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Abbreviations for Criminal Charges

Jun 15

A few months ago, Sheriff Jeff Shaver and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department created an extremely useful website where you can find out information regarding the Sheriff’s department. The website is located at One of the most frequently viewed areas of the website by far is the daily arrest records. The arrest records section of the website is so popular that you can, like me, get the arrest report emailed to you each morning.  I am discovering, however, that most people do not know what the abbreviations are for many of the charges found on the arrest report. Below is an explanation of some of the more common abbreviations and what they mean

“NWNI” – Negotiating a Worthless Negotiable Instrument. This charge is more commonly known as writing a bad check. NWNI is a Class A misdemeanor. Anyone convicted on NWNI can also expect to pay court costs, the face amount of the bad check, collection costs, and possibly a fine as determined by the judge.

“UPODP” – Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia is defined as any equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in growing, producing, storing, or using illegal drugs. Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor.

“UPOM” – Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. There are two varieties. 2nd degree UPOM is a Class A misdemeanor and is usually charged for first time offenders with smaller amounts of marijuana. 1st degree UPOM is a Class C felony and is charged for repeat offenders, or for those with larger amounts of marijuana.

“UPOCS” – Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance. This includes meth, cocaine, crack, etc. UPOCS is a Class C felony.

“UDOCS” – Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance. This crime involves selling, distributing, and/or transferring a controlled substance. UDOCS is a Class B felony.

“FTP” – Failure to Pay. This means that someone who has previously convicted of a crime has failed to pay their fines, court costs, and/or restitution as ordered by the Court. The court issues a warrant for the individual and they are brought before the judge to explain their non-payment.

“FTA” – Failure to Appear. A criminal defendant has failed to appear at his hearing and the judge has issued a warrant for his arrest so that he may be brought before the court. When you see an FTA and FTP on the arrest report, the underlying charge usually follows. For example, an FTA on a UPOM means that a defendant has failed to appear on a Possession of Marijuana Charge.

“Violation of Release Order” – This means that a criminal defendant who is on bond, or has been released from custody under certain conditions, has failed to meet one or more of the conditions given to him at his release. The judge issues a warrant for this person and he is brought before the court to explain his actions.