Select your state

Traffic tickets

prayer for judgment continued

A prayer for judgment continued (PJC) is a procedure that may be available in traffic ticket court to allow a person who has received a traffic ticket or citation to avoid some or all of fines, penalties, and other consequences.

A PJC essentially allows the driver to plead guilty to the infraction or offense (or to be convicted by the judge or jury) and for the court/judge to continue the judgment or final effect of the guilty plea or conviction indefinitely—allowing the driver to avoid large fines, penalty points added to their driver’s license or record, increased insurance premiums, and possible suspension of their driver’s license.

In this context, a prayer is a request by the prosecutor/government to enter judgment (a final decision or determination) against the driver based on their guilty plea, and for the judge to indefinitely continue or postpone the entry of judgment, which prevents it from becoming final and effective.

Laws vary from state to state and in states where a PJC is an option, it is limited and in the judge’s discretion—a driver or household may only be allowed one PJC every few years, for example. But if a driver receives a more serious ticket or citation (with a significant fine or penalty points) and is unable to get it dismissed or reduced to a lesser infraction or offense, a PJC may be an option. A driver who gets a PJC may still be required to pay court costs, for example, as they are not classified as a penalty.

In Texas, the concept of a 'Prayer for Judgment Continued' (PJC) does not exist in the same form as it might in other states such as North Carolina. Texas law does not provide for a PJC procedure. Instead, Texas offers options such as defensive driving courses or deferred adjudication for certain traffic offenses. Deferred adjudication in Texas allows a person to plead 'guilty' or 'no contest' to a traffic offense, and the court may defer the finding of guilt, placing the individual on probation. If the individual successfully completes the probation period and complies with the terms set by the court, the charge may be dismissed, and there will be no final conviction on the person's record. However, if the individual fails to meet the terms, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt, and the offense will appear on the individual's driving record. It's important to note that eligibility for deferred adjudication and other alternatives to conviction may vary based on the offense and the individual's driving history. An attorney can provide guidance on what options might be available for a specific traffic ticket or citation in Texas.

Legal articles related to this topic