A Prayer For Judgment is a request made to a judge, usually upon a guilty plea, in which the defendant asks the judge to delay imposing a judgment (sentence) for a period of time.  A PJC does not eliminate the conviction entirely: if the defendant commits a future crime, the prior conviction will count for sentencing purposes.

But for the purposes of the present conviction, a PJC is like a “get out of jail free card” in the sense that the defendant, so long as he doesn’t get in any further trouble, will not need to undergo any sentencing or punishment.

If the person gets into further trouble, then the person may be sentenced for the conviction that was PJC’ed plus the new crime. Typically this period of time is three years.

Prayer for Judgment Continued is particularly valuable in traffic cases.  A household can have one PJC every three years, and no more than 2 PJCs in a 5 year period. The PJC means that points will not be added to person’s insurance rates, nor will points be added to the individual’s driving record.

Usually at the time of your plea, you will be advised of the conditions required under the PJC.  But generally, those conditions amount to not getting into further criminal or traffic trouble for the period of time in question.

Damon Chetson - 1003 posts

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer