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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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What are the penalties for not showing up to Jury Duty In

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What are the penalties for not showing up to Jury Duty? In this case, my brothers is a US Citizen who has been living abroad for the last 11 years. He has retained his Florida license (Miami-Dade) as he comes to the States once or twice a year. He has been summoned in prior occasions and because of his overseas address he has been able to differ his appearance; however, this last time he is not been given the choice...so he is trying to understand what the legal implications are? The dade web site indicates he may be held in comptempt of court and fined up to $100, but what does that mean?

Dear I068904 - Of course the $100 fine is self explanatory however contempt of court can mean jail time imposed by the court. I find it hard to believe that the court would require him to return from abroad to serve on a jury however the courts are fairly strict in this area since so many people try to get out of jury duty.

 

Generally, if a person facing contempt "purges" himself by appearing in court and explaining the reason for the contempt (it must be a good reason) then the court will suspend the jail time. I cannot guarantee this however so I would recommend that your brother be accompanied by an attorney who may be able to work out a agreement with the court.

 

Maybe he could coordinate a trip home with jury duty and then he could serve on a jury and purge himself of the contempt. The penalties for contempt are very discretionary with the individual judge so I cannot give you a general answer as to what exactly will happen in your brother's case. The best advice I can give is for him to get a lawyer to accompany him to court.

 

Dave Kennett

 

 

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