What is Probation Before Judgement

What is a Probation Before Judgement

What is Probation Before Judgement?

You may have heard of the common term of phrase for this court ruling “PBJ,” or probation before judgment, but what exactly is a probation before judgment? Well, this is another positive outcome in a case for you. With the Law Office of Nicholas Del Pizzo, we will take a more in-depth look. 

Answering the Question: What is Probation Before Judgement

Who Qualifies?

Although a PBJ can be granted for most first-time charges, there are instances where it can’t be used. It is quite rare to have it offered for violent crimes such as robbery or large quantities of drugs, a DUI/DWI or a DUI/DWI with an accident. 

It also may apply for a second-time offense, if it has been at least ten years since the last offense. 

Though you do have to ask for a PBJ, it is not automatically given, and it is at the discretion of the judge. 

How does it work?

If the judge allows a PBJ, you are agreeing to be placed directly on probation. This can include restitution, anger management training, driver improvement programs, alcohol treatment, community service, even the requirement to read a book and prepare a book report. 

You will be on probation for several years. The length depends on the criminal law offense. The maximum is three years in District Court. In Maryland Circuit Court it is five years. 


If you get a PBJ, you can say you were found not guilty of the crime in which you were charged. This is always helpful on job applications where if you are asked about conviction or pled guilty you can answer “No.”

However, do keep in mind that public sector employers such as the federal government or federal contractors may still treat PBJ as a conviction. 

When applying for colleges, you don’t have to inform the university about the charged crime since there wasn’t a guilty plea. 

Insurers will not find out about the incident since you never pled guilty. So, you should not see an increase in insurance rates. 

There are no points assessed against your driving record either. 

Only law enforcement officers have access to a PBJ agreement. 


You face the entire sentence if you are brought before the judge in any probation violation. You also have to give up your right to appeal. 

About The Law Offices of Nick Del Pizzo

At the Law Offices of Nick Del Pizzo, we make ourselves available for our clients in a variety of case types. Ranging from foreclosure, bankruptcy, personal injury or medical malpractice. Whatever your legal need is, we are there for you, seven days a week. Your case becomes our cause, and we will seek the best resolution possible. 

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