Another Look at PJCs

Prayer for judgment continued or a “PJC” is a common disposition in criminal cases, most frequently for traffic law violations or low-level crimes, where entry of final judgment is delayed indefinitely. We have previously covered when conditions on a PJC convert it to a final judgment, limits on the use of PJCs, sex offender registration and PJCs, whether a PJC can be expunged, collateral consequences of PJCs, and other contexts where questions about PJCs arise. A case from the Court of Appeals last year has generated renewed interest in dispositional PJCs. Dispositional or “true” PJCs typically serve as the final resolution of a case. This is in contrast with PJCs used to continue judgment for a set period of time so the defendant can satisfy some condition or for the court to otherwise remain involved in the case. Today’s post will examine that decision, offer thoughts on how defenders can mitigate the potential risk of a dispositional PJC, and discuss how an unwanted PJC might be avoided altogether.

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