- What is a Prayer for Judgement?
- A Prayer for Judgement, or PJC, is something that is unique to North Carolina that only a judge can grant. Basically, this allows you to plead guilty to a crime, without having the plea entered against you, and you will only have to pay the costs of court, no other fines or fees. Typically, these are reserved for traffic violations or petty misdemeanors.
What’s the catch?
A judge cannot grant a PJC on a speeding ticket over 15 mph, or a DWI.
You’re pleading guilty before your PJC is approved. Many times, defendants will go to court without an attorney and attempt to use their PJC. The prosecutor may tell you that they’re not against it, but the judge will have to approve of this, and by doing so, you’ve already pre-admitted to guilt and the judge might not be able to grant your PJC.
The DMV and insurance policies have their own policies regarding PJCs.
The DMV will only recognize two PJCs every five years.
Insurance policies will only recognize one PJC every three years.
Advice while considering a PJC...
Save your PJC! Each county has different policies, some will reduce speeding tickets or make you attend traffic school, it is best to not use a PJC here.
- Be careful while trying to use a PJC, it is best to get an attorney so that you don’t admit to guilt for something you cannot use your PJC on, or something you could get reduced charges on. Save your record and your future by hiring an attorney.
A Prayer for Judgment Continued, or a PJC, is unique to North Carolina Law. It is usually used for traffic violations or low-level misdemeanors and can only be granted by a judge. A PJC allows a defendant to plead guilty or responsible, without the consequences of a conviction.
Both the DMV and insurance companies have their own ways of recognizing PJCs. Currently the North Carolina DMV will allow two PJCs per driver every 5 years. Insurance Companies in North Carolina will recognize one PJC every 3 years per insurance policy. If you are going to use a PJC, you need to make sure that no other drivers on your insurance policy have used a PJC in the last three years. If there is a recent PJC, your insurance rates will be affected as if you had plead responsible or been found guilty.
In general, at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, we advise our clients to only use a PJC when it is necessary – often it is not necessary to use one. We practice in Wake County, where in the last 6 months it is possible to have certain moving violations reduced to the non-moving violation of “improper equipment.” Every situation is unique, in order for us to give you personalized information on your specific case, please call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation.