex crimes attorney who will defend you against the allegations, fight to have your conviction overturned, or counsel you on compliance with your registration requirements. The criminal defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have a deep understanding of Indiana criminal law and will put that knowledge to use for you! For a consultation on how we can help you, schedule your consultation using our online contact form, or call (317) 857-0160.