Glossary of Industry Terms

  •   ARD Program

    Non-conviction. This stands for "Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program". This disposition is most frequently found in the state of Pennsylvania and may be given to a defendant in place of judgment. If the defendant completes the program successfully, the case is closed.

  •   Adjudicated Guilty

    Conviction. The defendant has been found guilty of the charges.

  •   Adjudication Withheld

    Non-conviction. The court does not pronounce a final judgment about the case. Instead, the defendant is given probation, a program or community service that must be completed in a specific timeframe. Upon successful completion, the case may be dismissed, depending on the county or state. If the case is not dismissed in that particular county or state, the disposition will remain "adjudication withheld" and the case will be closed. If the defendant violates the sentence, the disposition may be changed and the defendant can be found guilty.

  •   Acquitted

    Non-Conviction. The charges against the defendant are dropped.

  •   Bail/Bond Forfeiture

    Non-Conviction. The defendant forfeits or pays their bond in place of going to trial.

  •   Conditional Discharge

    Non-conviction. There is no finding of guilt and the defendant is being discharged from trial but there are special conditions that must be followed. If the conditions are not followed, the discharge may be revoked in place of a finding of guilt.

  •   Consent Decree

    An agreement or settlement to resolve a dispute between two parties without admission of guilt (in a criminal case) or liability (in a civil case) and most often refers to such a type of settlement in the United States.

  •   Convicted

    Conviction. The defendant is found guilty of the charges.

  •   Dead Docket

    Non-Conviction. Often seen in Fulton, GA. Not enough evidence that shows the defendant is guilty or that he is innocent. So case is set aside. If not brought back up, case is closed.

  •   Deferred Judgment

    Non-conviction. There is no finding of guilt. Rather, the judgment is set aside for a specific amount of time and the defendant must follow any conditions set forth. Depending upon the state or county, the case may be dismissed if the defendant successfully follows the conditions.

  •   Dismissed

    Non-Conviction. The charges against the defendant are dropped. Not enough evidence to convict.

  •   Dropped

    Non-Conviction. Not enough evidence to convict the defendant.

  •   Fugitive File

    This case has not been to trial yet and is normally found in Virginia.

  •   Guilty in Absentia

    Conviction. The jury finds the defendant guilty without his appearance in court.

  •   Guilty

    Conviction. It has been proven that the defendant committed the crime.

  •   Ignored

    Non-Conviction. The case never went to trial. It was ignored by the state.

  •   Misdemeanor Intervention Program

    Non-conviction. This is a program designated only for misdemeanor offenses in which the defendant may comply to the conditions of the program in order to avoid a conviction.

  •   No Action

    Non-Conviction. The court dropped the case and did not continue with the charges.

  •   No Billed

    Non-Conviction. The district attorney never sent the case to court and it was not tried.

  •   No Information Filed

    Non-Conviction. Mostly found in Florida. It means the case has been dropped.

  •   No Papered

    Non-Conviction. The paperwork was never sent to the court by the district attorney and the case was never filed. Therefore, it was never brought to trial.

  •   Nolo Contendre

    Conviction. This is Latin for "No Contest". This is a plea that the defendant claims and then the court considers the defendant guilty.

  •   Nolle Prosequi

    Prosecutor has declared that he will not prosecute the case at this time.

  •   Nolle Prosse

    Non-Conviction. Latin for "Not Prosecuted." This means there was not enough evidence to convict the defendant. The case is dropped.

  •   Non-Adjudication of Guilt

    Non-Conviction. Same as adjudication withheld.

  •   Not Guilty

    Non-Conviction. A jury or judge trial finding that the defendant is innocent.

  •   Pending

    The case has not been to trial at this time so there is no disposition to report.

  •   Pled Guilty

    Conviction. The defendant has pled guilty to the charges against him or her and the court accepts the plea as a conviction.

  •   Prayer for Judgment

    Non-Conviction. Deferred Prosecution, meaning state did not prosecute. Often seen in North Carolina. For example, with worthless checks it gives the defendant a chance to pay the check before being charged.

  •   Pre-Trial Intervention

    Non-conviction. A program the defendant is placed in before going to trial. If the defendant complies prior to trial time, the trial will not be held for the charge and the defendant is not convicted.

  •   Process Other

    Non-Conviction. Defendant was not charged on this count due to being charged for another count.

  •   Refused

    Non-Conviction. The case never went to trial. The state refused to hear the case.

  •   Rejected

    Non-Conviction. The case never went to trial. The state rejected the hearing of the case.

  •   Returned Unserved

    The case has not been to trial at this time. Found in North Carolina. A warrant, summons or paper from the district attorney's office was issued for delivery to the defendant to appear for trial; however, the defendant could not be located. Therefore, the case is technically pending, however, the paperwork was never served.

  •   Stet Docket

    Non-Conviction. Will not prosecute at this time. Eligible to be re-opened for one year for a violation is committed during that time. After the one-year period, if no violations have been committed, it cannot be re-opened and the case is closed.

  •   Stricken Off Leave

    Non-Conviction. Often seen in Illinois. Stricken off docket with the ability to reinstate at a later date if deemed case can be prosecuted. This is often because the prosecutors run out of time to prosecute.

  •   Waived

    Conviction. Mainly found in the state of North Carolina. This means the defendant has waived his/her right to trial and has pled guilty to the charges. In turn, the court accepts the plea of guilt.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Background Screening FAQ

Is a federal criminal search the same thing as a National Criminal Insight search?

No, federal criminal searches are searches of the U.S. Federal District Courts and are searched by jurisdiction. These searches provide results on suits filed by the federal government such as drug trafficking across state lines, gambling, kidnapping and bank robbery. Federal crimes are also categorized as misdemeanors or felonies.

Why does your report say that you provide criminal information for a minimum of seven years?

Applicant Insight reports criminal results for a minimum of seven years and will report more if readily available through the court index or repository. Applicant Insight will not report a charge over seven years if it is unable to determine the disposition of the case.

Do you provide nationwide searches?

Applicant Insight provides a National Criminal Insight Search. This searches a compilation of various databases such as county and state criminal databases, sex offender registries and more throughout the United States and is frequently referred to in the industry as a "national search". The clarification is that it does not search every county in every state. Rather, it casts a wide net and may very well pick up data in states that you might otherwise not run.

What is the difference between verifying credentials and verifying licenses?

Applicant Insight will verify credentials, including technical or other training courses, as well as professional licenses such as insurance broker licenses. These two types of searches are done through different agencies, and occasionally the results are not available to the public.

What are the extra fees that I have to pay?

The background screening industry incurs access fees for some of the searches performed. Examples of these are court fees, state driving record fees, automated verification fees, etc. Applicant Insight passes these fees directly to our clients as they occur. Applicant Insight has provided lists of known fees on this website.

What's the value of a county level criminal search when a statewide or National Criminal Insight search is available?

County searches provide a narrow scope of search whereas statewide and national searches cast wider nets. The negative aspects to statewide searches is that the county courts may not regularly report case data to the state repositories; some statewide searches have long turnaround times, require high state fees and/or specific releases; and not every state has a statewide repository available to the public. National searches again cast a wide net, but do not cover every county in every state. When thinking about your due diligence, it is generally thought to be better to perform county searches where the applicant has revealed living and developed from a social security trace and then supplemented by statewide and National Criminal Insight searches.

Why do some searches take longer than the average 1 - 3 business days turn around time?

There are extenuating circumstances that can delay results of searches. Typically, these are determined by court personnel or repository agencies. A researcher may be able to easily determine whether an applicant is clear in a court by checking a public access index, but have to submit the search to a court clerk for processing if there is a possible record. It is up to each court and its clerks to determine how quickly the results are returned. Applicant Insight compiles data of courts and jurisdictions where there are known turnaround delays and posts them to this site. Employers and educational institutions may also cause delays due to short staffing, poor record keeping, vacations, summer breaks, etc.

Will your background research provider check the AKA's and aliases of a prospect's name?

Our researchers will search every name submitted for each jurisdiction. Remember that researchers charge per name searches and so does Applicant Insight. It is fairly common to find records on an alternate name. One way you can limit your cost is to have the applicant identify during what years each name has been used. As an example, you would not run a woman's maiden name if she's been married for thirty years.

Does the company have an on-site compliance officer to help applicants and clients with reports and questions about legal issues?

Applicant Insight does not employ legal staff and therefore, does not give legal advice to our clients. We have designated Compliance staff on-site who are knowledgeable about the industry, our sources and can answer general questions as well as point clients in the right direction to obtain specific information. Similarly, our senior management team has been in the industry for many years and is always happy to help clients with industry questions as needed.

Can your company service organizations with multiple locations?

Applicant Insight services clients nationally and is able to tailor your program to fit your organization through security level access to ordering, review of results, billing, etc.

Would it be better for me to order basic employment verifications or supervisor verifications?

When deciding what type of employment verification best suits your needs, you should consider what you do with the results as well as how likely you are to get more than a standard answer after all. More and more companies will not allow their management or supervisors speak to outside employers for fear of litigation. Rather, those calls are referred to Human Resources who only reveals the time of service, title, and perhaps whether the person is eligible for rehire. Your success rate for the completion of employment verifications will improve greatly if you determine at the setup of your account that you wish only to have basic verifications performed because we can go directly to HR for the results without trying to catch a supervisor on an often busy floor to call us back. For more information regarding verifications of employment and education searches, please read our Verifications Best Practices brochure.

Do you perform audits on your internal processors?

Applicant Insight utilizes designated quality control personnel that review all results prior to releasing the report to our client. In addition, Applicant Insight utilizes our Compliance Department to perform monthly audits of our internal and external suppliers of information. Similarly, since all disputes come directly into our Compliance Department, any dispute yielding different information than originally provided results in thorough auditing.

Drug Testing FAQ

How long does it take to get a negative drug test result?

Drug test results are typically received within approximately 24 to 48 hours.

Do I need to tell the collector at the time of specimen collection what prescriptions I am currently taking?

No, although the collector may ask. However, it does help to have prescriptions available in the event that you are contacted by the Medical Review Officer.

What does a Dilute result mean?

A specimen with creatinine and specific gravity values that are lower than expected for human urine.

What is the DER (Designated Employer Representative) responsibility when a non-negative result is received?

For a Dot test, refer to CFR part 40 for company specifications. For Non Dot test, refer to your company policy.

What is the review process at the MRO office?

The MRO receives the result from the lab and obtains all necessary paperwork. The MRO will then contact and interview the donor. The MRO will report out the result to Applicant Insight who will report the result to the company DER. The normal turnaround time for a non-negative result is 48 - 72 hours depending on the availability and cooperation of the donor with the MRO.

What is the difference between initial screening and confirmation testing at the lab?

The initial screening process at the lab separates the negative from non-negative results. GCMS testing is an extremely accurate test that is completed on non-negative results which provides quantitative results for the presence of a specific drug or drug metabolite.

What methods of drug testing are available?

Multiple methods of drug testing are available through Applicant Insight. Please contact our Sales Department at for further evaluation of your drug testing needs.

How do I obtain a status for drug test results?

Please contact Applicant Insight’s Customer Service Department to obtain a status for drug test results.

How do I reach the MRO (Medical Review Officer)?

Please contact Applicant Insight’s Clinical Services Department and we will facilitate contact with the MRO’s office.

What other Drug/Alcohol support services does Applicant Insight provide?

Applicant Insight provides full Drug/Alcohol support such as SAP referral services, Reasonable Suspicion Supervisor Training, Random Program Management, etc.

What other types of clinical services can Applicant Insight assist in facilitating?

Ai can assist in facilitating DOT Physicals, Audiograms, Pre-Placement Physical Exams, Blood Draws, PPD, Chest X-Rays, and various other services as required by our clients. Contact our Sales Department at for more information.