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Tennessee Court Records

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Rutherford County Arrest Records

In Rutherford County, Tennessee, an arrest refers to the process by which law enforcement officers take an individual into custody for committing a crime or based on probable reason to believe they committed a crime, will commit a crime, or aid a criminal third party. Arrests typically result in the temporary suspension of a person's liberty pending when they are booked into the criminal justice system. The booking process creates the arrest record and often precedes the court procedure.

Arrest records created during booking contain details about the circumstances surrounding the arrest. These include the suspect's name, physical description, charges, bail, bond details, and the arresting officer's name or the agency in charge of custody. Arrests and bookings are typically done by officers of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. State and federal law enforcement agencies may also execute arrests within this jurisdiction.

Although arrest records show that an individual was taken into custody, they are not conclusive evidence of the person's guilt. Other records created by agencies in the criminal justice funnel may be more useful when establishing culpability. For example, Rutherford County Court Records contain information about case outcomes following arrests. Similarly, inmate records provide information about an individual's incarceration.

Are Arrest Records Public in Rutherford County?

Yes. Rutherford County arrest records are public information according to the Tennessee Public Records Act. Per this law, Rutherford County residents may contact the custodians of arrest records and view or obtain copies. Despite this provision, however, the Public Records Act restricts the disclosure of certain records. For example, juvenile arrest records are not open to the public.

Similarly, arrest records removed from the public domain following a successful petition to expunge or seal are not public. The same rule applies to unexecuted arrest warrants and records that may compromise active criminal investigations or the safety of individuals. Only authorized persons may access these records.

When a record is unavailable to the public, persons who may access it include government officials who need access to execute their official duties. Likewise, the record subject and their legal representatives may be granted access, depending on the sensitivity of the record content. Third parties who seek to view or obtain restricted arrest records must submit a court order or subpoena alongside their application.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Generally, persons who obtain Rutherford County arrest records can expect to find the following information:

  • The arrestee's full name and aliases
  • Physical characteristics (sex, height, weight, race, eye color, hair color, etc)
  • Date of birth
  • Booking photo
  • Time and date of booking
  • Offender identification number
  • Arrest summary
  • Charges description
  • Bail amount
  • Bail date and conditions of release
  • Parole and probation details.

For offenders that have been arraigned or scheduled to appear in court, the arrest record may also contain information about jail visitation, arraignment date, and court location.

Rutherford County Crime Rate

According to information submitted by Rutherford County law enforcement agencies to the National Incident-based Reporting System, there were 951 incident crimes in Rutherford County in 2019. These included 205 violent crimes like aggravated assault (169), robbery (16), rape (19), and murder (1), as well as 746 property crimes, including burglary (153), larceny-theft (506), motor vehicle theft (87), and arson (10). Between 2018 and 2019, violent crimes increased by 7.3%, while the most significant spike in property crimes was in burglary (+54%).

Rutherford County Arrest Statistics

In 2022, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office reported 5,629 arrests to the Tennessee Incident-Based Reporting System (TIBRS) Program. Adult arrests comprised 93.4% of all arrests (5,270 arrests), while there were 359 arrests made for juvenile offenders. In 2021, the local law enforcement agency reported 5,264 total arrests, including 4,958 adult arrests (94.2%) and 306 juvenile arrests (5.8%). Basic trend analysis shows that the arrest rate increased by 6.9% between 2021 and 2022, with the adult arrest rate increasing by 6.3% and the juvenile arrest rate rising by 17.3%.

Find Rutherford County Arrest Records

Rutherford County arrest records are available to the public through the arresting agency. These agencies often maintain searchable online databases where interested persons may find information on persons of interest. For example, records of felony offenders arrested in Tennessee are online via the Tennessee Department of Corrections Inmate Search System. Similarly, for persons arrested and held in custody by a federal law enforcement agency, arrest information is typically available on the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator. These databases support name-based searches and are free to use.

Free Arrest Record Search in Rutherford County

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office is the primary custodian of arrest records. Interested persons may obtain these records by visiting the Sheriff's Office during business hours, sending a mail request, or calling the Public Information Office. In any way, requestors must possess the necessary information to facilitate a search. At a minimum, the requestor must know the arrestee's name.

Providing the approximate arrest date and location may also help expedite the search, especially for older arrests. Although requestors may view arrest records for free, obtaining copies of the document comes at a nominal cost. Furthermore, the Sheriff's Office may charge administrative fees for records whose retrieval takes longer than average, e.g., when the record sought is archived or voluminous. Contact the Sheriff's Office using the information below.

Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
940 New Salem Highway
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Phone: (615) 898-7777 (General)
Phone: (615) 904-3089 (Public Information Office).

Note that contacting the Sheriff's Office only yields arrest records created in the county. Arrest records from other counties on the same subject are not usually available. For example, if a person arrested in another county moved to Rutherford County, the record of the arrest may not be available unless the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and the law enforcement agency in the previous location have an information-sharing agreement.

Thus, persons who wish to obtain comprehensive arrest records may have to lookup criminal records or query third-party databases. The latter option is accessible through independent service providers and is often convenient because the databases are not limited by location. However, third-party service providers are not affiliated with the government. Hence, there is no guarantee of the accuracy, completeness, or availability of arrest records from these sites.

Get Rutherford County Criminal Records

A criminal record, a.k.a. criminal history, is a compilation of all arrests, prosecutions, and convictions involving a person in the Tennessee criminal justice system. These records are only available to the general public via a background check with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

To obtain criminal records on any individual, visit the TBI background check page and complete an online request. This service is name-based, i.e., only the subject's full name is required to perform a criminal history search. The TBI charges a non-refundable $29.00 search fee. Requestors with additional inquiries may contact the TBI directly using the information below.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Tennessee Open Records Information Services
901 R.S. Gass Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37216
Phone: (615) 744-4057

Rutherford County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Although arrest records and criminal records share similarities, these records are different. Indeed, criminal records are more comprehensive, and arrest records are a subset of criminal records. An arrest record contains information about the circumstances surrounding when law enforcement took an individual into custody. On the other hand, a criminal record is a document containing information about prosecutions and convictions.

Furthermore, arrest records only indicate that an individual was taken into custody; they seldom contain information about the post-indictment outcome. Conversely, criminal records contain details about the case outcome following indictment and prosecution. As such, criminal records are a more robust source of information when determining culpability.

In addition, an arrest record has a narrower scope than a criminal record. Rutherford County arrest records only contain information about arrests that happened in Rutherford County. Information about arrests that happened in other jurisdictions is not available. Criminal records, however, are statewide. In other words, a criminal record contains information about the subject's arrests, prosecutions, convictions, and incarcerations from all jurisdictions in Tennessee.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Indefinitely. Per Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-32-101, records of arrests for misdemeanor and felony offenses alike remain on record until the individual petitions for removal. However, petitioning for removal does not guarantee automatic removal. Successful removal depends on provisions codified in the statute. Some of these include:

  • The charge was dismissed after the arrest
  • The grand jury returned a "no true bill"
  • The individual was released after arrest without being charged
  • The arrest or warrant was dismissed in court as part of a pretrial diversion program
  • The arrest or charge was due to a mistaken identity
  • The judge or jury returned a verdict of not guilty, or the person was acquitted.

Besides the aforementioned conditions, Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-32-101 also specifies other bases for filing a petition to expunge an arrest record. For example, a person convicted of a misdemeanor or a class C, D, or E felony may petition the court for record expungement after 37 years, and the individual has not been arrested, indicted, or convicted of any other crime, including traffic violations. An expunction deletes the arrest from official records, and related documents are removed from public repositories.

Expunge Rutherford County Arrest Records

A person who wishes to expunge an arrest from record must file a petition for an expungement order with the Circuit Court in the county where the arrest happened. Before filing an expungement petition, confirm that the offense qualifies under Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-32-101, and there are no other legal encumbrances on the petitioner.

Furthermore, each arrest requires a separate petition filed in the county where the arrest happened. Upon completing the form, submit the application in person or by mail to the Circuit Court Clerk's Office. The court may issue summary judgment on the petition or hold a hearing. In the case of the latter, the hearing date will depend on the judiciary caseload.

Although not required, employing the services of a criminal defense attorney may improve the odds of a successful petition for expungement. For more information and to file a petition for an expungement order, contact the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.

Rutherford County Circuit Court
Clerk's Office
Room 201, Judicial Building
20 Public Square North
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Phone: (615) 898-7820

If the petition is successful, the court will issue an order directing criminal justice agencies to remove the arrest record and related records from law enforcement databases. These include the TBI, Sheriff's Office, Tennessee Department of Corrections, etc. These agencies will remove the arrest from internal databases, as well as shared repositories like the Tennessee Felony Offender Lookup (FOIL) and Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS). However, expunged arrest records may still appear on private databases. In such cases, the petitioners may contact the service provider for record removal and provide the relevant court order.

Rutherford County Arrest Warrants

Per Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-201, an arrest warrant is a written order issued by a judge or magistrate authorizing law enforcement officers to take an individual into custody. Issuance of arrest warrants is based on probable cause, and law enforcement must provide supporting evidence (Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-205). Generally, the requesting officer must submit an affidavit, witness testimony, or be examined under oath before an arrest warrant is issued. Per Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-208, an arrest warrant must contain the following information:

  • Defendant's name
  • Offense and charges
  • City or county of warrant issue
  • Name and initials of the issuing judge or magistrate
  • Copy of the affidavit of complaint.

Rutherford County Arrest Warrant Search

Rutherford County arrest warrants are not public until after law enforcement executes the warrant. Persons who wish to search Rutherford County arrest warrants must visit the Warrants Lobby at the Sheriff's Office in person during business hours. The Sheriff's Office does not provide warrant information over the phone. Generally, warrant information is only available to the subject of the warrant or their legal representatives upon verification of their identity (Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-216).

Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
940 New Salem Highway
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Phone: (615) 904-3030 (Criminal Warrants Fugitive Tip Line)
Phone: (615) 904-3089 (Public Information).

However, a proxy for an arrest warrant search is the Tennessee Most Wanted List. Persons whose names appear on this list are usually subjects of arrest warrants. Residents who recognize these persons in Rutherford County may call the Fugitive Tip Line at (615) 904-3030.

Do Rutherford County Arrest Warrants Expire?

It depends. Arrest warrants for felony offenses typically remain active until they have been executed. However, the statute of limitations on an arrest warrant for a misdemeanor offense is five years (Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-206). If law enforcement fails to execute the warrant within this timeframe, the warrant becomes void. However, a court of competent jurisdiction may reissue the warrant.

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