All Tennessee outstanding warrants are issued by a magistrate of a tribunal in the county that handles criminal cases. Hence, a warrant is essentially an order from the court that empowers law enforcement officials to detain a person till such time that he can be presented before a magistrate for a bail hearing.
Despite the fact that judicial instruments are essentially orders from judiciary to the police, many of these directives such as arrest warrants issued in criminal matters and search orders are only issued when cops make a request for these. In order to approach the bench for a warrant, the police need to have enough evidence in hand to merit the issue of a judicial decree.
How is a warrant procured from the tribunals of Tennessee?
For a search order as well as an active warrant, the police have to file an affidavit in court showing probable cause which can be used as the basis for releasing the decree. An outstanding warrant in Tennessee is just an active order for detention that is held back in the police database because it could not be served.
There can be scores of reasons for the non-execution of such an order. Although there is no set period in the criminal code of Tennessee for the execution of an arrest order, it is a given that law enforcement officials are to serve them at the earliest. Of course, the fact that the sheriff's department places the request for the warrant also means that the cops are keen on detaining the person in question as soon as possible.
Regardless of what led to the addition of the order in the FBI and local law enforcement databases, an outstanding warrant will be held in these repositories till such time as the person in whose name it was issued is taken into custody.
Is an outstanding warrant an indication of guilt?
The mere fact that a warrant was granted to the police means that there is ample of evidence against the accused. The probable cause requirement which is in keeping with the Fourth Amendment entails the submission of enough proof to convince a layperson of the culpability of the accused.
The writ filed in court by the sheriff's office is meant to shed light on two facts; one that a criminal incident did occur and two that the said person was responsible for this act. So, although a warrant should not be treated as a conviction, it does mean that there is near irrefutable proof against the individual.
Looking for Tennessee outstanding warrants
The simplest way to find information on Tennessee arrest orders is to visit the local sheriff's office or county clerk's department. You can also get in touch with the court of the magistrate for a warrant inquiry. However, all these methods involve taking a trip in person to the relevant agency office.
A simpler option is to use an online service like the one provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. For $29, you can initiate a named based search through the Tennessee Open Records Information System, (TORIS) at https://tbibackgrounds.tbi.tn.gov/toris/.
Alternatively, you could also use the search tools offered on the official websites of the following sheriffs' departments:
Shelby County: http://www.shelbywarrants.org/
Knox County: http://www.knoxsheriff.org
Montgomery County: https://mcgtn.org/sheriff
Nashville County: http://www.nashville.gov/Sheriffs-Office.aspx
All of these tools are for name based searches and usually the results obtained will be confined to the said county. In contrast, the TORIS check will get you a detailed background report including conviction records and the information provided will include criminal history data from all over the state. If you are looking for nationwide results, try the form on top of this page to access an extensive database of arrest records and warrants.