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While some may relish the opportunity to serve on a jury to hear a case, there are many others who couldn’t be bothered with civic duty. If you get the notice in the mail that you have been selected to serve on a California jury for jury duty you are expected to respond. When you don’t have a legitimate reason to lawfully excuse yourself from showing up, you will face penalties in the state of California for ignoring the summons.

Potentially, you just made a mistake on the day you were expected to show up to the court and forgot that you were scheduled to appear for your jury date. Often, missing the initial jury date results in a follow-up summons to appear in court. If you simply ignore your duty to show up on multiple occasions, you are at risk of being charged with contempt of court. Depending on which court you are scheduled to appear in, this can be the difference between mild penalties and those that are severe as the court has the discretion to decide what to do to jurors that fail to show up as they were supposed to. With fears over COVID, though, many jurors in the state are opting out of attending jury duty.

If you Miss Your Jury Date, Will You Be Summoned a Second Time in California?

In the majority of cases, the answer is yes. Missing your initial court date doesn’t just go away and you are highly likely to receive another court summons as a result. When you are summoned a second time, it will look very similar to the first document you received. The only real difference will be that the second time around, there will be information included warning you that missing again will result in penalties.

If you comply and appear in court that is normally enough to meet your requirements and you would be free of facing any negative implications or punishments. There are situations where the strictest courts don’t tolerate missing any court dates. In this case, it may only take you missing your first date for you to receive a fine. In most cases though, if there was no fine issued after a first missed appearance at court, you can bet that it is very likely you will be fined with a second, consecutive absence. Missing a court date two times in a row may not just lead to fines but also criminal contempt of court.

Contempt of court is considered a criminal charge in the state of California. Contempt of court in California can come with up to five days in jail in addition to the potential of up to a $1,000 fine. Not only does contempt of court charge inflict financial penalties and jail time on a defendant, but it will be put on the defendant’s record.

Do You Need to Speak to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney?

Missing jury duty without an acceptable reason can lead to major life disruptions and expensive fines. If criminal charges are attached, such as is the case when contempt of court occurs, a defendant may face life-long challenges including being unable to find gainful employment.

The experienced and aggressive Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group will fight on your behalf so the charges in your case will be either thrown out or reduced. Contact our lawyers any time, day or night at the Manshoory Law Group at 877-977-7750.

Shaheen Manshoory
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