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Prayer for Judgement in North Carolina

If you’ve been in court, you may have heard of something called Prayer for Judgement. This can be considered a small act of “mercy” from fines and other convictions, but that doesn’t mean you are released without punishment.

What is Prayer for Judgement?
In North Carolina traffic law, a Prayer for Judgement Continued or “PJC” is only available to state residents. A PJC can only be given by a judge to reduce the impact of a conviction and only used for traffic violations and small misdemeanors. Essentially, when someone asks for what a PJC it means that the defendant will plead guilty of the crime, but no charges will take in place. It is a win situation for the defendant, however, there are restrictions and consequences to take into consideration when using a PJC.

When can you use a PJC?
PJC is useful in traffic matters when trying to avoid points to your driving record or points added to your insurance record. It is typically used when the person does not have viable defense, but wants to avoid charges. PJC is also used for red light tickets and when trying to avoid fines. For example, speeding through a school zone will cost $250 fines plus court costs. In this case, a PJC might benefit you.

PJC cannot be used for charges of those with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), Driving While Impaired (DWI), passing a stopped school bus, or speeding above 25 mph of the limit.

Implications of PJC
In North Carolina, the DMV can recognize two PJCs per person within five years without any points added to their driving record. Insurance companies will allow one PJC per household every three years without any increase on your premium. If you ask for a third PJC within your five-year time frame, you will be denied and found guilty. Although you are not convicted of the crime it will still appear on your criminal history and most employers treat PJC as a conviction.

Is PJC right for you?
Because of the limitations and possible consequences of PJC, it is necessary to consult with your attorney before deciding whether it’s the best action. It is considered wise not to use all your PJC within the given time frame. In some cases it is better to negotiate your traffic ticket to a lesser plea instead of using the PJC. Contact us if you would like a free consultation regarding your traffic case.

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