When you conduct background checks on, there are many terms used that refer to the different types of information you will be able to find on individuals. We have provided a list of the most frequently used terms and presented it to you in a very easy to reference format below.

Arrest Record

An official form completed by the police department when a person is arrested. Also, a comprehensive record of all instances in which a person has been arrested. An individual could have multiple arrests with no convictions.

Acquit - Acquittal

A judgment that a person is not guilty of the crime with which the person has been charged.

Background Check

A background check is the process of looking up and compiling criminal records, commercial records and financial records of an individual.

Criminal Record

A public record of an individual's arrest records. Certain counties include arrests, traffic offenses like drunk-driving and running a red light. Also, there are statuses on charges; such as, dismissed, pending, or acquitted.


An individual, or entity sued or accused in a court of law.

Divorce Record

Includes all divorce records from civil actions performed in state and other local county level databases for all legal divorces performed within the United States.


A felony is a crime that carries a minimum of one year or more in a state prison and/or is serious enough to be punishable by death.


A formal decision made in a court following a lawsuit.


A lawsuit is a legal action by a person or entity against another person or entity and is filed in a civil court of law. Lawsuits can range from county, state, or federal levels.

Marriage Record

Includes all marriage records for marriages performed in state and other local county level databases for all legal marriages consummated within the United States.


A misdemeanor is a crime that is a minor wrongdoing punishable by fines and/or a sentence to a local or county jail. A misdemeanor crime in a county jail cannot exceed a sentence of over a year.


An individual, or entity who brings a case against another in a court of law in the form of a lawsuit.

Public Record

Public records are documents or pieces of information that are not considered confidential.

Speeding Ticket

The act or an instance of driving especially a motor vehicle faster than is allowed by law. Speed limits and traffic violations vary by city, county and state.

Sex Offender Database / Sex Offender Registry

Sex offenders are registered to a public database system that is designed to allow authorities and the public to keep track of the residence and activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences.

Sex Offense / Sexual Assault

An offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat. Sex offenses are crimes where the punishment and classification can vary from state-to-state.

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