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:
- No license or insurance points will be assessed (in most cases) if you get a PJC
- After a PJC is granted there are usually no fines assessed, only court cost
- A defendant may use 1 PJC every 3 years per household for insurances point purposes
- A defendant may use 2 PJCs every 5 years for license (DMV) points
- PJC cannot be used on all traffic infractions… no PJC for DWI or speeding over 25 MPH or CDL related charges
- A PJC is not recognized for active Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) or when driving a commercial vehicle when the citation
- 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.