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Arrest Warrants: What to Know and How to Handle Them

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Each year, the Memphis and Shelby County judges and courts issue thousands of arrest warrants for individuals. These warrants are issued for any number of reasons and crimes, often causing confusion for individuals not in tune with the complexities of the legal system.

In fact, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) figures, released by Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, reveal the following statistics and trends on crimes in Memphis and the Mid South in 2017 (compared to 2016 figures).

Memphis Crime Trends in 2017
  • 10% decrease in murder rate in Memphis
  • 8.3% increase in overall major violent crimes in Memphis
  • 9.3% increase in aggravated assaults both in Memphis
  • 8.4% increase in robberies in Memphis
  • 23.9% increase in auto thefts in Memphis
Shelby County Crime Trends in 2017
  • 15.6% decrease in murder rate in Shelby County
  • 7.9% increase in overall major violent crimes in Shelby County
  • 9.3% increase in aggravated assaults in Shelby County
  • 7.4% increase in robberies in Shelby County
  • 20.4% increase in auto therfts in Shelby County

All of these crime categories lead to different types of arrest warrants. For you to understand what to expect, you need to know which type of warrant you are possibly facing.

Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants are issued for those accused of committing a crime based on evidence or information presented to the police, magistrate or Attorney General’s office. A warrant can be issued when another individual has filed a criminal complaint against you as well.

Once an arrest warrant is issued and entered in local and national law enforcement database, the police attempt to take the accused into custody for booking and processing so that an appropriate bond can be set. Then, the case can proceed.  

If you or a loved one is facing an arrest warrant, please do not resist should the police attempt to take you into custody. We assure you this will only cause additional legal problems for you and your family.


Bench Warrants

In Shelby County, bench warrants are typically issued by a sitting judge for individuals who do not appear for their court setting. We understand that life is hectic, and people sometimes forget their court date or have an emergency arise. Therefore, bench warrants can be recalled with the help of an attorney.

Your attorney appears with you and explains to the presiding judge the reason for your absence on your previously designated court date, then requests that the warrant be recalled. If the judge recalls the warrant, you will not be taken into custody, and your criminal case will proceed as usual. In addition to warrants for missing courts, bench warrants are issued for nonpayment of child support, alimony, or violation of a court order. Before facing these types of warrants, it is extremely important that you contact an attorney for legal advice on how to proceed. In these situations, each case is unique to the system.

Understand that if you have an active bench warrant and are pulled over for a traffic violation, you will be taken into custody when the officer discovers the existence of such warrant. Instead of waiting for the inevitable, contact an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for immediate assistance.

Out-of-State Warrants

If a warrant from another state was issued for your arrest, you can be detained in another state. During this time, you await extradition while a defendant may request an extradition hearing.

Once in custody, it is common for a defendant to waive his or her right to an extradition hearing and let the state with jurisdiction of their matter get them to face prosecution.

If you suspect that there may be an arrest warrant issued for you or a loved one, you can check for additional information with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.  To learn more about the warrant process, visit below.

Recalling Your Warrant


At The Chiozza Law Firm we have represented thousands of individuals facing criminal charges for all types of misdemeanor and felony charges. We understand that everyone makes mistakes, and the consequences are serious. The long-term impact of having a criminal charge on your record can destroy personal relationships, hurt financial and employment opportunities and cause unneeded stress and humiliation.

We assure you that we will handle your matter in a confidential manner while exploring all legal opportunities to assist in having charges dismissed or working to limit the punishment associated the alleged crime.

If you need representation or have a general question regarding a legal problem, don’t hesitate to contact The Chiozza Law Firm at 901-526-9494 or visit the office, conveniently located one block from the criminal courthouse at 201 Poplar.  No appointment is necessary and there is no charge for a consultation.  For emergency inquiries please contact Brian Chiozza, brian@chiozzalaw.com.

We work to provide you with a reasonable fee quote and create payment plans that suit you and your situation. Our goal is to provide you with the experienced and expert legal representation you deserve.

Contact an Attorney Today


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Posted by Brian Chiozza at 11:50 AM
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