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Criminal records and case files are maintained by the clerks of court in all 100 counties of North Carolina. As arrests are made or as warrants are sworn out by police officers or individuals, a case file is started by a clerk of court in that particular county. They keep track of these cases by assigning a unique number to that case and by making an electronic entry about that case in their terminals.

This electronic record replaced the handwritten index cards used in the courthouses up until the mid 1980's. The record gives us information about a given case such as the original charge, the final charge, the trial date and the disposition, or outcome of the case. The record is a snapshot of what is contained in the actual case file housed in the courthouse. All of these records are maintained by the State's mainframe computer located in Raleigh. 123NC allows you access to all of those records from all 100counties. This includes traffic records, misdemeanors and felonies. Most counties went to the electronic system some 7 to 10 years ago, so your record search will allow you a "scope" of at least seven years. To see the dates that each county started using the electronic system, click on Search Scope.

Records you retrieve through 123NC come to you in exactly the same form as they would in any given courthouse in the State.