Frequently Asked Questions

Q.How do I take out a warrant?
A.You must first file a police report by calling the police department at 862-8600. You must bring the complaint number from the police report to our warrant screening office located on the ground floor of the Criminal Justice Center on Second Avenue. The warrant screening office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. It is closed on holidays. No appointment is needed. For more information, please go to the Public Intake/Warrant Screening page.

Q.I am a victim of a crime. Do I need to hire my own attorney?
A.No. The District Attorney’s office prosecutes for the State in criminal cases.

Q.How do I find out when a defendant is set for court?
A.Call the Criminal Court Clerk’s office at 862-5601. Or go online at ccc.nashville.gov

Q.Can I be notified if and when a defendant is released from jail?
A.Yes. You must register with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office VINE Program, at 1-888-868-4631.

Q.I am a victim or witness of a crime. How am I notified when to be in court?
A.If you are needed in court, you will receive a subpoena either by phone or in the mail providing you with the date, time and courtroom. A case may be set several times in court and it is not always necessary for a victim or witness to be present.

Q. How do I find out which assistant district attorney or victim-witness coordinator is handling my case?
A. You can call our office at 862.5500.

Q.Where do I park to go to court or to your office?
A. For information on our location, please click here. Here is a good resource for available parking in the downtown area: ParkIt Downtown Nashville.

Q.What should I wear to court?
A.The judges do enforce a dress code. Everyone entering the courtroom shall be dressed appropriately. For the list of what is inappropriate for courtroom attire, please click here.

Q.When can I get my property back?
A.In many instances, property can be returned immediately. That is at the discretion of the detective, so you should contact the detective assigned to your case. In some instances, it may be necessary to retain the property until after the case is disposed of.

Q.I have lost money as a result of a crime. Will the defendant be made to reimburse me?
A.That decision will be up to the trial court. The judge may order the defendant to make a reimbursement. You will need to provide documentation of your loss. Bring that proof with you to court, and speak to your Victim Witness coordination about requesting reimbursement.

Q.Can I receive compensation under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Act?
A.For more information, call 741-2734. Or go online at http://www.treasury.state.tn.us/injury .

Q.How will I know if the telephone call I get is from the defense attorney or investigator rather than the prosecutor’s office?
A.An ethical defense attorney or investigator will identify himself as such. If you have doubts, take the name of the person who is calling, and call 862-5500, the main District Attorney’s Office number, and ask whether the person calling is a prosecutor or an investigator with our office. The main operator is able to transfer your call to that prosecutor or investigator.

Q.What should I do if I am contacted by a defense attorney or an investigator for the defendant?
A.It is your decision whether or not you speak with them. The prosecution cannot tell you not to speak with the defense. If you do talk with them, what you say may be recorded and you may be asked about it at trial. Therefore, it is very important that you always tell the truth. You are free to tape any such conversation, and you have the right to decline to converse with the defense unless a representative from the District Attorney’s Office is present.

Q.I am a victim in a case where the defendant has appealed his conviction or sentence. Who helps me through the appellate process?
A.The Attorney General’s Office handles all appeals. They have Victim Witness Coordinators who will assist you through this process. You can contact them at 615-532-1971 or go to http://www.attorneygeneral.state.tn.us for additional information.

Q.How do I dismiss a warrant?
A.The decision to drop or dismiss charges in a criminal prosecution can only be made by an attorney in the D.A.’s office and must occur in a courtroom in front of a judge. A victim’s wishes will be considered, but the final determination as to whether charges will be dismissed rests with the D.A.’s office.

Q.I am a defendant and have been charged with a crime. To whom should I talk?
A.The District Attorney’s office does not talk with persons charged with crimes. You should contact the public defender’s office at 862-5730, or a private defense attorney.

Q.Can you refer me to an attorney?
A.This office cannot make referrals for attorneys in criminal or civil cases. You may call the Lawyer Referral Service of the Nashville Bar Association, at 242-6546.

Q.Who do I call for child support information?
A.The District Attorney’s office does not handle child support enforcement. For any questions regarding child support issues, call PSI at 726-0530.

Q.Who do I call to report elder abuse?
A.Call 1-888-277-8366.

Q.Who do I call to report child abuse?
A.Call 1-877-237-0004. The number is answered 24-hours a day.

Q.Does your office offer internships for law students?
A.Yes, we do offer summer internships to students who have completed at least one year of law school. Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to Derry Harper at DerryHarper@jis.nashville.org. The summer internships are not paid positions. Depending on your law school, you may be eligible to receive credit for your internship.

Q.How do I apply for a position of Assistant District Attorney?
A.Please send your resume to the attention of Glenn R. Funk, Davidson County District Attorney General, 222 2nd Avenue North, Suite 500, Nashville, TN, 37201-1649.

Q.When is issuing a worthless check a crime?
A.When the check is presented as a fraudulent inducement to obtain anything of value. Generally, the crime requires a simultaneous exchange of the check for money, services, credit, or any article of value.

Q.When is it not a crime?
A.When the check is given as payment on an account. When the check is given for labor, materials, and service after the job is completed. When it is post-dated or a check which is not post-dated but the payee accepts the check with the agreement to hold for a period before presenting to the bank for payment.

Q.What are the elements of the crime of passing a worthless check?

A. The essential elements of the crime are:

  • issuance of the check with fraudulent intent to obtain value,
  • issuing the check with knowledge of insufficient funds on deposit with the drawee bank to cover the check,
  • the subsequent failure of the drawer to pay the check within five days after receiving notice that the check was dishonored,
  • that the offense happened in Davidson County, and
  • that the person charged is the person who issued the check.

Q.What is Davidson County’s procedure for issuing a worthless check warrant?
A.The Fraud Division of the Metropolitan Police Department may be involved in investigating a case involving the passing of a worthless check. However, their involvement is generally for those cases where the suspect has passed a large number of checks, has a history of passing checks, or the case involves stolen or forged checks.

Q.What information do I need to get a worthless check warrant? You will need the following information:

    • The name, address, date of birth, and physical description of the suspect
    • A copy of the front and the back of the check
    • Proof that notice was sent by registered mail
    • Name of the individual who accepted the check, and
    • Your means of providing the suspect’s identity

Q.Now that I’ve gathered all the information to request a worthless check warrant, what do I do next?
A.You must first file a police report by calling the police department at 862-8600. You must bring the complaint number from the police report to our warrant screening office located on the ground floor of the Criminal Justice Center on Second Avenue. The warrant screening office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. It is closed on holidays. No appointment is needed. For more information, please click here.