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Tennessee Arrest Records: How to find Arrest Records in Tennessee

Tennessee Arrest Records: How to find Arrest Records in Tennessee
October 8, 2022

Arrest records in Tennessee are official documents issued by law enforcement once a person is caught for a crime in the state. 


These documents are frequently used in criminal trials since they significantly impact how a criminal case turns out. 

In Tennessee, a person's criminal history is considered a public record, a collection of documents that details all of their interactions with the Criminal Justice System, including the arrest records.

Tennessee's state and local law enforcement agencies provide data on crime that is gathered and reported by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). 


Typically, this information comes from statistics on arrests and convictions provided by the Tennessee Incident-Based Reporting System (TIBRS). 

The TIBRS is a comprehensive system that gathers incident-based details on every crime reported in the state. 


The system provides precise arrest statistics for Group A offenses such as arson, assault, animal cruelty, bribery, burglary, extortion, fraud, robbery, and sex crimes. 

Group B offenses, including trespassing on private property, drunkenness, liquor law violation, driving under the influence, and non-violent family offenses, are also provided by the system.

Tennessee state flag with handcuffs on it

How to Perform a Tennessee Arrest Records Search?

If you want to perform a free Tennessee arrest records search, you can do so with free websites, such as 


These websites provide an online background check service, so you will receive additional information about people, aside from their Tennessee arrest records. 


If you want to find only arrest records in Tennessee, you can use one of the following search methods.

Who Can I Access Arrest Records in Tennessee?

Under the Tennessee Public Records Act, every Tennessee resident has the right to ask for access to public records, including details about arrests. 


The applicant must request the organization in charge of keeping the record for access to an arrest record. 


Tennessee gives such inquiries a maximum of a seven-day response period.

However, the state requires that people requesting these documents be citizens. 


As a result, requests from outside Tennessee for arrest records may be turned down immediately. 

a man's handcuffed hands behind his back


In addition, most government entities want a state-issued photo ID with a current address before satisfying a request for public arrest records.

Tennessee's entire citizenry has access to the Tennessee arrest records. 


As a result, anyone may request public arrest records in writing from the law enforcement agency in charge of holding the individual. 

However, organizations may decline to grant access to requesters if the sought records fall under one of the nine exemptions listed in the Tennessee Public Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, or a court order seals the documents in question.

How Can I Find Someone's Tennessee Arrest Records?

The law enforcement agency in charge of the arrest, usually a local police department or a county sheriff's department in Tennessee, often maintains a tangible copy of the arrest record. 


Interested persons can contact the arresting law enforcement entity to request the arrest records of any individual.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is in charge of keeping track of and disseminating information on crimes in the state. 


Adult criminal history checks are available through the TBI, using the Tennessee Open Records Information Services (TORIS). 

As such, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation provides access to Tennessee arrest records for anyone interested in accessing the records. 



In addition, you can contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation directly at the address below by mail for $29 to request a physical copy of the arrest record.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
901 R.S. Gass Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37216
Phone: (615) 744-4000

Arrest Records Tennessee: Access Through Online Searches with TORIS

Furthermore, interested parties in a Tennessee arrest record can register for an account on the Tennessee Open Records Information Services (TORIS) website, mainly if the requester is a commercial applicant who frequently needs background checks. 

The requester will need to provide payment card details for one-time search requests. 


After verification, the user is directed to a search screen where they can input the first and last names of the record holder. 


You can also include the subject's race, gender, social security number, and current address.

Online requests for background checks cost $29, although the requester has the option to apply for a waiver of the fee. 


When the release of the information benefits the public interest rather than private gain, the records custodian is more likely to grant the waiver.

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How to Subpoena Tennessee Arrest Records

When issuing a subpoena, the party requesting the subpoena must fill in the gaps with the necessary information before serving the subpoena on the other business whose data are requested. 


Also, the clerk or court authority must sign it before issuance. Therefore, every subpoena issued in Tennessee must include the following details:

* The name of the court that granted it
* The case title and number
* Instructions for the person or organization being addressed to bring the requested documents

The format in which the requested documents must be provided.
Unless otherwise required by law, all subpoenas for producing arrest records in Tennessee must be served at least ten days before the court hearing, except for emergency, preliminary, and detention hearings. 

A copy of a subpoena is given to the person it is intended for as a service. 


Any authorized individual not involved in the legal dispute may also carry out the service. 


The subpoena must then be distributed to all parties, and any documents produced must be made available for everyone to review.


After arrest records are created by the law enforcement agency that carried out the arrest in Tennessee, the documents remain on file indefinitely except when destroyed or erased by a court order. 


Thus, Tennessee arrest records are always available to the public now and then.

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