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Tennessee Court Records

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Davidson County Arrest Records

According to Title 40, Chapter 7 of the Tennessee Code, an arrest can occur in Davidson County when a warrant exists, when peace officers witness a crime taking place, or when officers have reason to believe someone is involved in a crime. Under state law, the crime may be categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Following an arrest, Davidson law enforcement authorities generate legal documentation through a process known as "booking". Information such as the arrest date and time, the arresting officer's identity, warrant specifics, charges, the arrestee's full name, and the location of the arrest are gathered and compiled into an arrest record. These records become public domain and can be accessed through law enforcement. They may also make up parts of other public records, for example, Davidson County court records.

Are Arrest Records Public in Davidson County?

Yes. Following the Open Records Act of Tennessee, arrest records compiled by police departments are considered public property and can be accessed by the public. However, there are some exemptions to public access, including:

  • Arrest records that have been sealed and expunged by court order
  • Records related to ongoing investigations
  • Sensitive personal information such as social security numbers and tax details
  • Arrest records of juveniles

Generally, where public access is restricted to a record, one must either be an authorized person by law (for example, a record's subject) or have a court order permitting access.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Details typically included in a Davidson County public arrest record include:

  • The full name and alias(es) of the arrested individual
  • The date, time, and location of the arrest
  • The date of birth, age, gender, and race of the arrestee, as well as any distinctive marks, tattoos, or scars on the individual
  • The arrestee's photograph (or mugshot)
  • The arresting agency/officer
  • Bail/bond information

Find Davidson County Arrest Records

The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) is the primary repository of all police reports in Davidson County. As such, persons seeking records related to an arrest that took place in Davidson can begin at the MNPD's Central Records Division.

Police Central Records Division
811 Anderson Lane
Suite 100
Madison, TN 37115
Phone: (615) 862-7631

The Central Records Division accepts public records requests via its public counter (i.e., in person), postal mail, or by email. A photo ID is required for all requests, and individuals may need to download and fill out the Open Records Request Policy and Form. The Division charges a reasonable fee to reproduce requested files.

Inquirers also have the option to access arrest records online using a tool provided by the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, especially when it pertains to a person who was arrested and held at a county jail facility.

Finally, persons looking for the location of someone arrested in Davidson County by a federal agency can access the Bureau of Prisons Federal Inmate Locator.

Free Arrest Record Search in Davidson County

To look up arrest records in Davidson County for free, use the sheriff's Active Inmate Search tool. Users can search for adult arrest information using details such as a person's first and last name. Alternatively, they may look up recent county jail facility bookings. An advanced search option is also available to interested users who have the following information:

  • An arrestee's warrant number
  • An arrestee's date of birth
  • The Case Information System (CIS) number
  • The Originating Case Agency (OCA) number. (This is listed as an inmate's "Control Number" in the search results.)

Several online third-party vendors offer convenient access to arrest records. These repositories compile arrest information obtained from government sources and provide them to the public, but a fee may be charged. Researchers can typically access a third-party website with a suspect's full name and the location where the arrest occurred. Certain vendors may require additional information, such as the suspect's date of birth. However, it is important to note that the information provided by these vendors may not be comprehensive and should be used cautiously.

Get Davidson County Criminal Records

Davidson County criminal records are accessible to the public at various government levels. These records include details about a person's arrest, charges, and case dispositions.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is the central repository for criminal records. For a $29 fee, members of the public can look up statewide criminal records by mail or online, including records from Davidson County. More information is available on the TBI's Background Checks website. Additionally, the TBI provides subjects of records with access to their FBI records (FBI rap sheets) through a private contractor. The vendor charges $50. Alternatively, subjects have the option of ordering directly from the FBI for $18.

Persons who need Davidson County-only criminal records may submit a background check request to the Metro Nashville Police Department's Central Records Division using the Open Records Request Policy and Form, as detailed earlier. The agency charges $13 for each request, and a record will reveal only Davidson County arrests and criminal charges pertaining to a search subject.

Members of the public can also request a criminal record check through the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk. The Clerk provides free online access via the Public Case Search portal. A search can be performed with a person's name, a case number, or a citation number.

Individuals can also view all public Davidson County criminal records at no charge at the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk's office during regular business hours at:

408 2nd Avenue North
Suite 2120 Nashville
TN 37201
Phone: (615) 862-5601

Background check order details, including fees, are available on the Clerk's website for those requesting Davidson County criminal records by mail.

Davidson County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

The primary distinction between a criminal record and an arrest record lies in their scope of information. A criminal record includes all individual interactions with the criminal justice system, while an arrest record shows only interactions with law enforcement agencies.

Having an arrest record does not inherently indicate guilt regarding an alleged crime. Conversely, possessing a criminal record signifies that the individual has been convicted of the offense mentioned in the record.

People often inadvertently blur the line between these records, mistakenly perceiving arrest records as synonymous with criminal ones. However, arrest records only constitute a segment of the broader category of criminal records.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In Davidson County, an individual's arrest remains permanently on their record until they obtain an expungement from the court.

Expunge Davidson County Arrest Records

Expungement is a judicial process that allows for the removal of certain criminal records, including arrest records, in compliance with the law. In Tennessee, only specific criminal records are eligible for expungement, and some cases can be expunged without incurring any fees.

Expungement without fees is possible under the following circumstances:

  • When a subject was tried but found not guilty of the crime.
  • When an individual was arrested but no charges were filed or the charges were dismissed.
  • When a judge denies an order of protection following a legal process.
  • When an offender is acquitted through a legal process.

Additionally, participation in pretrial diversion programs, which may involve counseling and therapy, can make an offender eligible for expungement. However, petition fees apply except for cases involving sexual offenses.

Record holders seeking expungement must follow a structured process at the court where the case was handled, which includes:

  • Obtaining all case files from the Clerk's office where the case was heard.
  • Collecting necessary petition forms from the Clerk and completing them. Each charge typically requires a separate expungement form.
  • Submitting all documents to the criminal court clerk, ensuring to include a self-addressed stamped envelope for each charge to be expunged if wanting to receive a copy of the expungement by mail.
  • The Clerk will forward the expungement paperwork to the judge for review and then to the relevant agencies for expungement (if the order is approved). Typically, a petitioner's appearance is not required in court.

Those seeking more information about the expungement process can visit the Tennessee Courts website.

It is important to emphasize that even when an arrest record is expunged and removed from public access, it will not remove the record from the purview of the District Attorney or law enforcement agencies.

Davidson County Arrest Warrants

Davidson arrest warrants are legal documents that authorize the apprehension of an individual for a crime. To secure a warrant, a law enforcement officer must contact a Davidson County magistrate or Clerk, present an affidavit demonstrating probable cause, and specify the individual targeted by the warrant (Rule 4, Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure). The warrant will be granted if sufficient evidence indicates that the person in question has committed a crime or violated a court order by failing to appear.

Key details in a Davidson County arrest warrant include:

  • The suspect's full name.
  • The warrant's issuance date and location.
  • The specific charges linked to the suspect.

Davidson County Arrest Warrant Search

To confirm the presence of a warrant in Davidson County, contact the Nashville Police Department's Criminal Warrants Division. However, the agency only disseminates this information in person. It may be advisable to seek assistance from a legal representative who can make inquiries on one's behalf.

An individual can also search records maintained by the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk's Office. This office maintains records for the General Sessions and State Trial Criminal Courts in Davidson County, which can indicate if a warrant was issued for a case.

Do Davidson County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Typically, warrants for felony offenses and bench warrants do not have an expiry date. However, warrants for misdemeanor offenses are valid for five years (Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-206).

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