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Tennessee Warrant Search

Tennessee Warrant Search is a public record search that anyone can conduct to determine if a warrant has been issued against them or someone else.

It is a criminal justice tool often used by law enforcement agencies to locate and arrest individuals with outstanding warrants.

This tool can also be used by employers, landlords, and other organizations to screen individuals before hiring or renting to them and by individuals who want to know if there are any active warrants against them.

Warrants in Tennessee are court orders that permit law enforcement officials to engage in conduct that would otherwise violate individuals' civil freedoms and rights. In Tennessee, judges, magistrates, or court clerks often issue warrants.

The information that you can obtain from a warrant search varies depending on the warrant type and source used to search, but it can typically include the following:

  • Name of person warranted
  • Date of birth of the person
  • Description of the offense(s) for which the warrant was issued
  • Law enforcement agency responsible for executing the warrant
  • The court that issued the warrant
  • The warrant issuance date
  • Any restrictions or conditions associated with the warrant

Warrant information in Tennessee is generally public record, and members of the public can access them, subject to certain exceptions and limitations.

Under the Tennessee Public Records Act, Tennessee law allows the public to access government records, including warrant information. However, certain documents may be exempt from disclosure, such as those that are confidential or privileged or those that would constitute an invasion of privacy.

How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in Tennessee?

The expiry date of a warrant depends on the kind of warrant. Certain warrants expire after several days. The court establishes these dates, and law enforcement officials must execute warrants within the allotted period. An example of a warrant having a known validity duration is a search warrant.

A search warrant in Tennessee is typically valid for five days from the issuance date unless otherwise specified by the issuing judge. The writ becomes void if the warrant holder fails to execute this warrant within five days.

According to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-6-206, every misdemeanor warrant issued by the court must be carried out within five years. After this period, the court automatically cancels misdemeanor warrants that are still open and deletes warrant records.

Other warrants in Tennessee remain active until the individual specified on the warrant settles it, the court recalls it, or the statute of limitations for the underlying crime has expired.

What Are the Most Common Warrants in Tennessee?

Tennessee courts can issue several sorts of warrants based on the necessity or purpose. The typical warrants that you can encounter during a Tennessee Warrant Search include the following:

Tennessee Arrest Warrant

An arrest warrant in Tennessee empowers law enforcement personnel to apprehend an individual suspected of committing a crime.

In Tennessee, judges and magistrates typically issue arrest warrants. However, at the request of the District Attorney, a court clerk may also grant this warrant. Nonetheless, the issuing officer must evaluate the relevant facts and decide if sufficient reasons exist to issue an arrest warrant.

A requesting police officer or law enforcement agency must provide a written statement establishing probable cause. The officer must also sign an affidavit or sworn statement with the written declaration.

When a court issues an arrest warrant, law enforcement officers may execute the order anywhere in the state. In addition, The arresting officer does not need a physical warrant at the time of the arrest. However, the officer must immediately advise the defendant of the grounds for the arrest and present a copy of the arrest warrant.

As per the state's Rule 4 of Criminal Procedure, Tennessee arrest warrants must contain the following information to be valid:

  • The signature of the issuing officer
  • The issuing county or the jurisdiction where the warrant is valid
  • The defendant's name or any name or description that may clearly and reasonably identify the defendant
  • The alleged crime specified in the affidavit of complaint
  • An arrest order

Can Tennessee Police Officers Arrest You Without a Warrant?

Generally, Tennessee police officers can arrest someone without a warrant if they have probable cause or reasonable grounds to think someone has committed a felony or witness someone violating state law.

More specifically, a police officer may execute a warrantless arrest in Tennessee for the following reasons:

  • If someone facing arrest attempts suicide
  • The police officer believes the accused violated bail conditions
  • If the subject has committed domestic abuse
  • The police officer has reason to suspect stalking
  • If the police officer suspects a motor vehicle crime or intoxication after a fatal traffic accident

Before making an arrest, the U.S. Fourth Amendment requires police officers to show probable cause. When they arrest someone without a warrant or probable cause, they violate the person's rights.

To avoid arrest or imprisonment without cause, members of the public may do Tennessee Warrant Search to learn whether they have outstanding warrants. It may be advantageous to settle a warrant before arrest to prevent incarceration and other repercussions.

Tennessee Search Warrant

A Tennessee search warrant is a legal order issued by a judge or magistrate permitting a law enforcement official or other authorized personnel to search for a specific location or person to obtain evidence of a crime.

Following Tennessee's Search and Seizure regulations, district attorneys, criminal investigators, assistant district attorneys, and other law enforcement officers may request Tennessee search warrants.

To obtain a Tennessee search warrant, law enforcement officials or other authorized personnel must submit an affidavit to a judge or magistrate that sets forth the probable cause or grounds for the warrant. The following are some reasons why Tennessee courts grant search warrants:

  • If there is criminal evidence on the property
  • If the property was used or intended for criminality
  • If the property has illegal items, contraband, and fruits of crime
  • If there is a reasonable ground to arrest the person
  • If the person is being held against the law

The courts only grant search warrants when probable cause exists to ensure that law enforcement officers have a valid legal basis for searching and adhere to the constitutional and statutory requirements for conducting searches and seizures.

Once granted, law enforcement officers, including the Tennessee sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and constables, must execute search warrants within five days unless specified by the court. The writ becomes invalid if they fail to perform it within that period.

What Constitutes an Invalid Tennessee Search Warrant?

Tennessee search warrants must include details, like the judge's signature and a description of the property or person to be searched. It may be invalid if a warrant doesn't have these essential details.

In addition, Tennessee search warrants may also be invalid for the following reasons:

  • If the warrant request deliberately misrepresents the defendant
  • If the evidence presented to the judge does not establish probable cause
  • If the affidavit used to get the warrant fails to suffice
  • If the executive officer does not provide the defendant with a warrant document

The invalidation of a search warrant in Tennessee may result in the suppression of evidence obtained through the search, which can significantly impact the outcome of a criminal case.

Tennessee Bench Warrant

Bench warrants are among the most recurring warrants revealed during a Tennessee Warrant Search.

A Tennessee bench warrant is an arrest warrant issued by a judge from the bench (courtroom) against someone who has failed to appear in court, was unable to comply with a court order, or failed to pay a fine or court-ordered restitution.

It authorizes law enforcement to arrest the person named on the warrant and bring them before the court to face charges or to address the violation of the court order.

Tennessee bench warrants do not expire. Once the court issues this warrant, law enforcement can use it to locate and arrest the person specified at any time and place, even if the person is not currently suspected of committing a crime.

What is Failure to Appear in Tennessee?

Failure to appear in Tennessee refers to the inability of a defendant to appear in court on the scheduled date and time for a criminal proceeding. It may include a trial, a hearing, or other court appearances required by state laws.

According to Tennessee Code section 39-16-609, it is criminal for a person to fail to appear in court if:

  • The court issues an individual-specific criminal summons
  • The judge granted bail or recognizance
  • A law enforcement officer imposed the subject a citation
  • The individual intentionally goes into hiding to evade court attendance

Willful refusal to appear in court is a crime in Tennessee. Individuals who disregard a criminal summons and fail to appear for booking or processing are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

In Tennessee, those convicted of Class A misdemeanors face a $2,500 fine and a possible 11-month and 29-day jail sentence.

Those who fail to appear in court for a misdemeanor or felony matter may be charged with a Class E felony. A person convicted of this offense risks a $3,000 fine and a possible 1 to 6 years in prison.

The offender must pay the punishment for skipping court immediately after finishing the term for the initial crime.

The court may not punish people with justifiable reasons for missing court dates. Some acceptable reasons include hospital visits, accidents, or parole obligations.

What is Failure to Pay in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, failure to pay generally refers to a situation where a person has willfully failed to make a court-ordered payment, such as child support or fines, within the required timeframe.

Tennessee courts may issue summonses or arrest warrants for those who don't pay court orders. In a subsequent hearing, the court will evaluate whether or not the individual willfully defaulted.

The court may waive fees for financially poor individuals or apply alternative punishments like community service. But if the court determines that the nonpayment was intentional, it could lead to jail time, suspension of driving rights, and additional penalties.

How To Perform Warrant Search in Tennessee?

You can conduct a Tennessee Warrant Search through the local sheriff's office or police department, criminal background checks, and court records requests.

Each county in Tennessee has its law enforcement agency, such as the sheriff's office or police department. You can contact the agency in the county where you believe the warrant was issued and ask if they have any information on the warrant.

Some sheriff websites, such as the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, have online tools that you can use to search for warrant information.

Another option to get warrant records is to request criminal background checks. For this method, you can employ the CJIS Division's services of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct a name-based, statewide search.

Lastly, you can contact the county's court clerk where the warrant issuance occurred to get information regarding warrants.

Since warrant records are public information, some may be available on court public databases or websites like the Public Case History or the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

To obtain warrant records, you may be required to provide the alleged suspect's personal information and the location where the warrant was issued, in addition to paying any applicable fees.

If you discover an active warrant against you, it's best to speak with an attorney who can advise you on how to proceed.


Counties in Tennessee