A PJC can be used to resolve almost any criminal offense, including felonies. PJC allows a court to find that a punishment is not appropriate under the circumstances of a case and therefore avoid punishing a defendant, albeit punishment is warranted.
There are 3 types of PJC’s used in the state of North Carolina. They are: (1) temporary PJC; (2) conditional PJC; and (3) unconditional PJC.
Temporary PJC: this is a delay in the defendant’s sentencing to give either the State time to gather information on the amount of restitution or the defendant time to pay money or comply with a court order.
Conditional PJC: the court awarding a defendant this type of PJC can require him or her to do no more than to pay the court cost and follow the law. Done correctly, the judgment of the court is suspended indefinitely and there is no conviction.
Unconditional PJC: (“PJC for a term”) the court here withholds entering a judgment for a period of time and the case is continued indefinitely. During this period, the defendant must be on good behavior and if he or she does not, the state may re-calendar their case and request the court enter a disposition. If a “reasonable time” passes, then the Court may be barred from entering a judgment and the unconditional PJC then becomes the final disposition in the case.