The Many Terms and Meanings of Criminal Non-Convictions

Jason Morris

A Verifier article written by our own Andrew Cashman.

By Andrew Cashman

When working with criminal records every day it’s easy to forget that what we know, understand, and analyze isn’t always as easy for employers to understand. With so many different terms used in the judicial process we know why. Here at employeescreenIQ we like to make our criminal reports simple to read by following a strict formatting process. We also use side-notes to try and explain abnormal terms or phrases. We hope that this article further assists you in understanding some of the scenarios surrounding a non-conviction.

I do have to explain and disclaim that the use of “usually,” “almost always,” and “most of the time” will be frequently used in this writing since most of the time there is almost always an exception to a rule, usually! We’ll now dive a little deeper into the confusion.

There are multiple terms that tell us a criminal charge is a non-conviction. The terms used in any given court jurisdiction around the country can vary while essentially meaning the same thing. The following terms are examples of commonly used court rulings that mean a case is a straight non-conviction, or a non-conviction without stipulations:

  • Not Guilty
  • Dismissed
  • Nolle Prosequi (Nolle Prosse)
  • No Bill
  • No True Bill
  • No Action
  • Acquitted


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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal,, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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