What is a PJC in NC?
A PJC in North Carolina stands for Prayer for Judgment Continued. A "PJC" means a Judge continues judgment so that no finding of guilt is entered into the Court record. Usually the defendant is still responsible for Court costs, which are around $190. Only a Judge may grant a PJC, not the District Attorney. This does not mean that DA in Court has no input as they can either recommend or oppose you obtaining a PJC in Court.
Be careful you fully understand the consequence of accepting a PJC as it does appear on your criminal record despite what many are led to believe by their attorney. In NC nothing ever just falls of your record after a certain number of years, not even a PJC. Also be aware that in North Carolina your adult criminal record begins at age 16, not age 18 like most other States. I receive many calls asking how to expunge a PJC in NC because they have been denied employment based solely on a PJC. Too many defendants accept a PJC when a full dismissal is possible. Always speak with a criminal attorney before asking for a PJC without understanding the long term consequences.
- You can truthfully say you were never convicted.
- There usually is no fine outside the ~$190 Court costs.
- North Carolina allows one (1) PJC every three (3) years per insurance policy to avoid insurance points. (be aware if you are on the same policy as a spouse or children)
- A PJC is better than a conviction as you may be able to later have the case dismissed and expunged (emphasis on the word "may")
- A PJC appears on your criminal history.
- Only a Judge may grant a PJC.
- If you go to Court, plead guilty, and ask for PJC, the Judge may deny your request and find you guilty. (you are at the mercy of the Judge)
- Most employers treat a PJC like a conviction.
- A PJC may be impossible to expunge.
- You can’t get a PJC for DWI or speeding in excess of 25 mph over the speed limit.
- Cannot be used for traffic violations if you have a commercial drivers license "CDL".
Does a prayer for judgment stay on your record?
Yes- just like any criminal charge it will appear on your record. For expungment purposes it is treated just like a conviction.
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