Tag Archives: Dewey P. Brinkley

Criminal Defense Attorney? Why I became one…

When I was in law school in New Orleans, I had a formative experience with the Orleans Parish District Attorneys office in the summer of 2000. New Orleans is a colorful place full of colorful, flamboyant people from all kinds of backgrounds. It is also a city that is mired in poverty and during my law school years (1999-2002), crime was rampant. The police department was constantly under investigation for corruption or officers accused of wrongdoing. There were rows and rows of courtrooms in the old Orleans Parish Courthouse on Tulane Avenue and trials were constantly going on. You could peer into any of those courtrooms and see a young kid on trial for first degree murder over a Saints jacket, a crack rock, or for many other petty reasons. There would be no one in the courtroom besides court personnel, the jury, the Defendant, his lawyer, and the State’s attorney. In many ways, the criminal justice system in the Big Easy was teetering on the brink of collapse, with not enough money to fund public defenders, inadequate resources, and beyond human jail overcrowding. Amidst this maelstrom we were always allowed to order in lunch, usually fried oyster or shrimp po-boys, on the state of Louisiana’s dime if we were in the middle of a trial. It was a great experience for me in that the lawyers, both assistant district attorneys and the criminal defense bar, were a flashy bunch. Attorneys were allowed to move around the courtroom freely when questioning witnesses. Acting out the crime was commonplace during opening statements and summations. It was more like a theatrical performance.

I think out of that experience I associated a certain amount of romantic heroism with doing defense work. Part of it is just the challenge of it all. You walk into a courtroom with your client, usually in his ill-fitting dress shirt and non-matching tie, and everyone is against you—the assistant district attorney, the police, usually the Judge, most of the time the witnesses in the courtroom, and lots of times the jury in the box, at least at the beginning. So it’s an us against the world kind of feeling. That’s why I like the challenge.

To learn more about Raleigh’s leading criminal defense attorney, give us a call at 919-832-0307 or stop by the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley

What is Prayer for Judgment Continued and Do I Need to Ask for it?

Many people who are charged with minor traffic tickets have heard the term “PJC” talked about, but don’t completely understand what it is or whether using it can help them or hurt them.

A PJC stands for prayer for judgment continued, a creation of law specific to North Carolina that is often used on traffic offenses and some other criminal offenses to avoid a conviction. In simple terms, asking a judge for a prayer for judgment continued means that you are pleading guilty to the offense, but are requesting that the Court suspend judgment in the case, thus avoiding a conviction. The judgment, and consequences therefrom in terms of driver license and insurance points, is continued indefinitely and thus driver license points and insurance points never accrue to the Defendant’s driving record. On criminal charges, the PJC is simply a way for the Defendant to avoid a conviction and punishment other than court costs, although the Defendant’s guilty plea is recorded along with a finding of guilt by the Court.

How Do I Know Whether to Ask for Prayer for Judgement Continued in My Case?

On traffic matters, only one PJC per household insurance policy may be granted every three years for insurance purposes.  It is always best to consult with a lawyer about whether asking the court to continue judgment is in your best interests. A first time speeder who has no prior moving violations or accidents during the last three years and who pleads responsible to speeding 10 mph or less over the speed limit does not need to use a PJC to avoid insurance points. Under certain circumstances, asking the court to continue judgment after a PJC has already been used on a prior offense can hurt your vehicle insurance rate.

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