A PJC is something unique to North Carolina. In many ways it's a free pass from the judge. It's a judge granted remedy that is a finding of guilt without an entry of judgment for a criminal or traffic offense.
A criminal defendant who receives a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) on a traffic ticket will receive no Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) points or insurance points under certain circumstances. When one uses a Prayer for Judgment Continued, the courts will not asses a fine, although court costs (usually about $190) will have to be paid. An individual may use one PJC every three (3) years per household for insurance point purposes and two (2) Prayer for Judgments every five (5) years for DMV points. So under certain situations it's essentially a free pass to avoid a fine and the consequences that come with it.
A PJC can't be used for all traffic citations. It won't help speeders going 25 mph or more over the limit and isn't available for those charged with DWI's or those who have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).
A Prayer for Judgment may not always be the best option. As an example, since each household is only entitled to one (1) Prayer for Judgment every three (3) years for insurance purposes, obtaining a PJC may limit the options for other household members. Additionally, some traffic offenses can't be reduced to lesser included offenses so a Prayer for Judgment (if previously used) would no longer be available when needed.
Also, if you have a clean driving record and plead guilty to driving 10 mph or less over the posted speed limit you have another free pass in North Carolina. In that one isolated situation no insurance points will be charged and it's probably better to save the PJC for another day.
Please call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation to determine if a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) is appropriate for your case. We are based out of Cary and serve most of the area surrounding Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.