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For some, receiving a summons to appear for jury duty in California is a bother and an unwelcome waste of time. For others, it is an exciting opportunity to be a part of the public justice system and a patriotic way to serve the interests of one’s country and state. Regardless of how you view a jury duty summons, you are expected to show up on your date and if you cannot, you must provide a legitimate and acceptable reason as to why. Missing your jury date without being formally and lawfully excused can lead to fines, prison time, as well as the potential to face criminal contempt of court.

With many Californians feeling wary and exercising excess caution when it comes to going out in public due to COVID concerns, a common question is what reasons would be acceptable to be excused from attending a jury date. It is critical that you understand your rights when it comes to having to appear for jury duty. If you make a mistake and accidentally miss your date, you will be facing penalties. The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group can help you if you are fighting charges related to missing your jury date.

What Excuses are Valid in California to Miss a Jury Date?

For some individuals, there is simply no way to reasonably make it to their jury date. If you are someone that cannot serve on jury duty and have a valid reason why, you must submit, in writing, your explanation in response to your summons.  The following reasons can preclude a person from serving on jury duty.

  • You have already served jury duty within the last 12 months
  • You do not have access to transportation or the means to get to the court
  • You live in a location that would require you to have to travel over 90 minutes to reach the court location
  • You will suffer major financial strain if you have to take the time to serve on jury duty
    • You will need to prove your financial hardship to the court via proof of income, proof your employer will not pay expenses associated with jury duty, or if you would lose your ability to financially support dependents.
  • You are at high risk of suffering major mental and/or physical harm if you serve on jury duty
  • You are needed to serve as a public health or safety official
  • You are the caregiver of another person
  • You have a felony conviction on your record
  • You are an active military member

Outside of the limitations listed above, a legal juror must also be:

  • Legal U.S. citizen
  • Have a basic understanding of the English language
  • Be 18 years-of-age or older

Speak to a California Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you were not present on the date you were required to be at the court for jury duty in California and now you are facing fines, jail time, and even worse, contempt of court, call the Manshoory Law Group immediately. Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys only work on criminal defense cases and are dedicated to protecting the future and best interests of our clients.

The Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at the Manshoory Law Group are available 24/7, offering free consultations, flexible payment plans, and have developed long-standing relationships with courts and prosecutors. Schedule your free consultation with an attorney at the Manshoory Law Group today by calling 877-977-7750.

Shaheen Manshoory
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