HELPING THE VICTIMS OF CRIME FIND ANSWERS
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the division:The Criminal Investigation Division is made up of three branches: criminal investigations, drug investigations and domestic violence and child abuse investigations. The main goal of the C.I.D. is to provide effective investigative assistance in all cases in the unincorporated areas of Lawrence County.
1. What investigator is assigned my case?
Answer: When a report is generated the case is evaluated as to the probability of solving the case based on certain criteria. If the report meets criteria an investigator is assigned to the case. A victim can call 931-762-1608 to find out two things. First, if the case has been assigned and second, who the investigator is assigned to the case. Be sure to know the victim's name or address of the incident.
2. How is property that is seized get disposed of?
Answer: When property is taken as evidence as part of a criminal investigation and is needed in the prosecution of the case that property can only be released after disposition of the case. If property is recovered and the rightful owner has been identified the investigator in charge of the case will notify the owner and release the property to them. If the propety is seized due to a narcotic/DUI violation the person in possession of the property at the time of seizure will be given a "Notice of Property Seizure." Anyone with interest in the seized property must file a written claim to the Department of Safety, 1150 Foster Avenue, Nashville, TN 37243 within 30 days of the seizure. A non-refundable bond of $350.00 (three-hundred fifty dollars) must accompany the claim. FAILURE TO REQUEST A HEARING IN A TIMELY MANNER WILL RESULT IN YOUR LOSING YOUR INTEREST IN THE ABOVE PROPERTY. If a claim is filed and the property is awarded to the seizing agency the property will be auctioned on GovDeals.com. If the property is awarded back to any claimant with interest the property will be returned to the rightful owner.
3. When will my case go to Grand Jury?
Answer: The Lawrence County Grand Jury generally meets the last Friday of each month. When a case is presented to the Grand Jury it takes approximately one month for a return of an indictment. Although the Grand Jury meets once a month, a case will only go to the Grand Jury after the investigation is complete and the District Attorney's Office has approved the case for presentation. The District Attorney's Office as the authority to deny prosecution on any case.
4. How can I find out if someone is a sex offender?
Answer: Go to the following website www.tbi.tn.gov then click on the link for Sex Offender Registry. At this site you can search for sex offenders in your area. You can also contact the Criminal Investigation Division during normal operating hours (8am-4pm Monday-Friday) and see if the suspected offender registers with our agency.
5. How do I make a DCS referral?
Answer: The public DCS referral hotline is 1-877-237-0004 or online at www.tennessee.gov/youth/childsafety.htm . Make sure to have as much information as possible regarding the situation.
6. How do I file charges after being a victim of a crime?
Answer: Most misdemeanor crimes can be prosecuted by the victim if the offender is known and the victim is willing to prosecute. To file charges the victim can pick up a copy of their report approximately 3-5 business days after filing the report and then can take the report to the Circuit Court Clerk's office where they will sign a criminal summons. This summons will be served on the suspected offender and after service a court date will be set.
7. How do I find out when a court date is?
Answer: If charges have been filed against a suspected offender you can call the Circuit Court Clerk's office and they can provide you with the scheduled court dates. The contact number for the Circuit Court Clerk's office is 931-762-4398.
8. How do I get an order of protection?
Answer: You will need a copy of the law enforcement report, then you will take the copy of the report to the Clerk and Master's office where they will assist in getting the appropriate paperwork filed to get the order of protection. There is no cost to the petitioner (victim) unless the petitioner decides to withdraw the order of protection once it is in place. The contact number for the Clerk and Master's office is 931-766-4182.
9. How do I get a Restraining Order?
Answer: To get a Restraining Order you must contact an attorney of your choice and they will assist with this process.
10. How soon should I expect a call from an investigator?
Answer: Investigators make every attempt to contact victims within a timely manner, however, investigators carry a heavy caseload and must prioritize their cases. If you have not heard from an investigator within 3-5 business days you are encouraged to contact the Criminal Investigation Division.
11. How do I meet with an investigator?
Answer: Investigators are willing to meet if they are available. This is easily accomplished if appointments are made to meet with the investigator. Court dates, vacations, sick leave and other investigations limit the time an investigator can respond to a walk-in when no appointment is made. To make an appointment with an investigator call 931-762-1608.