How to Find Public Police Records in the State of Tennessee?
What are Police Records?
Police records are records of police activities, that includes activities of arrests done by the police, warrants issued, crime reports, traffic violation records, records of criminal convictions, and records of prisoners. Generally, all criminal records are termed as police records. These are records generated by the police and record data of criminal activities and offenses committed by violating the laws.
Are Police Records Public records?
Police records are covered under the policies pertaining to public records. This usually varies from state to state. In some states, public records are open records and can be accessed by anyone from the public. In other states, the access is limited, meaning some records are accessible to the public, while others are restricted to only those who need to know them.
The Tennessee public records policy allows members of the public the right to access them. All documents of government bodies, legislatures, or papers filed in a court of law are public records. There are exemptions under the law that exempts from disclosure information in public records related to criminal proceedings and felons convicted by law. The custodian of public records has to allow access to records if a valid request is made.
Public police records in the state of Tennessee are maintained by different organizations, depending on the type of record. The details of the various public police records in Tennessee are as follows:
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations has a Criminal justice information services support center (website: https://www.tn.gov/tbi/divisions/cjis-division/criminal-justice-information-services-cjis-support-center.html). Police records of criminals are available here and these are available for access to members of the public. Details of offenders, offenses committed, personal details, convictions, sentences, photographs are available.
It is possible to carry out a criminal check using this website. The criminal check is essentially a background check using which any member of the public can access certain criminal records. This is restricted to the general public who are residents of Tennessee state. The online request form can be downloaded from https://tbibackgrounds.tbi.tn.gov/Toris/ filled in and submitted. The criminal history of an adult can be found here. The request can be made online using the website or a form sent by mail. This is not a free service and requires a fee of $29 to be paid.
It must be noted that records that can be accessed by the public are only those not sealed by a court. In case, any record contains sensitive information, then the court may order the records to be sealed. In such a case, these records are not available for access to the public.
Arrest records are records of arrests made by the police. The arrest record would have details of the person being arrested, charged, and other details. An arrest warrant is an official record issued by a court that sanctions the arrest of an individual. Arrest warrants can be obtained from the police station or Sheriff’s office in the city or county where the arrest warrant was issued.
Records of traffic violations are part of the driving history record. This is a record related to the history of a driver that includes details of the status of the driving license, offenses committed, fines, convictions, and other related details. The driving history record can be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, Tennessee. It can be obtained online by paying $7 from the website https://www.tn.gov/safety/driver-services/mvr.html or by paying $5 in person at their office.
An important record is the sex offender registry. Information on sex offenders can be obtained from https://www.tn.gov/tbi/general-information/redirect-tennessee-sex-offender-registry-search/sex-offender-registry-search.html
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