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jury duty, can you be arrested if you don't show?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Back in the beginning of this year, I received a jury duty notice, with a badge, etc. I sent it back saying I couldn't go because of financial reasons, etc (plus, we only have 1 car). They didn't excuse me...... and said I have to show up in October! Ok, so, I don't want to go for various reasons, and by having only 1 car, this would be a big inconvenience! My question is, what if I don't show up? Can they put a warrant out? Plus, the fact that they sent it out in the beginning of the year is really crazy. So, what can I do? If they do, wouldn't I just have to act stupid and say I just totally forgot?
post #2 of 12
It varies from state to state, but if you don't show up, they could order a bench warrant against you. That would be up to the judge's discretion. You can however submit in writing the reasons why you can't attend. In our state, traveling great distances with no public transportation available, bad health with a doctor's written back-up and if you are a caregiver and the person you care for would be unduly harmed are some of the reasons you can be excused. BUT it all has to be in writing prior to your appearance date
post #3 of 12
You should show but I can tell you how many of my friends got out. When the attorneys question you and if they pick you or before they do, tell them that you have a momma cat at home expecting kittens and if she has them, you won't be there. It's worked many times. I get out of it because I work for attorneys and I know many of the attorneys here.

post #4 of 12
Shouldn't admit this but . . .

I once got a jury summons and forgot about it. I found it months later, past the date. Nothing has happened to me about it so far, but then I haven't had any contact with the legal system . . .
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
My mom did the same thing....... She is a teacher and was on X-Mas vacation and she was supposed to go back in January, and decided not to go, and nothing has happened!
post #6 of 12
Why dont you call the court house where the trial is suppose to take place and see if it is still scheduled? Sometimes these things get settled out of court and the whole trial is cancelled. Maybe you will be lucky....
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Actually, it's not even a trial...... it's where you get picked to see if you have to serve on the jury!
post #8 of 12
I got picked to show up for jury duty at the beginning of june. The trial was supposed to last 4-6 weeks if we got chosen to serve. I didn't want to be away from work that long, (but I would have gone if they had picked me to be a part of the case). Well, luckily for me I went and filled out the whole 50 page attorney questionairre... then the judge came in to talk to us with the lawyers and ended up dismissing us all saying they decided to settle that morning after they saw us all there!! I got paid to go for those two hours and still got paid for work.

Prior to me going, my boss gave me several ideas on how to get out of it! First of all I am pregnant, and upon talking to the judge he said they consider people in my situation who cannot sit for long hours, etc. and can dismiss them. Also, my boss said that when he was asked a leading question by an attorney, ie, (and please do not take offense) something like if he was opposed to homosexuality, he retorted that his family brought him up hating them or something. (Just an example!!!) Or if the case has been in the media real heavily they'll ask if you've followed it and if it's influenced you in any way. Anyway, I think if they ask a leading question and you swing way heavy to one side or another and show an apparant bias then you will get dismissed because they want you to be impartial! But I think it's, at least, important to show up!!

Good luck!
post #9 of 12
Actually, I'm kind of embarassed that I missed my jury duty. I'm pretty opinionated that if you want the right to complain about your government, then you need to participate. Besides voting or seeking office, this is one of the ways to participate and I accidentally blew it off. It's kind of corny to talk about good citizenship, but there you go. I know there are legitimate reasons why people can't serve, but I don't like the idea that a jury is made up of people who couldn't get out of it. I think it is one of the responsiblilities of living in a free and democratic society. Because if we do not fulfill our civic obligations, the government will have to do it for us, and that is going to be much more problematic than jury duty is.

Just my opinion, not meant in a rude or aggressive way, sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.
post #10 of 12
After I moved to Maryland from Indiana, and I registered to vote here, I immediatly got summoned for jury duty. I was irritated about it but I went. It turned out to be a really interesting experience.

there was a bunch of us & we got to listen to the case (it was a man who was accused of phyically abusing his wife) and it really did turn my stomach to listen to. I kept praying that I wouldn't be picked because I wasn't sure I could sit through all the evidence in the case.

they asked us a bunch of questions, where if the answer was yes you would stand up. things like 'is anyone in your family in law enforcement'. then they went through and called up by number and the when my number came up (I was in the first 5, which made me nervous because I wasn't going to get out of it by 13 other people being picked ahead of me) the defense used one of their strikes. So I didn't have to serve! for some reason the defense decided that I thought I wouldn't serve them very well on the jury.

I'm glad I got to experience the process. It ended up being like 2 hours out of my day.

I'm with sunlion, in that I think that jury duty is something that goes along with the freedom that we have. It's part of the price that we pay for getting to live in America, and something we should be proud of.

You never know, it could end up being a really interesting, enlightening experience.
post #11 of 12
If you reeeeealy want to avoid it..make a couple of little hangman's nooses from string. Show up wearing them as ear-rings or a lapel decoration....during jury selection toy absent-mindedly with one...hanging a pencil or something..:tounge2: I flat guarantee the defence attorney will reject you!!!!:eye&mouth :goodbad: :LOL: :LOL:
post #12 of 12
I was excused from jury duty once when I had 2 children under the age of 5. The second time I went. It was a really fascinating experience, and I would go again.
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