Glossary of Public Records Terms

Select a letter to view glossary terms for that letter.

A (7) | B (2) | C (6) | D (5) | E (1) | F (1) | G (1) | I (2) | L (1) | M (1) | N (6) | P (2) | Q (1) | R (1) | S (5) | V (1)
Termsort ascending Definition

Lesser offenses - generally city violations, code enforcement, etc.

Suspended Sentence

This is a procedure, after conviction of a crime, whereby the court allows the convicted person a period of time (a probationary period) to demonstrate an ability to avoid further criminal activity. It is different from "adjudication witheld" in that it only affects the sentence following the entry of a conviction.


A written order notifying an individual that he or she has been charged with an offense and directing the person to appear in court to answer the charge.


Any minor crime, initially heard and decided by a district justice.

Stricken Off/Strike Off

A court is said to "strike off" a case when it directs the removal of the case from the docket, as being one over which it does not have jurisdiction and no power to hear and determine it.

Stet Docket

The decision not to prosecute at this time. The case remains eligible to be re-opened for one year if 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. This is not a conviction.


Send back. For example, a higher court may remand or send back a case to a lower court, directing the lower court to take some action.



Pre-Trial Intervention

This is a program offered to the defendant before going to trial. If the defendant complies prior to the trial date, the trial is not held and the defendant is not convicted.

Prayer for Judgment

Deferred prosecution often seen in NC, meaning the state did not prosecute. This is not a conviction. For example, with worthless checks it gives the defendant a chance to pay the check before being charged.

Non-Adjudication of Guilt

Same as Ajudication Withheld. This is not a conviction.

Nolo Contendre

Latin for, "I will not contest it." This is a defendant's plea of "no contest" in a criminal case. It means that he or she does not directly admit guilt, but submits to sentencing or other punishment.

Nolle Prossed

The ending of a case because the prosecutor decides or agrees to stop prosecuting. Commonly called "nol pros."

No Papered

The paperwork was never sent to the court by the District Attorney and the case was never filed. This is not a conviction.

No Bill

The decision by a grand jury that it will not bring an indictment against the accused on the basis of the allegations and evidence presented by the prosecutor.

No Action

The court dropped the case and did not continue with the charges. This is not a conviction


A crime less serious than a felony. These offenses are typically punishable by fine or imprisonment, other than a penitentiary. Under federal and most state laws, any offense that is not a felony is classified as a misdemeanor.


An unlawful taking and carrying away of personal property without the consent of and against the will of the owner, and with felonious intent to deprive the person of the property permanently.