Can you get a PJC expunged in NC?

Can I get a PJC expunged off my criminal record?

Many people throughout North Carolina (including many of my own clients) have used a PJC as a way to dispose of criminal or traffic charges. A PJC stands for Prayer for Judgment Continued and is used by the North Carolina Courts as a way for someone charged with a crime to plead guilty but have the court withhold entry of a judgment. In effect it limits the penalty for the guilty plea to just court cost. No other fine or jail is imposed (Though some judges may issue certain requirements to grant a PJC). It is important to note that a PJC is treated by the court system like a conviction and it may not be the best legal option for your particular case. It is always best to consult with a North Carolina criminal lawyer to review your case and explain all of your options.

But what if you want to get that charge expunged off your record later? Can you expunge a PJC in North Carolina?

This question is actually very divisive in the North Carolina legal community and receives mixed answers depending on who you ask. As an expungement lawyer in Raleigh, I believe that a person can and should be able to receive an expungement under the North Carolina General Statute 15A-145. This statute covers expungements for persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor as a first offender and under the age of 18. While the statute does not specifically have any mention of a PJC, the argument hinges on the fact that the North Carolina Court System treats a PJC like a conviction for most purposes and that should also include expungements.

But is a PJC a conviction?

As the court stated in State v. Mcgee, 175 N.C. App. 586 (2006) “Under the traditional definition, “Conviction” refers to the jury’s or fact finder’s guilty verdict.” And a PJC can only be granted after the Judge establishes the defendant’s guilt. So, since the court treats a PJC just like a conviction, a person should be able to obtain an expungement under the statute dealing with expunction of a conviction.

So, the next step for someone who has received a PJC and would like it expunged off their record is to talk to an expungement attorney who can tell if you qualify for an expungement in NC.

If you need to have your criminal record cleaned and get an expungement, contact an NC Expungement Lawyer. The Gurney Law Firm handles all types of expungements in North Carolina. Contact an Expungement lawyer by calling (919) 930-4027. The Gurney Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm in Raleigh, NC and serves all of Wake County and Durham County. This includes Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Wake forest, Zebulon and Fuquay-Varina.

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.