What is Prayer for Judgment (PJC)?

Legal Information:
Prayer for Judgment (PJC) Continued

When accused of a criminal or traffic offense, it is important to fully understand the legal information pertaining to your rights for the charge.  The accused may have the option to request, from the judge, a “Prayer for Judgment Continued”.  A request for Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) occurs after the accused pleads guilty (misdemeanor or felony), or responsible (infraction), to a criminal offense. The legal significance of obtaining a Prayer for Judgement Continued (PJC) is that the resulting plea of guilty, or responsible, is not recorded against the defendant.

Legal information explained for being granted a PJC in North Carolina court of law

The judge has the ultimate say in whether to grant a prayer for judgment. The assistant district attorney (prosecutor) can oppose, support, or have no stance on whether the judge should grant the PJC. In general, if the assistant district attorney is going to support the PJC, it would be highly unlikely for the judge to deny the PJC.

If an individual is granted a prayer for judgment, regardless of the judgment not being entered against the accused, the outcome does go on the defendant’s criminal and or driving record. In the case of traffic citations, there are restrictions as to who can use a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) and how many one can receive.

Restrictions on Prayer for Judgment (PJC):

Individuals with commercial driver’s licenses, or those driving commercial vehicles at the time of the offense, are not eligible to receive PJCs. Even if the judge grants a Prayer for Judgment Continued, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not recognize it. PJC’s are null and void any time they are granted to someone who possesses a valid CDL at the time of offense. Some offenses, such as passing a stopped school bus or driving while impaired, are also not eligible for PJCs.

For DMV purposes, an individual is only eligible for two (2) PJCs every five years.  For insurance purposes, individuals in a “household” may only receive one Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) every three years without receiving insurance points. Insurance points are the primary way, in North Carolina, to cause an individual’s insurance premiums to increase.

Legal information for Prayer for Judgment in North Carolina Law:

Prayer for Judgment Continued’s are unique to North Carolina Law.  Other States may have similar outcomes, but their policy for treatment of a PJC is something that should be considered and evaluated by Non-North Carolina licensees before assuming a Prayer For Judgment Continued (PJC) is appropriate.

For misdemeanor and felony sentencing purposes, PJC’s do count as convictions. Thus, even if one receives a Prayer For Judgment Continued (PJC) for a misdemeanor larceny or driving while license revoked, those pleas of guilty count as convictions for sentencing purposes under both the felony and misdemeanor sentencing chart.

Although Prayer For Judgments (PJC) are typically used for minor traffic offenses, PJCs are sometimes used for certain misdemeanors. Prayer for judgments are generally unavailable for felonies.

Everett Law Firm, P. A. Directory

Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Everett Law Firm, P. A. is one of the preeminent law firms in the state with a particular emphasis on criminal defense, personal injury and workers' compensation cases.  This site is designed as a resource for individuals seeking information on a North Carolina Prayer for Judgment outcome.

While Everett Law Firm, P. A. handles personal injury and workers comp cases throughout North Carolina, we only handle criminal cases in certain counties.  In those instances where we don't handle cases this website is to serve as a directory and submissions will be sent to local attorneys subject to the conditions outlined in the disclaimer.