If you have received a ticket for a traffic violation in the state of North Carolina, there might be a way for you to get avoid license points, insurance points, court costs, and a “guilty” verdict in your criminal history.
A Prayer for Judgement Continued (PJC) is North Carolina’s version of a “get out of jail free card.” While NC courts do take traffic violations seriously, if the driver pleads guilty, the presiding judge may issue a PJC if the offense was minor.
Our traffic violation lawyers are here to help you understand the circumstances that would lead to the long-term positive effects if you are issued a prayer for judgment continued.
What is a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) in North Carolina?
In the North Carolina court system, there is a unique concept called a Prayer for Judgement Continued, or “PJC.” Individuals who pled guilty to minor offenses from a speeding ticket, traffic ticket, moving violation, or other traffic offense can ask for a PJC from the presiding judge.
A PJC requires the defendant to plead guilty to the traffic case, but avoid being convicted. A conviction is avoided despite pleading guilty because the presiding judge does not offer a final verdict or judgment to the case. While North Carolina law does recognize this concept as a guilty plea, the lack of a verdict by the judge allows individuals who meet certain circumstances to use a PJC to plead guilty without financial consequences or a criminal record.
How Can You Use Prayer for Judgment to Reduce Court Costs and Penalties for a Speeding Ticket in North Carolina?
At the discretion of the judge, he or she may issue a PJC as requested by the defendant. What this means is that while a guilty plea is issued, no final judgment is made by the court for a conviction in the case. In other words, without a final judgment being issued, the defendant will not be sentenced to a mandatory punishment that would otherwise be issued with a guilty conviction. Additionally, the defendant will avoid insurance points, avoid points on their driver’s license, and avoid expensive court costs.
In order to avoid punishment for your traffic case, it’s essential to have a knowledgeable and experienced traffic offense attorney on your side to represent you in court.
Benefits of Using a PJC to Resolve A North Carolina Speeding Ticket
Avoiding a judgment with a prayer for judgment continued allows you to recover from a violation where you exceeded the speed limit or received a moving violation. While DWIs and other serious traffic offenses are not eligible for a PJC, perpetrators of less serious, minor traffic infractions can use a PJC.
Let’s explore some of the benefits of your lawyer securing a PJC after being found guilty, but not issued a final judgment.
- No conviction on your record.
- Avoid fines and suspension of your driver’s license.
- Potential insurance savings with a resolution of the original ticket in the designated time frame.
- Maintaining a clean driving record.
Who can use PJC?
North Carolina’s PJC law may sound too good to be true, and that’s because it probably is. There are absolute restrictions on who is eligible and under what circumstances a PJC is approved.
A prayer for judgment continued cannot be issued in the following traffic offense scenarios:
- If your speeding ticket was for more than 25 miles per hour than the posted speed limit.
- Drivers who pass a stopped school bus.
- Individuals who hold a commercial driver’s license.
- Intoxicated drivers charged with a DWI.
- If you’ve received two PJCs within the last five years.
Requirements of Obtaining a PJC from the Court
The DMV only issues two PJCs to an individual within any five-year period and only accepts one PJC every three years per insurance policy. What this means is that if your insurance policy covers not just yourself, but a spouse or child(ren), in most cases where someone on the policy has been issued a PJC, the defendant who is also on the policy won’t be eligible for insurance purposes.
Must Comply With Reasonable Terms Set Forth By the Court
A judgment continued is not a free pass to violate traffic laws or to drive recklessly. In fact, in order to receive the benefit of a PJC, you must comply with reasonable terms set forth by the court. Additionally, you will have to settle any speeding ticket costs prior to having the judgment continued granted.
Appear Before the Court & Present Valid Reasons Why a PJC Should be Granted
One of the most important things you can do to ensure a PJC is granted is to hire an attorney who is an expert in fighting traffic offense charges. A qualified, experienced lawyer from The Coolidge Law Firm will represent you in court and present the valid reasons your guilty plea should be accepted for a PJC. When a defendant does not have an attorney on their side, it makes it more difficult to fight criminal offenses.
Contact The Coolidge Law Firm To See If A Prayer For Judgement Is An Option For You
Have you been charged with a minor traffic offense and need to hire a professional law firm to get the presiding judge and district attorney to grant a prayer for judgment?
Contact the team at The Coolidge Law Firm to secure representation for your traffic case today.
We’ve represented many clients with traffic cases similar to yours and have had success in securing PJC to preserve your driving record and avoid consequences associated with minor traffic offenses.
Call us at (919) 239-8448 or fill out the form below to get started.