Top Three Scenarios When You Should Consider Using A Prayer For Judgment (PJC)
This legal guide discusses what a Prayer For Judgment Continued (PJC) is and when are the most appropriate times to use a PJC for traffic violations.
What is a PJC?A PJC is the acronym for Prayer for Judgment Continued. Knowing when to use a PJC can be complicated. The upside, however is that when used correctly a Prayer for judgment can prevent points on your NC driving record, increased insurance rates, points and driver*s license suspensions. Hopefully this Avvo legal guide can provide some insight.
When you use a prayer for judgment continued you technically plead guilty except the judgment is continued indefinitely. For you this means although you plead guilty to a traffic violation you will not incur the normal penalties associated with the guilty plea. For example, if you plead guilty for a speeding ticket, you will generally get incur DMV Points (points on your license) and your insurance points (points that cause your insurance to increase). However if you plead guilty to a speeding ticket and use a prayer for judgment continued you will not be penalized with points on your license or your insurance. Only a judge (or in some counties a magistrate) can grant a PJC. A prayer for judgment continued is not a right they aren't granted simply because you ask for it. A judge*s decision to grant or decline your PJC is totally within his or her discretion.
Quick Disclaimers on PJCsBefore we discuss the top three scenarios when you should consider using a prayer for judgment continued. Its important to note when you can't use a PJC. It is against North Carolina law to use a PJC for driving while intoxicated, passing a stopped school bus, speeding over 25 miles over the speed limit, and any charge when the person has a commercial driver's license.
Using a PJC should never be your first option to resolve a traffic matter. In fact many times it should be used as a last resort. Before you consider using a PJC you should ALWAYS try to get the traffic violation dismissed first. Of course asking for a dismissal is a long shot but its worth a try. If that doesn't work you should then try to get the traffic violation reduced to a nonmoving violation, such as, improper equipment. Once you've tried those two options then maybe a PJC might be worth considering depending on the charge, your driving record, and the ramifications of what you're charged with.
Scenario One: Avoiding DMV Points or Insurance PointsGenerally a good time to use a prayer for judgment would be for any conviction for speeding over 80 mph when the speed limit is 70 mph or higher. It would be a good idea to use a PJC in that scenario because that conviction carries 3 DMV points (points on your NC driver*s license) and 4 insurance points (points that cause your insurance to rise). Similarly a conviction for a hit and run which causes property damage is 4 DMV points and 4 insurance points. That would be another time where you should consider using a PJC because 4 insurance points would be an 80% increase in your insurance.
As a point of reference below is how insurance points affect insurance rates:
1 point: 30% increase
2 points: 45% increase
3 points: 60% increase
4 points: 80% increase
8 points: 195% increase
10 points: 260% increase
12 points: 340% increase
Scenario Two: Preventing License Suspensions or RevocationsAnother good time to use a prayer for judgment is for any charge for driving while license revoked (DWLR) if you are unable to get it reduced or dismissed. The reason it would be a good idea to use a PJC for a DWLR charge is because a conviction for DWLR would suspend your license for an additional year. Another similar scenario would be if you are approaching the limit of 12 DMV points within 3 years. At 12 DMV points within a 3 year timeframe your license will be suspended. If you are approaching that limit it would be wise to consider a PJC to avoid reaching the threshold for suspension.
Scenario Three: Avoiding Hefty Fines.The last type of common scenario to use a PJC would be to avoid a serious fine. For example speeding in a work-zone or school-zone has a penalty of a $250.00 fine in addition to court costs. A PJC in this scenario would mean that you wouldn*t have to pay a hefty fine just the court costs.
Still Have Questions?If you have questions about your individual situation and whether a PJC is right for you please don't hesitate to reach out to me https://www.stowelawfirmnc.com/contact-us-now or call our office, at 704-856-9502.