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Magistrates & Warrants

Magistrates are a part of the judicial branch of government and are required to exercise independent judgment in the issuance of arrest warrants. The United States Supreme Court has determined that persons issuing warrants must be "neutral and detached" from the law enforcement function.

JURISDICTION OF THE BLOUNT COUNTY WARRANT MAGISTRATE'S OFFICE IS AS FOLLOWS:

  • Misdemeanors - Offenses that occur in Blount County - excluding Blountsville Municipal, Oneonta Municipal, and Snead Municipal.
  • Felonies - Offenses that occur in Blount County.
  • Traffic - Offenses that occur in Blount County. (Most often a traffic citation given by a State Trooper or County Deputy) *Excludes Blountsville Municipal, Oneonta Municipal, and Snead Municipal
  • Worthless Checks - All Checks received in Blount County.

HOW TO OBTAIN A WARRANT:

We have several employees in the office who have been appointed as magistrates. Prior to obtaining a warrant, you will need to file an incident/offense report with the Blount County Sheriff's Department, or if the offense occurred in a municipality, the report needs to be filed with the police department there. For misdemeanor charges, you will need to go directly to the Sheriffs Department and make a report. You must bring a copy of your report to my office where you will fill out an affidavit and be interviewed by a magistrate to determine probable cause. Misdemeanor probable cause hearings are held each Tuesday and Thursday 2-4 p.m. In case of emergency you may contact my office to schedule a time and/or day for a probable cause hearing outside of the days and times set out above. In the case of a felony offense, you will need to get in touch with the municipality having jurisdiction or Sheriff's Department and talk with an investigator. The officer/investigator will then come with you to the Clerks Office in order to obtain a warrant.

Note: Misdemeanor charges occurring inside the city limits of Blountsville, Oneonta, or Snead must be handled through their municipal court. We will only handle their misdemeanor cases through county court if a felony charge is also involved in the same incident or if it is an extraordinary circumstance.

The officer/investigator will accompany you to my office to see the Magistrate and you will be put under oath and fill out a deposition of the alleged crime, or the officer will have already completed the deposition. The magistrate will then make a determination as to whether there is probable cause for the issuance of a warrant. If probable cause is found, an arrest warrant is issued. There is no cost involved in this process. Please make careful consideration before you have someone arrested as we do not drop charges. The D.A. does not dismiss charges and you may be required to pay costs of court. No request to dismiss will be considered by the D.A. prior to a court appearance. An arrest warrant is NOT a matter of public record until it is served. If someone suspects that a warrant has been issued against them, they must appear in person at the Blount County Sheriff's Department.