Recently, there has been extensive news coverage of a Nashville judge waiving the 12 hour hold in domestic violence cases. . Under T.C.A. 40-11-150(h)(1) a person arrested for stalking , aggravated stalking , especially aggravated stalking , or any criminal offense under title 39 chapter 13 may be held for 12 hours after arrest until they can be released from  jail.

Here are a couple of points;

  • The time of the 12 hour hold begins at the time of arrest. The arresting officer shall make an official note of the time of arrest in order to establish the 12 hold. See T.C.A.40-11-150(h)(2). Practice tip. I have never seen the time of arrest noted in any warrant that I have reviewed alleging domestic violence.
  • The magistrate must make written findings of that the offender is a threat to the alleged victim. Practice note. I have never seen any written findings by the magistrate other than a form order where they check the boxes.
  • The  official may release the accused if it is determined that there has been sufficient time for the alleged victim for the victim to be protected. practice note. If the incident happens on one day and the next day the alleged offender is arrested , the magistrates will waive the 12 hour rule.


Before  folks start jumping to conclusions about waiving the 12 hour hold , we should examine the law. One last thought is if this statute on the 12 hour hold constitutional ?  More to come tomorrow.