What is a Prayer for Judgement Continued in North Carolina?
Published on 03/22/2018
When you received a speeding ticket or a traffic citation in North Carolina, a Prayer for Judgment Continued or "PJC" may be a beneficial option. A Prayer for Judgement Continued is an antiquated North Carolina law that can be a beneficial outcome for certain lower level citations. A PJC is like a "get out of jail free card" that can be potentially be used in your case - at the discretion of the presiding Judge - to prevent the acquisition of license points and avoid insurance premium increase. It means that although the person charged has pled guilty, the court does not enter a final judgment of conviction in the case.
Under the laws of North Carolina, NC citizens are eligible to use this "get out of jail free card" once every three years - under certain limited circumstances. However, there are a number of offenses for which the court is prohibited from entering a PJC, and there are certain circumstances in which a PJC may be treated like a conviction, so you should consult our traffic attorneys about your legal rights and options. PJCs are not available for out of state license holders or commercial driver’s license holders. Our traffic attorneys can walk you through what possible outcomes may be available in your case and which, if any, are better than using your Prayer for Judgement Continued.
Based on the facts of your case, if our traffic lawyers can negotiate with the Court to obtain a PJC, which could save you over $1,600 based on the average NC auto insurance premium. Be advised that due to insurance company restrictions, only one PJC can be used per family policy every three years. Thus it's important that you check with all persons covered by your policy before deciding to use a Prayer for Judgement Continued. Requests for PJC are made after entering a plea of guilty/responsible before the sitting Judge, separate from and subsequent to negotiations with the District Attorney.
As discussed, granting a PJC is in the
Judge's sole discretion, but we will argue before the Court on your
behalf to allow the PJC due to your particular circumstances. Please
note, in the event that a requested PJC is denied, the Court may enter
on the charge as pled, which is typically the original
speed offense. For these reasons, coupled with the fact that there are often other outcomes that are better than "burning" your Prayer for Judgement continued, it is very important that you speak with a North Carolina traffic attorney. Lastly, court costs and fines for a PJC can range from
depending on the county and are due to the court by mail or online
payment within 20 to 40 days after your case is closed.