What is a PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued?

November 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Criminal Law, Traffic Law

What is a PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued? How do I get a PJC?

A PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued in North Carolina is a finding of guilt without an entry of judgment for a criminal or traffic offense.  A PJC is a creation of the North Carolina courts and is unique to our state.  A PJC is typically used in traffic cases and some criminal misdemeanor cases.  A PJC in Wake County is only granted by a Wake County District or Superior court Judge.

When a defendant gets a PJC on a traffic ticket they may receive no Division of Motor Vehicle points or insurance points in most cases.  Also in most cases a defendant’s license may not be suspended when they receive a PJC.  It is important to remember that even though no points are added to the driver license or insurance, it will still show up on your driving record.

Many people believe that getting a Prayer for judgment is a “cure-all” legal remedy and is a good disposition for all cases, but this simply isn’t true for all cases.  While a PJC is great for some situations and charges, it can be harmful in others.

Prayer for Judgment continued (PJC) facts for North Carolina:

  1. No license or insurance points will be assessed (in most cases) if you get a PJC
  2. After a PJC is granted there are usually no fines assessed, only court cost
  3. A defendant may use 1 PJC every 3 years per household for insurances point purposes
  4. A defendant may use 2 PJCs every 5 years for license (DMV) points
  5. PJC cannot be used on all traffic infractions… no PJC for DWI or speeding over 25 MPH or CDL related charges
  6. A PJC is not recognized for active Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) or when driving a commercial vehicle when the citation
    was issued
  7. In some cases the Judge may require the Defendant to take a class or do community service in order to grant the PJC

How do I get a PJC?

If you have been charged with a traffic offense or criminal charge a PJC might be the best option for you.  Because every case is different you should contact a criminal defense law firm like The Gurney Law firm to review your case.  If you qualify for a PJC and it is in your best interest to do so, your attorney will ask the court to enter a guilty plea without entry of judgment.

Will a PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued be on my criminal record?

YES!  A PJC in North Carolina will show up on your criminal record.  This is one reason why a PJC might not be the best way to handle some cases. But, can a PJC then be expunged of my NC criminal record?

Can a PJC be expunged off my NC criminal record?

On this area of the law there is some debate among Judges and attorneys as to whether this can / should be done.  I will discuss this topic in more detail in another Legal News Blog on The Gurney Law Firm website.

Can I use a PJC for misdemeanor offense that aren’t traffic related?

Yes, and this is a common use for a PJC.  But remember that it is still a plea of guilty and does show up on a criminal history check in North Carolina.  It is much better to have a criminal defense lawyer to get the case dismissed or go to trial and have a not guilty verdict.

Is a PJC right for my case?

Every case is different and you should always ask a criminal defense lawyer like Eric Gurney to review your specific charges.  Because every case is different, there is no way to tell you if a PJC is right for your case until I hear all the facts.  Eric Gurney is a criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh and can tell you if a PJC is right for you.

The Gurney Law Firm is a criminal defense firm in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Eric J Gurney is a former Wake County Magistrate and has years of experience dealing with the North Carolina court system.  If you need a criminal lawyer in Raleigh, Cary, Apex or Wake County please call us at (919) 930-4027.  The Gurney law firm handles traffic tickets in Raleigh, drug charges in Wake County,  and serious felony charges in the Triangle among all other criminal charges.