Prayers for court trials

God guide me,

Jesus hear me.
I have sinned and throw myself at your mercy
What I regret most is the offense I have caused you.
As I forgive my antagonist, please do the same for me.
I understand my wrong and fault.
truly, wholly and completely.
Grant me peace so that I may not repeat these same mistakes out of anger.
Fill my heart with the holy spirit so that my actions may reflect this gift that resides in my heart.
I commend my spirit.
I have learnt from this experience and will not sin in this way again.
I thank you for all you have provided, and for your ceaseless love.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
Amen

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prayers for court trials

What is a Prayer for Judgment? Definition

A prayer for judgment continued (or sometimes referred to as “PJC” or “continued judgment”) is a device that in the courts discretion may be granted even though a person charged with certain offenses has plead guilty or responsible. The Court does not enter a final judgment of conviction in the case. By not entering a final judgment in the case, the plea is not entered against a person.

A prayer for judgment continued is unique to North Carolina; but other States may have similar remedies.

Is there a difference in Prayer for Judgment and a PJC?

No.  A prayer for judgment continued in NC is the same as some may call a PJC.

How does a Prayer for Judgment Work?

A PJC works because if granted within the Court’s discretion upon pleading or being found responsible of a traffic violation or misdemeanor the Court will continue judgment upon your compliance with certain conditions. These conditions most often are payment of the court costs.

A PJC is rarely effective for out-of-state drivers therefore it is often not encouraged to request a PJC if you are from a State other than North Carolina unless you have consulted with and been advised by an attorney from your State of license.

When can you use Prayer for Judgment?

Keeping in mind that the allowance of such is in Court’s total discretion, you may receive a PJC on most every type of infraction and some misdemeanors.

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles allows two PJC’s every five years for DMV purposes

Therefore a third conviction within a five year period in which a PJC was allowed is treated the same as any other conviction.

Insurance companies only allow one prayer for judgment per Household / Insurance Policy every three years.

When should a Prayer for Judgment not be requested?

A Prayer for Judgment may not always be the best result.

For persons attempting to enlist in the military, a PJC may be treated as an unresolved legal matter and prevent enlistment. If a person is pleads not guilty and after a trial is found guilty, then that person may not desire the Court enter a prayer for judgment because the prayer for judgment may prevent the defendant from appealing the trial court’s decision because a PJC is not a final judgment.

A commercial drivers license (CDL) holder / driver  should not request a Prayer for Judgment because it will not be recognized as a method to prevent insurance points or license points.

When are you not allowed to use a Prayer for Judgment?

You will not be eligible to receive a PJC for speeding convictions in excess of 25 mph over the posted speed limit.

A driver found guilty of passing a stopped school shall not receive a PJC under any circumstance.

You will not eligible to received a Prayer for Judgment Continued if you are being sentenced for Driving While Impaired.

Will a Prayer for Judgment affect my insurance?

A PJC will usually not affect your car insurance.  When a prayer for judgment continued is entered in a traffic matter the result is that judgment is not entered against the person and as such insurance points and license points may not be assessed.

However, if certain situations exist  a PJC may not be effective in preventing negative affects to your insurance. Prayer for Judgments are ineffective for driver’s holding Commercial Driver’s License and for speeding convictions in excess of 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Out-of-State drivers that are not licensed in North Carolina should consult an attorney in their licensing state to determine how a Prayer for Judgment Continued in NC may affect their license.

Is a prayer for judgment a conviction?

Yes, No, and Maybe.  A PJC may be treated as a conviction for misdemeanor or felony sentencing points later on should you be convicted of another crime in a determination of sentencing points is required.  However, for purposes of traffic offenses technically a Prayer for Judgment Continued is not treated as a conviction unless the limitation specified later on in this page (3 – 5 years) is applicable.

Is a PJC recommended for my case?

Each case is different and to best answer this question I would strongly encourage you speak to a local and experienced traffic ticket attorney so that the traffic law expert can analyze your unique situation and provide you specific answers to whether a prayer for judgment continued may be recommend in your case.

written by

Jon Welborn

Jon is an experienced trial attorney with over 10 years litigating a variety of cases in all NC Trial Courts. Be sure to visit us at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Similar / Related to this Traffic Law Topic:

“Calculating Court Costs” by Attorney Jon Welborn

“What is Improper Equipment in NC?” by traffic attorney Jon Welborn

“7 things to look for to find the best traffic ticket lawyer” by Attorney Jon Welborn

“Do I need a traffic ticket attorney for court? 

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www.jonwelbornlaw.com

Who can elect for a jury trial?
Cases that originate in District Court in Maryland–all criminal and traffic misdemeanors and certain felonies–fall into two important categories: those that must stay in District Court and those that can be “prayed up” to the Circuit Court. In Maryland, if the defendant’s criminal/traffic case has any charge on it which carries a maximum penalty of more than three months (90 days) incarceration, then the defendant has the right to demand a jury trial for the case. If the case only has charges which carry a maximum penalty of three months or less incarceration, the defendant does not have a right to a jury trial.

What does it mean to “Pray a Jury Trial”?
Since there are no jury trials held in the District Court, a “Jury Trial Prayer” (JTP) or “Jury Trial Demand” means that the defendant’s case will be moved from the District Court to the Circuit Court in Maryland for that jurisdiction. Cases in District Court are tried before a judge in a bench trial, where the judge hears the facts and renders a decision of guilty or not guilty. In Circuit Court the defendant has the option to either have a bench trial or have a jury trial, where the jury is the one who hears the facts and makes a decision regarding the guilt of the defendant.


Practical Effects of Demanding a Jury Trial
Aside from the right to have a jury trial, there are other important collateral effects of praying a jury trial. First of all, the case will move from a District Court judge to a Circuit Court judge, who is guaranteed to be different judge. Second, there may be a different prosecutor assigned to the case as it transfers from the District to the Circuit Court, depending on the jurisdiction. Third, it may effectively act as a continuance. Again, depending on the jurisdiction, the defendant may not have to go back to court in the Circuit Court for months. In Prince George’s County, for instance, a defendant who prays a jury trial in District Court will have their next court date assigned between one and three months in the future. In other counties the jury trial demand may mean the defendant has to go to Circuit Court as soon as that afternoon, the following day, or the next week.

Should I elect for a jury trial in my case? This is ultimately a strategic decision that should be discussed between the client and his or her defense attorney, and there is no clear cut right answer without understanding the entirety of the situation. All cases are different and it may be beneficial for one client to keep their case in District Court but more beneficial for another to elect for a jury trial and move the case to Circuit Court. If a case is definitely going to be a trial, there are certain benefits and drawbacks in having a jury decide the facts. Moving a case may help a defendant avoid a certain judge or prosecutor and obtain a more favorable outcome, or it might hurt. It may be beneficial to have an effective continuance for any number of reasons, but it also could hinder a defendant’s right to appeal their case to Circuit Court if they initially lost in District Court. If you have a case in District Court and want to know whether you should elect for a jury trial the best thing to do is speak with a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the process and procedures in that jurisdiction (since they do vary), as there is no absolute right answer. Your criminal defense attorney should be able to see if your case is eligible and then explain the pros and cons of any decision and make a suggestion as to how to proceed.

To schedule an complimentary consultation about a criminal or traffic case with a Maryland criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Offices of Christopher L. Peretti at 301-875-3472. When you hire our office for your case, we assess your case completely and work with you in coming up with the best decision based on all the facts of the case and your personal situation. Call us today to start getting the help you need to defend your case and protect your record.

www.perettillc.com

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