Indiana Sex Offender Restrictions
Indiana sex offender laws have a reputation for being some of the strictest and most restrictive in the United States. As a result, individuals convicted of sex offenses often face lifelong restrictions that limit many of their everyday activities. This includes where they can live, work, and even how they may communicate with others. Understanding these restrictions can be challenging and violating them could lead to an offender being charged with additional crimes. Therefore, it’s vital that anyone who is currently on the registry possesses a strong understanding of the Indiana sex offender restrictions and speak with an attorney if they worry that they may be found in violation of the registration requirements.
The Indiana sex crimes attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have a strong understanding of the sex offender restrictions in Indiana and are available to help registrants understand what they can and cannot do in the community. Furthermore, several of our attorneys are former deputy prosecutors who have personally prosecuted Indiana sex crime cases in the past. This means they’re well-equipped to defend registrants against violation charges. If you’d like to speak with one of our Indiana sex crime lawyers today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.
Sex and Violent Offender Registration
The Indiana Indiana Sex or Violent Offender registry was established in 2003 with the enactment of Zachary’s Law, which limits the privacy rights of sex or violent offender registrants. Per Indiana Code 11-8-2-12.4 and Indiana Code 36-2-13-5.5, the Indiana Department of Correction and each county’s sheriff are jointly responsible for establishing and maintaining the Sex and Violent Offender Registry. Furthermore, Indiana Code 11-8-8-8 clearly defines what sort of information a registrant is required to provide to the registry. This information includes the registrant’s full name, date of birth, social security and driver’s license number, vehicle and vehicle identification numbers, as well as their principal and secondary residential addresses, and mailing address (if applicable). It also requires the registrant to provide the Indiana sexual offender 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.
In addition to the information listed above, sex offenders also need to also provide the registry with additional information regarding their identity online. This includes their e-mail address, instant messaging username, electronic chat room username, or their social networking information for any website the registrant would like to use. If the registrant does provide the registry with information about their online identity, they will also be required to sign a consent form granting law enforcement the ability to search, at any time, their personal computer or any device that has internet capabilities. They must also consent to having surveillance software installed on their devices, at their own expense.
The information provided to the Indiana sex offender registry can be accessed by all members of the public via an online database and can be used to look up information about offenders living, working, or studying within their communities. On top of that, members of the public can sign up for email alerts regarding any registered sex or violent offenders who move into their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, some members of the public may use this information to harass and/or antagonize offenders and their families. Therefore, it’s vital that any registrant have a strong understanding of their registration requirements, as well as the Indiana sex offender restrictions, so they can make informed decisions about their actions.
Who Must Register as a Sex or Violent Offender?
Under Indiana Code 11-8-8-7, the requirement to register as a sex offender extends to people who live, work, or are enrolled in a school in Indiana, as well as 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 lives in Indiana, they must also register in Indiana.
Convictions That Would Require a Person to Register as a Sex Offender in Indiana
- 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
In addition, a minor may also be required to register if the following apply: they were 14 years old or older when committing the offense; have been released from confinement in a state institution or juvenile facility; and are still likely to commit an act that would be considered a sex offense if committed by an adult.
Beyond the initial information they are required to provide to the registry, registrants are also required to report any change to their current residence, legal name, or electronic usernames like instant messenger, social media, or mail to local law enforcement. In accordance with Indiana Code 11-8-8-14, registrants must also report once a year to their local law enforcement authority, in person, in each location where they are required to register.
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
It’s important to understand that when an offender who has been adjudicated to be a sex offender fails to register, provides the registry with inaccurate information, or fails to register in the right location, they commit a felony under Indiana Code 11-8-8-17. In most circumstances, they could be charged with a Level 6 felony. However, if the offender has previously been convicted of a registration violation, they can be charged with a Level 5 felony.
Sex Offender Restrictions in Indiana
Being on the Indiana sex offender registry does not necessarily result in any additional restrictions. However, a person’s status as a sex offender in Indiana could result in additional special probation conditions that prohibit them from residing or working in certain places, and in some cases, entering certain buildings.
As stated in Indiana Code 35-42-4-11, a sex offender deemed a “sexually violent predator,” or an “offender against children,” may not knowingly or intentionally reside within 1000 feet of school property, a public park, a licensed daycare center, or a youth center program. In addition, a registrant may be prohibited from residing within one mile of their victim or residing within a residence where a childcare provider provides childcare services. If found to be in violation of this Indiana sex offender restriction, a person commits a sex offender residency offense, a Level 6 felony.
“Sexually violent predators” and “offenders against children” are also prohibited from working or volunteering on school property, at youth program centers, or in public parks. In addition, they’re prohibited from working as a childcare provider, for a childcare provider, or as a provider of respite care or adult daycare services. If found to be in violation of any of these prohibitions, the offender could be charged with a Level 6 felony under Indiana Code 35-42-4-10.
Additionally, there are some specific Indiana sex offender restrictions that prohibit “serious sex offenders” from entering the property of any school. However, Indiana Code 35-42-4-14, does provide some statutory defenses to registrants charged with an offense under this law. For example, 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. However, the registrant must enter the property when no school-related activities are being held, their sole purpose for entering the school must be to attend worship services or receive religious instruction. Furthermore, the registrant may only arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the service or instruction and must leave within 30 min of its conclusion.
Additional Restrictions on Indiana Sex Offenders
In addition to Indiana sex offender restrictions on where a registrant may reside and work, some registrants may also be subject to restrictions on their communication with minors and their ability to use a drone to follow, contact, or capture images of one or more individuals. When it comes to communicating with children, a sex 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. Per Indiana Code 35-42-4-13, this is a Level 6 felony offense.
Some sex offender registrants may also 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 a registrant is found to be in violation of this condition, they could be charged with a sex offender internet offense under Indiana Code 35-42-4-12. Under most circumstances, this is considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the registrant has already been convicted of this offense in the past, the offense would a Level 6 felony.
Finally, some registrants may be subject to a condition of parole, probation, or a community corrections program that prohibits them from following, contacting, or capturing images/recordings of other people. If a registrant who is subject to these conditions uses an unmanned aerial vehicle (more commonly known as a drone) to follow, contact, or capture images/recordings of other people, they commit a sex offender unmanned aerial vehicle offense. Per Indiana Code 35-42-4-12.5, this offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the registrant has already been convicted of this offense in the past, the offense would a Level 6 felony.
Need to Speak with an Indiana Sex Crimes Attorney?
If you have any questions about Indiana sex offender restrictions, the different types of sex offenders in Indiana, or the registry, in general, it would be best to contact an experienced Indiana sex crimes lawyer. The criminal defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are well-versed in Indiana criminal law, and understand everything that’s at stake when it comes to being accused of a sex offender violation. We stand ready to help you understand the legal landscape surrounding your matter, and if needed, build an aggressive defense aimed at preventing you from being convicted of another criminal offense.