Thank you for your question.
A PJC is a "prayer for judgment continued", and something done in North Carolina normally in low level misdemeanors
and traffic offenses.
It essentially allows a defendant to plead guilty to a crime, without having the plea entered against them. It is a win-win situation generally, because the prosecutor can count it as a conviction, but in general it does not count as a conviction against the defendant. When a person is granted a PJC they need only pay the costs of court
, there are no fines or other fees.
Essentially, when you ask the Court for a PJC, you’re telling the court “It was a mistake, I promise I’ll never do it again.” In return for that pseudo-promise, the Court doesn’t convict you for whatever that was. In North Carolina, you’re only allowed 1 PJC every three years, per household. If, within 3 years, you commit the same offense or something very similar, the Court revokes the PJC and charges you with both offenses at that time. So, if you know you're not going to be charged with anything similar in 3 years, it can be a good deal for someone who got into a little minor trouble.
As for whether you should plead guilty or not -that is not something we can answer on this site. First, it would be giving you legal advice, which we cannot do. But more importantly, we do not have all of the facts, evidence, etc. that your lawyer has to be able to give you an educated opinion. It is certainly your right to fight it if you want to, but you need to talk to them about this. Why do they feel you are better off pleading guilty? What makes them think if you took it to trial
you could be convicted? Your lawyer may just be trying to protect you and doing what they think is best, XXXXX XXXXX their reasoning will help you make a more informed decision.
If, after hearing their reasoning, you still wish to fight the charges and go to trial, that is your right as a defendant. Your lawyer has to listen to what you tell them to do, not the other way around.