Legal Blog

Understanding Indiana’s Violent Offender Registry

14 May 2024 | Criminal Defense,  

Attorney Sean Hessler

Written by
Sean Hessler

14 May 2024

Criminal Defense,  

featured blog image

If you’re convicted of a violent crime, your punishment might not end with your incarceration, parole, or probation. You may be required to report to law enforcement through the violent offender registry.

If you don’t register properly or on time, you could face more extreme penalties. The registry is meant to inform your neighbors and protect them, but you may feel unnecessarily punished.

Learn more about the registry, what it is, who needs to register, and how to avoid needing to register on it.

What is the Violent Offender Registry?

The Violent Offender Registry is a state-maintained database that monitors individuals convicted of specific violent crimes.

Established under the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry Act (IC 11-8-8), its primary purpose is to enhance public safety by keeping track of offenders. It provides law enforcement with a tool for monitoring these individuals.

Unlike the sex offender registry, which focuses on sexual offenses, the violent offender registry specifically targets crimes involving physical violence.

The registry includes personal information about the offenders, such as their name, address, physical description, and details of the offense. Depending on state regulations, some of this information may be accessible to the public, while other details remain restricted to law enforcement agencies.

How is The Violent Offender Registry Different From the Sex Offender Registry?

While both the Violent Offender Registry and the Sex Offender Registry aim to monitor and track individuals convicted of serious crimes, they focus on different types of offenses.

The Violent Offender Registry specifically targets crimes involving physical violence, whereas the Sex Offender Registry focuses on sexual offenses.

Who Has to Register on the Violent Offender Registry?

In Indiana, individuals convicted of certain violent crimes are required to register on the violent offender registry. These offenses typically include:

The criteria for inclusion on the registry depend on the nature and severity of the offense, the age of the offender, and other factors specified in the law. The duration of the registration requirement can vary, with some offenders required to register for a specific number of years, while others may be required to remain on the registry for life.

Consequences of Being on the Violent Offender Registry

Being listed on the violent offender registry can have profound and lasting effects on various aspects of an individual’s life. Some of the key consequences include:

Impact on Personal and Professional Life

If you have to register as a violent offender in Indiana, you can expect to face consequences outside of the legal system. You may face:

  • Housing Restrictions: Offenders may face limitations on where they can live, with certain areas being off-limits due to proximity to schools, parks, or other designated zones.
  • Employment Challenges: Finding and maintaining employment can be difficult, as employers may be hesitant to hire individuals listed on the registry.
  • Social Stigma: The social stigma associated with being on the registry can affect personal relationships and community standing.

Legal Obligations for Violent Offenders

As a registered violent offender, you must check in with local law enforcement regularly. You’ll be responsible for verifying that your information is accurate and on file.

If you have any changes in employment, address, or other details, you will have a small window to provide that to law enforcement so that their records are up to date.

How an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Navigating the complexities of the violent offender registry can be daunting, but a skilled criminal defense attorney can provide invaluable assistance.

Devising Legal Strategies

  • Avoiding Conviction or Reducing Charges: An experienced attorney can work to avoid a conviction or negotiate a plea deal that reduces the charges, potentially keeping you off the registry altogether.
  • Post-Conviction Relief: If you have already been convicted, an attorney can explore options for post-conviction relief, such as appeals or expungement, to mitigate the impact of the registry.

A Lawyer Can Help You Navigate the Registration Process

Registering as a violent offender can be trickier than it seems. Even if you feel it’s simple, there can be steps you might overlook. An experienced criminal defense attorney can ensure you understand the form you’re completing, and make sure you comply with all the requirements.

If you do happen to make a mistake, your attorney can help you correct your form and avoid further punishment from the state.

Violent Offender Registry FAQs

What are the legal consequences of providing false information on the registry?

Providing false information on the registry is a serious offense that can lead to criminal charges, including additional felony or misdemeanor charges, depending on the nature of the false information. This can result in further legal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Can I travel or move out of state while on the registry?

Traveling or moving out of state while on the registry involves specific legal requirements. You must notify your local law enforcement agency before moving and register in your new location. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties.

How does being on the registry affect my interactions with law enforcement?

Being on the registry can lead to increased interactions with law enforcement, including regular check-ins and compliance checks. It’s essential to maintain accurate and up-to-date information to avoid any legal issues and ensure smooth interactions with law enforcement.

Call Hessler Law for Help Now

When you’re convicted of a violent crime, your record could follow you around longer than your punishment lasted. This byproduct of a conviction could be overbearing. Fighting the charges that require registering as a violent offender is your best chance to avoid this long-lasting consequence.

Attorney Sean Hessler knows that criminal charges are stressful, and his team is prepared to hear your story. We’ve helped clients fight their charges, and we’ve helped them reach positive outcomes. We can advocate for you so you can avoid the worst punishment and find the best result you can expect in your situation.

Don’t wait. Call (317) 886-8800 or use our online form to get started.