Have you been summoned for jury duty? If so, you probably dread the experience and wonder whether you can skip the service. The jury system plays a vital role in the U.S. judiciary system, relying on jurors to hear civil and criminal cases. Without their participation, the constitutional right to a speeding trial by a jury of one’s peers would be impossible to uphold. As such, jury duty is a mandatory civic duty. If you received a summons for service, you must show up on the specified date. Failure to appear can result in both civil and criminal penalties. If you or a loved one has been charged with contempt of court for skipping jury duty, contact a competent Astoria Criminal Defense Lawyer who can help you avoid harsh penalties.
If you have a driver’s license or voter registration card and you have never been charged with a felony conviction, you can be summoned for jury duty or jury service. When you receive a notice to appear for jury service, you will undergo a screening. If chosen, you will serve as a juror. You will be presented with case evidence and decide in favor of either the defendant or the plaintiff to reach a resolution. In some cases, you may also determine the amount of compensation to be awarded to the plaintiff.
If you know that you have a conflict that prevents you from being able to appear for jury service, you can contact the court to reschedule service. The court can also excuse you from serving if you can provide the court with proof of a valid reason for not being able to serve. This may include financial hardship, being a full-time student, having a severe medical condition, etc. If you receive an excusal, you will not be penalized for skipping jury service.
In New York, you can face civil and criminal penalties if you fail to appear for jury service. If you fail to respond or show up for jury service, the court will automatically issue a new summons with a new date on which you must appear. If you fail to appear after receiving a second summons with a different date, you may be subject to a fine of up to $250 for non-compliance.
Alongside this civil penalty, you could be subject to criminal penalties, including up to one-year imprisonment for contempt of court. If you skip jury duty, the judge can have you arrested and brought before the court. If you’re held in contempt of court, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor in the second degree. With that being said, if you are summoned for jury duty unless you receive an excusal, you must appear, or you could be subject to civil and criminal penalties.
If you’ve been charged with contempt of court for not showing up for jury duty after a second summons, you need a determined Astoria, Queens, criminal defense lawyer from Vasiliou Law to fight for you. Our firm is prepared to help you prevent harsh penalties for non-compliance.