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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 – Conviction. This is found in New Mexico. It is designed as a disposition for juvenile cases in which the defendant pleas guilty and is placed on the decree/probation for six months.
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.
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 no 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.
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.
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 and not 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.
What Clients Need to Know
The Verifications Best Practices guide is an extremely helpful tool that was generated by the Best Practices Committee of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Personnel from Ai who sit on this committee spent a lot of time lending their knowledge and experience to help develop this piece. The guide is intended to ensure that dollars spent on verification's efforts go the furthest and also help to cut down on turnaround time.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this guide. Verification of employment, education and references are an important component of any background screening program and we are happy to provide this useful tool to help our clients realize the greatest success in conducting these searches.