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What is a PJC or Prayer For Judgment?
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A PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued can be granted by judges in some circumstances.  A PJC means that although the defendant is found guilty by the Court, a conviction is not entered into the record.
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Should I use a PJC?
In some circumstances a PJC can be exactly what you need and can prevent points and increased insurance costs.  In other circumstances it can be completely wrong.  Sometimes an improperly used PJC can result in an increase in insurance costs of 45% or more.  In other instances it may not really cost, but is just wasted.  Don't waste PJCs; they're precious! 
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How often can I use a PJC?
Each household is allowed one PJC every three years for insurance purposes, and each individual is allowed two PJCs every five years for DMV purposes.  Although it is sometimes necessary to use more than one PJC (to prevent the revocation of a driver's license) in the same three year period, it could cause a 45% or more increase in insurance costs.
What is meant by 'Household'?
A 'household' is a statutory term that is usually interpreted to mean two or more individuals who live together under circumstances that would make them likely to share vehicles.  Families that live together would almost always be considered a household.  Unromantically involved roommates would usually not be considered a household.  Romantically involved roommates could be considered a household.  It is best to consult with your insurance agent since it is your insurance company that interprets the law for your specific situation.
What about a plea to Improper Equipment?
Usually a plea to improper equipment is a great result, because most improper equipment pleas are non-moving violations and carry no insurance points or increased insurance costs. Unfortunately, improper equipment pleas cost more than other pleas, and , in some counties, such as Wake County, a plea to improper equipment can be hard to get.
What are Insurance Points, what are DMV Points, and what is the difference?
DMV points are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles and appear on your driving record.  Unless you get a lot of tickets you generally don't need to worry about DMV points.  They are only used to suspend the license of a driver who gets 12 or more points in a three year period.

Insurance points do not appear on your driving record.  They are assessed by your insurance company in accordance with North Carolina law.  Insurance points will make your insurance costs rise, usually 25% or more for three years, and so should be avoided or minimized if possible.
Should I take my ticket to trial?
It is rarely a good idea to take a traffic ticket to trial, because usually it is simple for the prosecutor to prove his case.  It often comes down to your word against the police officer's word.  Occasionally there are circumstances that allow success at trial, but you really need an experienced traffic attorney to make that determination.  Keep in mind that trials usually involve several court appearance and many hours of waiting in court.
Do I really need an attorney?
Only you can answer that question.  If your ticket is one that could be paid onlne or through the mail, you could just mail it in.  But that is the same as pleading guilty, and can result in insurance points and increased insurance costs for three years.  If your ticket is one in which someone must appear, you may have to take time off from work, possibly multiple days.  And you'll have to face the prosecutor and Judge.

Ask yourself this: Do I really understand North Carolina law and North Carolina insurance regulations?  Am I good at negotiating?  Do I know what to ask the prosecutor and Judge for, and what I will need to offer to get it?  Can I afford to miss work?  Can I afford higher insurance rates that might have been avoided?  Can I afford not to hire an experienced traffic attorney who is expert in these matters?

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Copyright 2013 by Andrew M. Rogers
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3737 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC  27612