A “prayer for judgment continued,” commonly referred to as PJC, is one way to suspend the sentence of an infraction or minor crime in North Carolina. It is often associated with speeding tickets and other traffic offenses. When the judge enters a PJC after the offender asks for it following a guilty plea, the defendant will generally be spared from many of the consequences of conviction.
Here are some points to remember when considering a PJC:
It has limits.
For insurance purposes, you get only one PJC every three years for each car insurance policy, which means that if a PJC has been used by someone else on the policy during the last three years, you may still suffer insurance consequences if you use a PJC for a traffic offense. Although the PJC may suspend the sentence in court, the same does not apply to insurance companies if this rule is violated. A PJC also cannot be offered in certain cases, such as DWIs and or failing to stop for a stopped school bus.
Consider it as your last resort.
Above all, you should understand that other options may be more favorable than asking for a PJC. Sometimes, going to traffic school or paying the fines as sentenced may be the best outcome. In any case, be sure to consult a Raleigh criminal lawyer to see whether you are eligible for a PJC and if there are other options to explore for resolving your case.