Most drivers convicted of traffic offenses in North Carolina must pay both a fine and the court costs. However, there is a unique judicial action available for some traffic violations that may result in reduced fines.
The courts refer to this action as a prayer for judgment continued.
What is a prayer for judgment continued?
A prayer for judgment continued, commonly referred to as a “PJC,” is an option available to some defendants in traffic cases. If your offense qualifies, you can enter a plea of guilty and ask the judge for a PJC. If the judge grants it, you will not have to pay a fine for your traffic violation; however, you still have to pay court costs. In some cases, a PJC may still count as a conviction that results in insurance points.
Who can use a PJC?
Individuals may only request a PJC one time in three years for insurance purposes and twice every five years to get out of receiving DMV points. Defendants charged with exceeding the speed limit by 25 mph or more can not ask for a PJC. It is also not available to persons charged with serious offenses, such as driving while intoxicated. Commercial drivers can not request a PJC for any type of traffic offense.
The prayer for judgment continued can help drivers who commit an occasional minor traffic violation avoid fines and increased insurance premiums. However, it is not always a good idea to ask for a PJC, even when you qualify. You may want to discuss your case with a legal professional before you make your decision.