Tennessee Arrest Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Look Up Arrest Records in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee offers background checks including criminal and arrest records to the general public upon request. Anyone can request for a Tennessee arrest records search or one that includes public records as well. The state-level report costs $29 and the federal one $50. Requests can be made online or through the mail. They process background checks via name searches however, if it is for the person themselves, then they can send in fingerprints for an exact match.

Are Tennessee Arrest Records Public?

Yes. This state upholds the Freedom of Information Act by committing to supplying the general public with jail and inmate records information upon request. They charge a small processing fee for state-level reports. They also allow you to order a federal copy from the FBI. From their central records repository, the general public can request copies through the mail and online.

Victims & Offenders by Gender and Race

Offenders by Gender

Victims by Gender

Offenders by Race

Black or African American56%
White37%
Unknown7%
Native Hawaiian0%
Offenders w/ reported race3,562

Victims by Race

Black or African American45%
White53%
Unknown1%
Asian1%
Native Hawaiian0%
Victims w/ reported race3,765

What Information You Can Find in a state Criminal Report?

What Information You Can Find in Tennessee Arrest Report?

A typical Tennessee arrest report is packed with information. It should contain details about the arrest such as where it occurred, the date of arrest, mugshots, what agency arrested them, the charges filed, the arresting officer’s information, if any vehicles were involved and the booking details. Additionally, it will include a whole profile for the person arrested with name, age, address, gender, height, weight, as well as other warrant and booking details including fingerprints as well as other police and criminal records associated with this person. At the same time, other court records related to any arrests, fines, convictions, and sentencing will also be on there.

Tennessee State Police Reports and Mugshots

Are Police Reports Public Record in Tennessee?

Absolutely. Tennessee police reports are public records, and they are available through each local police department. Some, like the Memphis Police Department, have a specific division called the Central Records Division with a particular location that you can visit to retrieve records. You can also get them via fax or mail. This is what they say about fees:

“The cost for a police report for Tennessee residents is $0.15 a page (ID required). The fee is $15 for non-residents. Photograph CD’s are $10 per accident/incident or $1.50 per photo.”

Some of the information you will find on a police report is:

  • The names and ages of the people involved.
  • The date and time of the incident.
  • A brief description of the event.
  • The location of the incident.
  • The charges filed if any.
  • The results: was the person arrested, taken to the hospital, rehab, etc.
  • Mug shots if they are available from the arrest.
  • The detainment center, prison, or jail they were taken to.
  • The bail or bond amount set.

Tennessee Mugshots

WBBJ Eyewitness News, Channel 7, has a ton of Tennessee mugshots on their website. They are all from recent arrests. The stylistic design that comprises a Tennessee mugshot is of a suspect in black clothing photographed against a light gray background. Along with newspapers, media outlets, public records repositories, and other websites may also have Tennessee mugshots on them.

The term mugshot comes from the slang “mug,” meaning face back in the 1800s. At the time photography was invented, Alphonse Bertillon, a French policeman, started using police photos as part of the standard booking process. He perfected it, finding just the right lighting, background, and poses, and now the rest of the world uses his template for mugshots. These police photos are widely used in investigations and with victims of crime or witnesses to help identify the culprits.

Tennessee Arrest Booking Process

Tennessee has a different approach to the booking process than many other states. Rather than immediately send the offender to prison or hold them in jail, they are booked and provided with a citation. They must then go directly to court to see the judge, but they avoid temporary incarceration.

However, the normal booking process in Tennessee does include:

  • Taking an offender’s fingerprints.
  • Mugshots.
  • Entering the offender’s information into the arrest system.
  • Full body search.
  • Check for outstanding warrants in your name.
  • Health screening.

Although, in some cases, suspects will be held in jail, many will simply take their citation and sit in the courtroom waiting to be called for their time in front of the judge. The judge can then sentence them, making the entire affair quick and easy. This shortcut system shortens the booking process to only 30–45 minutes. However, it is only available to misdemeanor offenders.

Violent Crime Rates for the last 10 years

The crime rate has decreased over the past decade in Tennessee, going from 37,109 crimes in 2006 to 35,004 by 7% lower than it was back in 2006. The largest percentage of violent crimes falls into the Aggravated Assault category, with Revised Rape being the least popular crime in the state.

Tennessee Violent Crime Rate Change

Arrest Laws

Tennessee Arrest Laws

A police officer in the current state may arrest someone with a warrant. They may also arrest someone without a warrant when committing a public offense or “breach of the peace threatened in the officer's presence.” If someone commits a felony, not in the presence of the officer, they can arrest them. When an officer believes someone committed a felony they can arrest them. If someone is attempting to commit suicide, the officer may arrest them then. A police officer can also arrest someone at the scene of the traffic accident where he or she believes the person committed an offense.

Who has a Power of Arrest?

Any TN peace officer can arrest someone in this state. As defined by TN law, a peace officer is “officer, employee or agent of government who has a duty imposed by law to: maintain public order, make arrests for offenses, whether that duty extends to all offenses or is limited to specific offenses; and investigate the commission or suspected commission of offenses. Peace officer” also includes an officer, employee or agent of government who has the duty or responsibility to enforce laws and regulations about forests in this state.”

How Long Will a Tennessee Arrest Report Stay on Your Public Records?

In some cases, an arrest and criminal record will stay with someone for life. In others, they have the option of applying for expunction of their charges and convictions. When the arrest did not result in any charges or they were dismissed, or the person was found not guilty, those instances can be removed pretty quickly. New laws now allow Class A misdemeanor or Class E felony charges to be expunged as well. Offenders must wait five years following the completion of sentencing before applying though.

Can you Expunge your Records?

Yes. TN does offer residents the possibility of expunction of their arrests and criminal records. There are particular rules regarding what types of charges can be expunged and when. Offenders must wait at least five years before petitioning the court to have their charges removed. Only certain crimes can be expunged. No violent or sex offenses can be removed. They will stay on a criminal record forever.

The Arrest Rate in Tennessee

Arrest Rate in Tennessee

Tennessee has a reporting tool where you can see up-to-date arrest data. So far for 2019, Tennessee has recorded 2,613 arrests for Group B offenses, and 1,525 for Group A offenses.

State Offender and Victim Age Group Statistics

Most of the violent crime offenders in Tennessee were 20-29 and the largest percentage of violent crime victims were 20-29.

Offender Age

0-90.2%
10-1914.4%
20-2929.9%
30-3918.0%
40-499.6%
50-595.8%
60-691.9%
70-790.4%
80-890.1%
90-990.0%
Unknown19.7%
Offenders w/ reported age45,429

Victim Age

0-94.7%
10-1915.2%
20-2929.5%
30-3921.7%
40-4914.0%
50-599.4%
60-694.0%
70-791.1%
80-890.3%
90-990.1%
Victims w/ reported age46,157

Crime Victim Demographics

Residence Home is the place where the majority of crimes in Tennessee were committed, in most of the crime cases the offender was a stranger.

Location Type

Residence Home25,714
Highway/Alley/Street/Sidewalk8,201
Parking Garage/Lot4,363
Convenience Store1,513
Unknown984
Hotel/Motel939
Restaurant894
Department/Discount Store533
Gas Station465
Specialty Store440

Victim’s Relationship to the Offender

Stranger19,698
Relationship Unknown10,950
Acquaintance9,129
Boyfriend/Girlfriend5,810
Otherwise Known3,882
Spouse1,767
Friend1,459
Offender1,386
Child1,123
Other Family Member1,112

Tennessee Arrest Records by Type of Crime

The popular arrests for 2017 in Tennessee was for All Other Offenses (except traffic) - 152,595, the same popularity of the arrest type was seen in Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona. The least popularity had Gambling arrests - with only 160 crimes a year.

Arrest TypeUnder 18All agesTotal arrests
Violent Crime1,45914,68216,141
Property Crime4,39938,39442,793
Murder & Non-negligent Manslaughter30358388
Rape49351400
Robbery4221,8392,261

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

Is your State Safer than Tennessee?

Select your state and find out:

Tennessee
Crime rate - 4,895
The crime rate in the last 5 years - up by 7%

5 Safest Counties in the Area

A list of 5 counties in Tennessee that have the highest arrest rate in 2017

Tennessee Arrest Records Search