PRAYER FOR JUDGMENT CONTINUED (PJC)
A Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) is a finding of guilt without an entry of judgment for a criminal or traffic offense. A Prayer for Judgment Continued is a judge-granted remedy that is unique to North Carolina and may not be recognized by other states.
A criminal defendant who receives a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) on a traffic citation may receive no Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) points or insurance points under certain circumstances. However, the charge and outcome will still be visible on the defendant’s driving record. When one uses a Prayer for Judgment Continued, the courts will not asses a fine, although court costs will have to be paid. An individual may use one (1) PJC every three (3) years per household for insurance point purposes,* and two (2) Prayer for Judgments every five (5) years for DMV point purposes.**
Some judges may require community service or driving school in order to use a Prayer for Judgment Continued, particularly for school zone, work zone, or high speed tickets. A PJC cannot be used on all traffic citations. For example, a judge is not authorized to grant a Prayer for Judgment Continued for a Driving While Impaired (DWI) charge or for speeding more than 25 mph over the speed limit. Additionally, a PJC is not recognized if you have an active Commercial Drivers License (CDL) license or were driving a commercial vehicle when the citation was issued.***
In many instances, a Prayer for Judgment may not be the optimal outcome. There are several reasons one may want to seek alternative outcomes other than PJCs. For example, since each household is only entitled to one (1) Prayer for Judgment each three (3) years for insurance purposes, obtaining a PJC may limit available remedies for other household members. Additionally, some traffic offenses such as Stop Sign Violations, Stop Light Violations, Unsafe Passing Violations, Driving While License Revoked (DWLR), Failure to Yield Right of Way, No Operators License (NOL), Failure to Reduce Speed, Crossing the Center Line, and many others frequently cannot be reduced to lesser included offenses; therefore, a Prayer of Judgment (PJC) may be an appropriate outcome and if previously used, may no longer be available.
Contact Everett Law Firm, P.A. to determine if asking if a Prayer for Judgment is appropriate for your case. We conveniently serve most counties surrounding the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area.
* NCGS §58-36-75
** NCGS §20‑4.01(4A)(4)
*** NCGS §20‑4.01(4A)(5)