In Tennessee, state law Rule:4 says ”If the affidavit of complaint and any supporting affidavits filed with it establish that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant has committed it, the magistrate or clerk shall issue an arrest warrant to an officer authorized by law to execute it…”
With the presence of probable cause, a judge will grant an arrest warrant for an individual suspected of criminal activity.
An arrest warrant will give law enforcement officials the authority to:
- Raid the individual’s home
- Raid the individual’s work
- Raid the individual’s public events
A person that has an active warrant out for their arrest can be arrested and taken to jail at any time and at any place that they come into contact with law enforcement.
If you believe that you or somebody that you know has a warrant, we recommend that you do a Tennessee warrant search to know for sure so that you can take action on your own terms.
Active Warrants in Tennessee
When somebody has what is known as an ”active warrant” in the state of Tennessee they are at risk of the orders of the warrant being carried out at any time. Once a warrant is signed into activity, it will continue to be active until the orders within the document have been executed.
The execution of the warrant will depend on the type of warrant that has been issued, and the reason why the warrant is in existence.
When a warrant is issued it is the end result of an official court document that calls for action to take place against an individual for the purpose of the court. As long as the orders of the warrant have not been carried out, the document will be active and outstanding.
The people that have the legal authority to execute warrants are:
- Peace officers
- Federal agents
- Law enforcement officials
The only way for a warrant that has been issued in the event of a crime is for the defendant to be arrested, to die, or for a judge to personally sign the warrant out of effect in a court of law.
Types of Warrants in Tennessee
There are three basic types of warrants that are part of the criminal court system in the state of Tennessee:
- Bench warrants
- Arrest warrants
- Search warrants
Although they are all basically documents that carry a court order signed by a judge, the mechanics behind each one is different from the other.
Where bench warrants and arrest warrants will allow officers to arrest and bring a defendant into custody, a search warrant, on the other hand, will allow officers to search the body and the property of the person named in the document.
The bench warrant and the arrest warrant are very different from each other because a bench warrant is issued as the result of an ongoing court case, and an arrest warrant is the beginning of a fresh court case that has yet to begin.
Warrant Records Search
Bench Warrants in Tennessee
When a judge issues a bench warrant in the state of Tennessee it is a result of an individual failing to comply with a direct order of the court. A great example of a situation like this is if a person is ordered to show up to court on a certain date at a certain time but fails to appear, they will be issued a bench warrant for their arrest.
Some of the other reasons that a judge will issue a bench warrant are:
- The defendant did not pay a fine within the boundaries of time that were imposed
- The defendant did not report for a work project or work detail sentence
- The defendant disobeyed a court order to report for jury duty
Once a bench warrant has been issued the clerk will inform all of the local and state authorities that the individual is being sought after by the court.
Depending on the severity of the situation, law enforcement officers may utilize every source of power that they have in order to remand the individual into court custody.
Many of the defendants that have a bench warrant out for them are not even aware that they have one. The judge does not have to announce that a warrant has been issued, nor does the court have to contact the individual and inform them of it.
Arrest Warrants in Tennessee
When an arrest warrant is issued in the state of Tennessee it is usually after the district attorney has officially filed charges against the defendant. Once the district attorney files the charges, they will then ask the judge to issue an arrest warrant upon the individual.
Officers can also request an arrest warrant for an individual during off-hours without the DA having to file charges if they show probable cause to the judge.
The probable cause that the judge finds in order to substantiate the warrant can vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. Some of the determining factors that establish probable cause are:
- Evidence that suggests the defendant committed a crime
- Witness of the crime identified the defendant
- The defendant fled the scene of a crime
- Video footage captured the defendant committing a crime
Once an arrest warrant is placed upon an individual, law enforcement can actively seek the person out and pursue them in order to make an arrest. The pursuit can include arresting at gunpoint, officers breaking down entry doors, and full-on physical takedowns.
A person that has a warrant out for their arrest should never try to run from the police or fight them off. It is best to obey the officers and face the charges that have been filed.
Search Warrants in Tennessee
In order for members of law enforcement agencies to legally search the person and property of an individual, they must obtain a search warrant. The only way for police to legally search an individual without a warrant is if they have permission from the individual, or they have probable cause to believe the individual is engaged in criminal activity.
In most cases, when law enforcement approaches the judge with a request for a search warrant it is because they have good reason to believe that the defendant is involved with a crime.
The search warrant must include information such as:
- The name, or the description of the individual to be searched
- The place where the search will take place
- What the officers will be looking for
- Where the officers are allowed to search
Once the search warrant is approved and signed into action the police must execute the warrant within 5 days of the issue date.
Although with a search warrant officers have the authority to break down doors, smash through windows, and search wherever the search warrant specifies - if they conduct the search in a manner that goes against the orders in the warrant the search can be deemed illegal.
Any evidence that is collected in an illegal search and seizure operation can be deemed inadmissible in court. Police have to be careful.
Warrant Searches and Arrest Avoidance
In the event that an officer believes that the general safety of the public is threatened, they can make arrests and conduct searches at will. However, if a person is doing nothing wrong they will not be persecuted.
If a warrant is out for the arrest of a person the police will not hesitate to bring the person in. The best way to avoid being arrested is to know whether or not there is an active warrant. Doing regular warrant searches will let a person know if they have active warrants and allow them to contact an attorney to deal with the warrants in a way that could avoid going to jail at all.
***Regardless of which state you live in it is always wise to contact an attorney for any questions that you may have when it comes to warrant laws or any other legal concerns. The content found on this website is only for informational purposes and is not to be mistaken for legal advice.