What is Jury Duty?
When a person becomes 18 years old in Florida, he/she is eligible for jury
duty once a year. Jury service is a mandatory civic duty that is required by law.
The main objective of a jury summons is to select 12 jurors from different
social backgrounds to make decisions on civil and criminal matters. While
summoned doesn’t always mean a person will be called to the jury
or seated, you must always show up to court unless your services are not
needed or you have a valid reason (e.g. medical emergency, undue hardship,
dependent care, military or student status, etc.).
What Happens If I Miss Jury Duty?
Missing jury duty can lead to being issued a bench warrant. Although law
enforcement won’t come after a person who is subject to a bench
warrant, officers can arrest you the next time you receive a speeding
ticket or otherwise violate the law.
Additionally, the judge can view missing jury duty as contempt of court.
Penalties for contempt of court from missing jury include a fine and even
a jail sentence.
In fact, 21-year-old Deandre Somerville spent 10 days in jail after he
overslept on August 21, missed jury duty, and failed to notify the court
because he was almost late to work. Court officials said Somerville’s
absence resulted in a 45-minute delay, causing an angry Judge John Kasternakes
to sentence the young man to jail time, probation for up to 12 months,
and 150 hours of community service. Fortunately, the judge eventually
vacated the sentence after Somerville apologized for his actions in court.
If you recently missed your jury duty date in Daytona Beach,
contact the Law Offices of Robert Stepniak today at (386) 253-4750 today to discuss your legal options to avoid criminal