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What defines a Criminal Record 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, and more. These records are curated by state, county, city, and municipal organizations that generate these records as a matter of law. They also cover both trial and appellate court decision, as well as arrests made by local, county, and state-wide law enforcement.
What is Contained in an Indiana Criminal Record?
Indiana criminal records usually contain the following information.
- Full name and aliases of the subject
- Birthday, race, ethnicity, and unique physical descriptors
- Fingerprint records and mugshots
- Previous and current indictments, warrants, and convictions
What are Indiana Arrest Records?
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 aretsee is held. It is important to note that an arrest record can not universally be used as a criminal record. This is because not ever 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
What is an Indiana Arrest Warrant?
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, 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
What are Indiana Misdemeanors?
Misdemeanors in Indiana are considered less serious crimes, at least when compared to felonies. 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 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 common class A misdemeanor is possession of 30 grams of marijana.
- 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.
What are Indiana Felonies?
Felonies in Indiana are considered the most serious types of crime. These crimes have a minimum punishment of six months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Indiana felonies also include “wobblers,” which mean 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. An example of a level 2 felony 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.
Indiana Sex Offender Listings
Indiana sex offender listings are registries of convicted criminals that were accused of crimes of a sexual nature. 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. These listings feature the names, addresses, and crimes of sex criminals.
Sheriff’s departments in Indiana are required to jointly establish a registry to provide information on individuals that register as either violent or sexual offenders. The purpose of this registry is to help the public understand that a potentially dangerous individual is living nearby.
Indiana Megan’s Law
Megan's Law is the term for state laws that create and keep up a sex offender registry, which provides information on registered sex offenders to the public. The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government required all states set up sex offender registries and offer the public with information about those registered.
In the state of Indiana, registration is mandated for the following offenses: rape, criminal deviate conduct, child molesting, child exploitation, vicarious sexual gratification, including performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor, child solicitation, and child seduction.
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.
What is a Serious Traffic Violation?
Traffic violations in Indiana are largely considered lesser crimes, but serious traffic violations do exist. These are instances where normal traffic violations can be considered more serious. This is typically when an individual commits several traffic violations, or in the case of an OWI. When convicted of a traffic violation, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles will assign points to the violators license. Points increase the individuals insurance premiums, and can eventually result in a suspended driver’s license.
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 if 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-honorably 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.
What are Jail and Inmate Records?
Jail and inmate records in Indiana document the information rendered when a person is incarcerated in the Indiana corrections system. The Indiana Offender Database website allows interested citizens to find inmates currently in the Indiana correction system. 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 that generate them as well. Jail and inmate records include information on:
- The name and aliases of the inmate in question
- Details on the inmates 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
Where to get Parole Information in Indiana
Parole in Indiana 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.
What are Probation Records?
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 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.
The Indiana Office of Court Services (IOCS) provides additional information on probation records and training/technical assistance for individuals interested in probation departments 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 a OWI.
What are Juvenile Criminal Records?
Individuals under the age of 18 that are arrested are known as juvenile delinquents 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, but often 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 to is rehabilitate the individual rather than punish them with a criminal record for crimes committed during their youth.
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 quality and accuracy of recordkeeping improved exponentially.
How to Find Criminal Records in Indiana
Indiana criminal records are organized in state-managed online record depositories. These reports may be accessed through a number of courts, law enforcement offices, and through the official Indiana State Records Online Database. Records may be made available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report.
The amount of criminal records information presented on StateRecords.org as well as the resources for retrieving information generally varies. This is because different sources often have non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes.