Several counties in Tennessee have a high number of outstanding warrants, so, if you suspect that there may be outstanding warrants against you in Tennessee, you should try to make absolutely sure that you’re in the clear rather than attempt to leave well enough alone.
Unserved warrants in Tennessee are automatically deleted from the system five years after they’re issued, but within this period of validity, people with outstanding warrants will promptly get arrested once law enforcement gets wind of the record.
You can search for warrants both online and offline in Tennessee, and in this article, we’ll consider the best ways of finding warrants in Tennessee.
Tennessee Warrants Explained
Warrants are court documents that empower law enforcement officials to perform such actions as arresting, searching, or seizing the property of an individual suspected of having committed a crime.
These acts would normally be in violation of a person’s fundamental rights and cannot be done without legal authorization.
Warrants may be issued by magistrates, judges, and court clerks in Tennessee who have been convinced of probable cause by the law enforcement officer in charge of investigations.
Conversely, probable cause is not required to be based on factual evidence in all cases. Hearsay might suffice, as long as the court considers the source of the evidence credible.
In Tennessee, warrants are typically accompanied by a sworn affidavit and a written statement identifying the name of the offender and their specific offense.
As soon as a warrant is signed by the court, it becomes active, and members of law enforcement statewide are permitted to execute the warrant.
While arrest and search warrants are typically executed immediately by law enforcement officers, police officers do not often go after people that have bench warrants issued against them.
Arrest warrants for felonies do not expire, but warrants issued for misdemeanors have a lifespan of five years. Meanwhile, search warrants have a much shorter period of validity.
Types of Warrants in Tennessee
Arrest warrants, search warrants, and bench warrants are three of the most commonly issued warrants in Tennessee.
There are, however, others, such as escape warrants, execution warrants, and tax warrants.
When a person is identified on an arrest warrant, police officials are allowed to make the arrest and hold the person in custody.
In Tennessee, police officer has the right to make an arrest without a warrant if they witness a crime being committed.
Tennessee judges and magistrates are responsible for issuing arrest warrants. In addition, the District Attorney can request an arrest warrant from a court clerk.
It will be up to the issuing officer to fully examine the information available and decide whether there are sufficient reasons to issue a warrant.
The law enforcement agency making the request must create a formal statement outlining probable cause. Agents must also sign affidavits and sworn statements along with the written statement.
Police officers in Tennessee have the legal right to search a person or property with a search warrant.
A search warrant may be requested by a district attorney, their assistant, criminal detectives, and other law enforcement officers in Tennessee, according to the state’s search and seizure law.
Search warrants are issued by the courts only if there is a sufficient probable cause supported by sworn affidavits from law enforcement officials.
A bench warrant is an order issued by a judge, usually without the involvement of the criminal justice system.
The court issues bench warrants when a person holds the court in contempt by refusing to respond to summons, not showing up for their court dates (resulting in a Failure to Appear charge), or failing to meet financial obligations imposed by the court.
People served with bench warrants are not actively pursued by law enforcement, but they may be arrested when a law enforcement officer pulls up their records.
How to Find Warrants in Tennessee
Here are some options for finding warrants in Tennessee:
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
You can carry out a personal background check on the website of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The Bureau is the official repository of criminal history, and interested citizens may perform personal criminal history checks for $29.
To use this option, visit the Bureau website and submit an online background check request on the website.
Local County Websites
Some counties in Tennessee provide warrant records on the websites of their local sheriffs.
If you want to learn whether you have outstanding or active warrants, you may check the official website of your local county sheriff. You may search by name, street address, or warrant number.
If you know the court where the warrant was issued, you may request warrant information in person from the court clerk.
Background check websites bring up a lot of details about subjects, including any outstanding warrants on their records. These third-party platforms are great options when you need to find warrant information quickly and easily.