Do I have to register in Indiana?
Most people realize that when they are convicted of a sex offense, they also have to register in the state in which they are convicted or where they live. However, many out of state residents don’t realize that if they visit (for an extended period), work, and/or go to school in Indiana, there may be additional registration requirements here. Even more surprising for some non-Hoosiers is that if you are going to be in Indiana for seven days or longer in a six-month period, you have to register, regardless of whether or not you live there.
This blog addresses the registry laws in Indiana for visiting/non-residents, specifically.
According to Indiana Code 11-8-8-7, you have to register in the state of Indiana if you are sex or violent offender and you reside, work, or go to school in Indiana — whether you live and/or are visiting Indiana as a non-resident. Obviously, the definitions of “reside, work, and school” become very important.
What does Reside mean?
Does it mean to live somewhere full time? Not necessarily. The statute defines “resides” as follows:
- the person required to register “spends or intends to spend” at least seven (7) days in Indiana during a six-month period — amazingly, any part of a day counts. That means if you are only here in Indiana for a few minutes or hours, that counts as one whole day!
- the person required to register “owns real property in Indiana and returns to Indiana at any time.” This is to avoid people buying a home here in Indiana in addition to an out of state home but stating that the home in Indiana isn’t their fulltime residence to avoid registering here.
What does “work” mean for purposes of this statute?
You might also be asking yourself what “work” means for purposes of this statute. Do you have to work fulltime in order to register? Nope. Again, the statute defines working as:
- Working fulltime or part time for a period of seven (7) consecutive days (including vocations/training) and/or
- Work for a total of fourteen (14) days or more in a given year
The statute even goes as far as to address registering if you are simply seeking additional schooling and/or education in Indiana. It states that if someone is required to register as sex offender is enrolled in or intends to enroll in schooling, part or full time, in any private or public “educational institution” (including secondary school, trade school/program, professional institution, and/or post-secondary educational institution) in Indiana, that person has to register in Indiana.
As anyone can see, the statute is a very surprising one. If you take the black letter of the law of all three registry requirements (residing, working, and schooling), you can make an argument that you have to register in Indiana if you are here for seven minutes in total within a six-month period (one minute/second each day for seven days). While that may be a far stretch, that’s actually what the statute states. There is no requirement you be in the state for a full day. Any part-of-a-day counts. Therefore, a singular minute or second in a single day counts as a full day. So hypothetically, if you lived on the border of Indiana and you stepped over the border for one minute/second on seven separate days, under this statute, you have to register.
Stepping back into reality, the statute is rarely used for the basis of filing charges in such far-fetched circumstances. Typically, this statute is employed when people are gaming the system by trying to have multiple homes to avoid registering or attempt to find an employer in Indiana that won’t know about the registry requirement. However, there are people that find themselves in this situation unknowingly, especially if the time they spend here is randomly spread out over a six-month period.
Regardless of whether or not this is charged very often, it is important that you know the law in Indiana if you are going to be visiting, working, and/or going to school in the Hoosier state. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law and facing a Level-six felony with a sentencing range of 180 days to 2.5 years.
If you or a loved one are facing a failure to register case under IC 11-8-8-7, call the experienced Indianapolis Sex Crimes Attorneys at Banks & Brower today at 3178700019. We are available 24/7/365. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.