Indianapolis Sex Crime Lawyer
Serious Allegations Require Serious Representation
Prosecution of Indiana sex crimes is aggressive, and the penalties can be harsh. The consequences of being charged, prosecuted, or convicted of sex crimes are significant and can last a lifetime. In addition to fines, lengthy imprisonment, and having to register with the Indiana Sex Offender Registry, the accused also suffer damage to reputation, which can make it hard to find employment, obtain government benefits, maintain custody or visitation rights, or even find a place to live.
An Indianapolis Sex Crime Lawyer Protects Your Rights
As the accused, you are entitled to certain protections under the US Constitution and the Indiana Constitution. Some of these protections include:
- Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure
- Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, which you can to refuse to answer questions without a lawyer present
- Fifth Amendment rights to due process rights and a fair trial
- Sixth Amendment right an attorney to assist in your defense
Protection under Indiana Constitution Article 1, section 13 echoes these rights but from a state perspective.
These rights protect you only if you know of them and when and how to assert them, and you can lose them if you fail to assert them at the right time. Working with an experienced Indianapolis sex crime lawyer can help you keep and benefit from all of these protections.
Indiana Sex Crimes: The Trial Process
Knowing when and how to protect your rights is key in any criminal defense case. If you are arrested for an Indiana sex crime, remember:
- You have the right to stay silent except to say you will not answer questions without your attorney present
- You should ask to call your attorney, if you wish to have counsel
- When you call your attorney, an Indianapolis sex crime lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can be reached at (317) 751-7186, and know that anything you say on a police station phone line can be listened to and recorded
- Wait for your attorney to arrive before engaging in conversation with anyone
The process after arrest for Indiana sex crimes is fairly standard. The following events are typical:
- An initial hearing in which the court tells the accused of the specific charges
- The judge will inform the accused of his or her rights
- The accused will have a chance to enter a plea, usually guilty or not guilty
- Both the defense counsel and the State will engage in investigation and discovery, obtaining evidence and witnesses and sharing witness lists and statements, police reports, and statements by complaining witnesses with the other side
- The prosecutor or defense counsel may file pre-trial motions to try to suppress evidence that was illegally obtained or interrogations that were held illegally
It is crucial to have the right voice speaking for you at each stage in an Indiana sex crimes trial. Public defenders are available to those who cannot afford to hire counsel, but having a privately hired, dedicated team of attorneys familiar with sex crimes defense is ideal for adequately and aggressively protecting your rights at all stages. Indiana criminal defense attorneys from Keffer Hirschauer LLP ably and skillfully handle criminal defense throughout the term of your case.
Indiana Sex Crimes Categories
Sex crimes are crimes committed with a sexual motive. The category is a broad one and encompasses a variety of offenses involving sexual conduct committed against or otherwise victimizing someone else. Following is a list of some 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: Touching another 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
- Human trafficking: Selling or transferring custody of either a child or adult for the purpose of participating in sexual conduct
The Indiana Code also criminalizes certain conduct involving or relating 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 less than 18 years old
- Sale or distribution of obscene matter: This self-explanatory offense is elevated to a Level 6 felony if the victim is less than 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
Allegations of rape on a college campus follow a different path. Colleges have federally mandated reporting and hearing protocols. The accused is subject to penalties such as suspension, expulsion, or probation on top of any separate criminal prosecution. By hiring an Indianapolis sex crime lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP, you also get an attorney experienced in Title IX defense, who can coordinate the college and criminal cases to protect your rights in both.
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Lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are skilled litigators, shrewd legal researchers, and compassionate legal service providers who want to help protect your rights
An Indianapolis Sex Crime Lawyer Explains Sentencing
The sentence imposed following conviction for Indiana sex crimes depends in part on identity of offense and its level. Those convicted of an Indiana sex crime face harsher sentences if they are also adjudicated to be habitual offenders or repeat sexual offenders.
The court may add a habitual offender enhancement if the offender has certain prior unrelated felony convictions. A habitual offender is one who has accumulated a number of prior unrelated felony convictions. Habitual offender status is determined in a separate trial from the criminal trial. For a defendant determined in this phase to be a habitual offender, the court may add two to 20 years to the sentence.
A repeat sexual offender is one who has accumulated certain prior convictions for sex crimes. Again, repeat sexual offender status is determined in a separate phase from the criminal trial. The court may add up to 10 years to the sentence of anyone found to be a repeat sexual offender.
Sex Crimes Defense
If you’ve had allegations or charges of an Indiana sex crime lodged against you, it is important to know what defenses are available.
Examples of Sex Crime Defenses
Common sex crimes defenses include:
- Mistaken identity
- Accident or mistake
- False accusation
- Lack of intent
- Mistaken belief as to age
Navigating criminal proceedings can be challenging, and the stigma attached to an allegation you committed Indiana sex crimes adds a complicating layer. It is critical to work with someone who knows, understands, and has experience in sex crimes defense.
Indiana Sex Offender Registry
Informally known as Megan’s Law under federal law or as Zachary’s Law under Indiana state law, certain sex offenders are required to register with the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry, often called the Indiana Sex Offender Registry for short. Under Indiana Code chapter 11-8-8, those convicted of an Indiana sex crime and adjudicated as one of the following must register with the Indiana Sex Offender Registry:
- Sexually violent predators
- Offenders against children
- Sex offenders
- Violent offenders
The Registry makes public the following of information about the registrants:
- Name and any aliases
- Height and weight
- Eye and hair color
- Current home, work, school, volunteer, or other residential addresses
- List of offenses
- Status of registration
- Scars and tattoos
Oftentimes, the publication of information on this site is what leads to problems for those whose names are on the site. This does not mean they are totally without recourse, however. A skillful Indianapolis sex crime lawyer can guide you through the complaint and appeal process to help ensure that information is accurate and, in some cases, can appeal for its removal.
How an Indianapolis Sex Crime Lawyer Can Help
Allegations of Indiana sex crimes is common, but you are not alone in facing sex crime charges. Contact the Indianapolis sex crime lawyer team of Keffer Hirschauer LLP for quick and decisive sex crimes defense, no matter where the charges are brought in Indiana. Let us help you work at identifying the best course of action, including reviewing possible defenses and seeking less harsh penalties.