Statute of Limitations on Outstanding Warrants in Tennessee

••• Images

Arrest Under Warrant

Tennessee defines a warrant of arrest under Section 40-6-201 of the Tennessee Code of Criminal Procedure as a written order issued in the absence of the defendant, commanding an officer to arrest the defendant.

Statute of Limitations Generally

Statutes of limitation define how long the state has to file charges in Tennessee. The amount of time varies greatly based upon the type and nature of the charge the defendant is facing. Tennessee applies no statute of limitations to any crime punishable by death or life imprisonment. Class A felonies have a 15-year statute of limitations, Class B felonies an eight-year restriction, scaling down to a one-year limitation on misdemeanors. Note that the statute of limitations does not run where there has been concealment of a crime. In these circumstances, the statute begins upon discovery of the crime.


Pursuant to 40-6-206, a warrant that has not been served, returned or quashed within five years on a misdemeanor charge is automatically terminated and is removed from court records.

Statewide Application

A warrant issued in one jurisdiction empowers law enforcement officers anywhere in the state to take the defendant into custody pursuant to 40-6-213.


About the Author

Based near Chicago, Sameca Pandova has been writing since 1995 and now contributes to various websites. He is an attorney with experience in health care, family and criminal prosecution issues. Pandova holds a Master of Laws in health law from Loyola University Chicago, a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Case Western.

Photo Credits

  • Images