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Officers Encouraged to Use Maximum Discretion in the Issuance of Misdemeanor Citations

3/19/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chief Steve Anderson this evening announced that officers are being strongly encouraged to maximize their discretion in the use of state citations in lieu of physical arrests for misdemeanor offenses to reduce the opportunity for COVID-19 exposure within Nashville’s detention facilities and to Sheriff’s Office detention staff.

Most misdemeanor offenses, domestic assault and DUI excluded, qualify for the issuance of citations so long as the defendant is able to prove his/her identity. Those issued citations do not post a bond and are given a future booking date on which they are required to appear at the Sheriff’s Office facility downtown to be photographed, fingerprinted, and receive a court date.

Chief Anderson also announced that officers, on a temporary basis, are authorized to serve outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants to defendants via citations rather than physically arresting them (domestic violence arrest warrants excluded). The District Attorney’s Office and the General Sessions and Criminal Courts agree that this temporary action is necessary to help reduce spread of the COVID-19 virus.

All persons arrested for felony crimes will continue to be physically arrested and taken to jail.

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