Consequences You Can Face if You Don’t Show Up for Jury Duty
By Space Coast Daily // July 21, 2019
I do understand that attending jury duty is a huge pain in everyone’s rear end but across most of the globe attending at least one session in your lifetime is mandatory and everyone shall be committed to attending at least once in their lifetime once summoned unless you have a solid provable reason which either stops you from attending or stops you being able to pass a good verdict on the one on trial.
Good reasons include not being able to understand the language, being unable to attend due to work or medical appointments/ conditions.
All must be proved however and if you are found to either be using false consequences or not showing up to jury duty you could be in deep trouble. But what are the consequences of not showing up to jury duty? Well… Some of the penalties for not showing up to jury duty include:
• You could be the one on trial
Failure to show up when summoned to jury duty will put you in trouble with the court and the law as jury duty is mandatory by law and essential for a democratic and riotous trial the accused.
Failure to show up will result in the court issuing a bench warrant which, behaves similarly to an arrest warrant but is issued by the court.
The bench warrant is a non-emergency arrest warrant so the FBI or SWAT team will not be entering your house gun pointed at you but you will get a local policeman tapping on your door bringing you in or for it to remain as a note on the police system so that the next time you are apprehended by the police; for example at a random stop, you would be brought in to the police station.
The main purpose of the bench warrant is to bring in those that didn’t show up and question them about where they were and the reason to why they didn’t show up. The reason must be a good such as, being in a hospital for the night and provable because if not; you could be fined up to one thousand dollars or arrested for being in “contempt of the court.”
You may be recalled either by letter or by a phone call ordering you to appear in court to give them a reason why you couldn’t attend. It better be good as you could be put on trial with a heavy toll to pay if the court finds you guilty of contempt.
A good reason would be that attending would cause you several difficulties as you may have to reschedule a surgery, saying that you could be there as you were feeling a bit lazy and woke up late is not a good reason.
• Jail time
If you are found with being guilty of being “contempt of court” which, is usually reserved for repeat offenders for not showing up to jury duty; could land you in jail for up to six months and a one thousand dollar fine.
Contempt of the court simply means that you are disrespectful of the court and the law system in the respective country and state you are in and sentencing could also vary. The best way to avoid jail time is to simply show up for jury duty and just apologize deeply for not showing up.
• Permanent record
If you are convinced with contempt with the court you will now have a criminal record and criminal offense on your permanent record.
This will not be beneficial in the slightest and can even ruin peoples lives as employers will have access to your permanent records and any criminal offense would be taken very seriously and therefore it may be harder for you to find employment after your time in jail.
Missing jury duty can sometimes be looked down especially heavy enough as most workplaces are obliged to give people time off for jury duty and failure to attend can demonstrate to potential employers that you could possibly be lazy, lack of commitment or just poor time management skills. None of these qualities makes a potential employee stand out for the right reasons.
• Absolutely nothing
If you are incredibly lucky, the court has enough people on jury duty, and the head judge feels nice ( this would be incredibly unlikely ) the chances are that you’ll just be let go as pursuing you would just be a waste financially and time wise for the court.
This does not mean you would get away with jury duty forever though as you’ll be sent another summons request to be part of the jury and if you don’t show up this time you could end up with a large fine or a jail sentence combined with a fine if you continue to not show up for jury duty. Tread carefully; you’re on thin ice with the law.
• Sent a new date
This is also a part of the court doing nothing as they will certainly have to do something to make life just a bit more miserable. They will send you a new time and day for a different trial and for you to be part of the jury.
You should try to attend unless you want to be the one on trial and having an entire jury reviewing your case. The new date for you may be sent very quickly and you may receive more requests than usual depending on where you live and the laws surrounding jury duty.
These are the consequences of missing jury duty; it is mandatory and no matter what you will have to attend one if you are eligible and asked to.
The cons of jury duty (the time required off work which they compensate for anyway) far out ways the cons of not attending which, could cost you your career, put you in jail and ruin you financially.
Furthermore, even after this you would still be required to go if asked. There is no escape from jury duty and you should just go to avoid the consequences of not showing up for jury duty.
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