What is An Indiana Criminal Record?
Arrest records in Indiana Criminal records in Indiana are documents from state and court officials that outline an individual's criminal activity. These are commonly known as rap sheets, and encompass all crime-related activities such as arrests, indictments, both pending and past convictions, and dispositions. While the information in a criminal record varies with the individual, requesters can expect to find the following information:
- Subject’s full name and aliases
- Birthday, race, ethnicity, and unique physical descriptors
- Fingerprint records and mugshots
- Previous and current indictments, warrants, and convictions
- Post-conviction status
Criminal records are the most comprehensive of the several police records curated about a person’s interactions with law enforcement in Indiana. Other police records include arrest records, arrest warrants, incident reports, and police logs.
Are Criminal Records Public in Indiana?
Yes. The state’s Access to Public Request Act (APRA) allows state residents to look up criminal records whenever they request it. Any interested individual may obtain a criminal record from the record custodian. Generally, the state's principal law enforcement agency is often designated as the record custodian for public criminal records. However, record search requests can be made to the court clerks in Indiana.
Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:
- The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
- The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.
Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.
How to Obtain Criminal Records in Indiana?
Indiana criminal records are organized in state-managed online record depositories. The Indiana State Police (ISP) offers Criminal History Search Services. Using this state repository, interested persons may perform a name-based criminal record search or fingerprint criminal record search. Each search costs $15.00, besides processing fees. Requesters who wish to perform a free public criminal record check may contact the ISP for a fee waiver.
What are Arrest Records in Indiana?
Arrest records in Indiana are documents that cover the circumstances during and leading up to the arrest of an individual. Arrest records often cover the reason for the arrest, the situation leading up to the arrest, identification of individuals involved in the arrest, and information on the detention center where an arrestee is held. It is important to note that an arrest record can not universally be used as a criminal record. This is because not every arrest ends in a conviction, which is what determines if a person is labeled a criminal. The Indiana Judicial Branch features a case and record search tool on their website to help determine what information is needed to find a specific file or document.
- Name, birthday, gender, ethnicity, and more of the arrestee
- The date and location of the arrest
- The name, rank, and number of the arresting officer
- The address of the detention center
- The name of the issuer of the arrest warrant
Are Arrest Records Public in Indiana?
Yes. Residents can have access to public arrest records in Indiana provided they know how to request public records. Generally, the Sheriff’s department in each county is tasked with disseminating free arrest records to requesters. Some local agencies often create an online arrest search platform for easy access. Keep in mind that the law enforcement agency in charge of these records may restrict access to some arrest records. Restricted records are often part of an ongoing criminal investigation. As such, disclosing such records may affect the validity of future court judgments. Nevertheless, individuals can make inquiries regarding arrests made by law enforcement officers.
What is an Arrest Warrant in Indiana?
Indiana arrest warrants are documents that allow law enforcement agents to make an arrest of a person who is not actively participating in criminal activity but is suspected of committing a crime. Law enforcement may make arrests of people who are actively witnessed committing a crime, but when a person is merely suspected of criminal activity, the evidence must be gathered. Once law enforcement has enough evidence, they present their case to a judge either through the district attorney or directly. If the judge is convinced the case is legitimate, they will issue a warrant. Warrants allow for arrests during specified times, and for the seizure and search of private property if that property would serve as evidence in the trial.
Arrest warrants in Indiana usually contain:
- The description of the alleged criminal offense
- The full name and other personal information of the suspect
- The time and place where the arrest may take place
- An expiry if applicable
- The date when the warrant was issued and by whom it was issued
- Bail and bond information if applicable
Requesters can find a list of active warrants in Indiana by contacting the local law enforcement agency located in the county. For example, Howard County Sheriff maintains a database for residents to perform an active warrant search.
What are Inmate Records in Indiana?
Indiana inmate records document the information rendered when a person is incarcerated in the Indiana Department of Corrections. The Indiana Offender Search allows interested citizens to perform an inmate search. These records are generated by law enforcement agencies and incarceration facilities in multiple jurisdictions across the state. Information in jail and inmate records are available in-person at the facilities for those that do not want to use the inmate lookup platform. Jail and inmate records include information on:
- The name and aliases of the inmate in question
- Details on the inmate’s crime
- Information on the inmate such as birth date, gender, ethnicity, and more
- Identification information such as mugshots and fingerprints
- The date of incarceration and the estimated date of release
- The address and security level of the incarceration facility
- Information on past convictions and sentences
- Bail and bond conditions if they exist
What is the Indiana Sex Offender Registry?
Indiana sex offender registry is a public database of individuals convicted of sex crimes in Indiana. These registries were implemented after the introduction of Megan’s Law which requires individuals who performed sexual crimes to register and make their presence known to their neighbors and community.
The purpose of this registry is to help the public understand that a potentially dangerous individual is living nearby. These listings feature the names, addresses, and crimes of sex criminals. Out-of-state offenders also need to register in Indiana, if they intend to stay in the state perimeter for at least seven (7) days (including part of a day) in Indiana during a 180-day period. To search country-wide, parties can use the National Sex Offender Registry.
What is an OWI in Indiana?
The Indiana Code § 9-30-5 defines drunk driving crimes as Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI) also known as OWI. An OWI in Indiana is a serious traffic violation that occurs when motorists display indications of impairment, as shown by sobriety tests. Indiana drunk driving law sets the limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.08. Motorists with lesser BAC may still face OWI charges if they are traveling with minors.
When convicted for driving under the influence, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles will assign points to the violator’s license. Points increase the individual's insurance premiums, and can eventually result in a suspended driver’s license. OWIs are serious traffic offenses that can attract penalties that depend on the severity of damages. An individual convicted of impaired driving can get a license revocation or even face a jail term.
What are Misdemeanors vs. Felonies in Indiana?
Misdemeanors in Indiana are considered less serious crimes, at least when comparing misdemeanors vs felony crimes in the state. Indiana classifies its misdemeanors into 3 lettered categories. These are class A, class B, and class C. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious, and class C misdemeanors are the least serious.
- Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail and by a fine of up to $5,000. One class A misdemeanor example is possession of 30 grams of marijuana.
- Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and by a fine of up to $1,000. One common class B misdemeanor is public intoxication.
- Class C misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and by a fine of up to $500. One common class C misdemeanor is a first-time DUI with a blood alcohol content over .08 but under .15.
Felonies in Indiana are considered the most serious type of crime. The minimum felony charges of six months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Indiana felonies also include “wobblers,” which means that a crime can be classified as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the severity of the crime. Felonies in Indiana are organized into 6 categories.
- Uncategorized felonies in Indiana are reserved for murder charges only. They are punishable by between 45 and 65 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Level 1 felonies in Indiana are punishable by between 20 and 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. An example of a level 1 felony is aggravated rape, which is rape by deadly force or use of a weapon,
- Level 2 felonies in Indiana are punishable by between 10 and 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A common level 2 felony example is voluntary manslaughter.
- Level 3 felonies in Indiana are punishable by between 3 and 16 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. An example of a level 3 felony is aggravated battery, which is battery that causes serious injury to another individual.
- Level 4 felonies in Indiana are punishable by between 2 and 12 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. An example of a level 4 felony is arson.
- Level 5 felonies in Indiana are punishable by between 1 and 6 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. An example of a level 5 felony is involuntary manslaughter.
- Level 6 felonies in Indiana are known as “wobblers.” These can be either felonies or misdemeanors depending on how severe the crime is and the judge’s discretion. Level 6 felonies are punishable by a minimum of 6 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. An example of a level 6 felony is the theft of a vehicle.
What is Probation and Parole in Indiana?
Parole violation in Indiana according to Indiana Code § 11-13-3-10, is when a convicted criminal is permitted supervised freedom instead of incarceration in prison. This can happen while the inmate is serving their prison sentence, and often does. Parole is granted in exchange for good behavior, plea deals, or other types of exchanges.
These deals and arrangements are handled by the Indiana Parole Board, which also grants points and detracts points used to determine if an inmate is eligible for parole. They are also responsible for the restrictions imposed as part of the parole agreement. Typically, the parole board also requires the parolee to live in the same county they lived in prior to their incarceration. As parole is designed to reintegrate a convicted criminal into society, the stance of the Indiana Parole Board is that having an individual live in their home county is conducive to this goal.
Indiana allows for individuals convicted of crimes to serve their prison sentence as supervised freedom. This is known as probation. Probation is typically reserved for a misdemeanor but can in some cases be allowed for a felony charge. The length and nature (conditions and allowances) of the probation is proportional to the crime, so individual experiences may differ. In Indiana, a probation violation can occur as a consequence of:
- Being charged or sentenced for another crime.
- Failure to pass a probation doping test given by the probation officer.
- Failure to report to the officer.
- Failure to complete mandatory rehabilitation or therapy.
The Indiana Office of Court Services (IOCS) provides additional information on probation records and training/technical assistance for individuals interested in probation offices and services. This includes a directory of locations involved in probation programs. An example of services rendered would be regular breathalyzer tests for people convicted of an OWI.
What are Juvenile Criminal Records?
Individuals under the age of 18 arrested are known as juvenile delinquents. These offenders are tried in a juvenile court and are typically charged differently than those over the age of 18. Nonetheless, these individuals have criminal records in Indiana known as juvenile criminal records. Most juvenile delinquent records are considered confidential until they turn 18 years old. However, these records are sealed or expunged. It is important to note that this is often not an automatic process, but is done at the request of the individual charged or someone representing them. These records can still be accessed by organizations that report on the criminal activity of individuals for the purpose of employment or housing. The purpose of the Indiana Juvenile Justice System is to rehabilitate the individual rather than punish them with a criminal record for crimes committed during their youth.
What are Conviction Records?
Conviction records cover the information documented when an individual is convicted of a crime. This follows the submission of a guilty plea, when a person is found guilty, or when a person pleads no contest to charges rendered in civilian or military court. This includes both misdemeanors and felony charges. These records indicate when a subject has been charged as delinquent, convicted, or when they are less-than-honorable discharged from the military. While these records are created when a person is convicted, they typically exclude final judgements when the conviction is removed following a successful petition for expungement or sealing.
Indiana History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
While the advent of technology has dramatically improved record management processes in the state of Indiana, the accuracy of the data of criminal records depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Most criminal records archives of the state go back into the pre-technological era before criminal and arrest data started to be centralized and compiled into an organized database. However, having eliminated the place of human error, current technological advancements have improved the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping exponentially.