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What Happens if I Don’t Show Up for Jury Duty in the Bronx, NY?

What Happens if I Don’t Show Up for Jury Duty in the Bronx, NY?

Similar to filing your taxes and signing up for selective service, participating in jury duty is mandatory for U.S. citizens. When the Bronx County court sends you instructions to present yourself, it is in your best interests to do that. If you skip jury service, you can suffer legal consequences that you could be paying for years to come.

Why Jury Duty Is Important

The U.S. has two justice systems: criminal and civil. Both systems are defined by the U.S. Constitution. And under both systems, you are guaranteed a trial by jury in most circumstances. This means that if someone sues you for a car accident or medical malpractice, a jury will similarly decide your fate as they would if you were charged with arson.

But this system only works if people perform their duty and act as jurors. You can’t get justice if 12 citizens are unwilling to sit in a courtroom and listen to both sides present their cases. Similarly, if you refuse to do your duty, you are preventing someone else from receiving justice.

How You Get Summoned for Jury Duty in the Bronx, New York

When Bronx County needs new jurors, it sends summons to potential jurors. The summons tells you when and where you are required to perform your duty.

Just because you received a summons doesn’t mean you will be chosen to be on a jury. Individual jury members are selected to sit on specific juries based on their answers to questions put forth by the lawyers for both sides of a case. If you aren’t chosen to be on a specific jury, your jury duty ends, usually after one day.

What Happens if You Don’t Show Up?

According to the Bronx court juror FAQ, you will be assigned a new jury date if you don’t show up for jury duty. Furthermore, if you fail to show up without warning, you will receive a subpoena to appear before a judge to explain why you didn’t appear. If the judge doesn’t like your answer, you will be held in contempt of court and receive a fine or jail time.

Typically, judges don’t want jurors adamantly opposed to jury duty serving on a jury. But they also don’t want to encourage people to skip. Thus, you will probably receive a fine unless your excuse is particularly flimsy or you insult the judge.

Ways to Legally Avoid Jury Duty in the Bronx

There are ways that you can legally avoid jury duty.

You can request to be excused if:

  • You no longer live or never lived in the Bronx
  • You have a medical disability that would make it impossible to perform your duties
  • You can’t read or speak English
  • You are a caregiver to someone who would be in danger if you were gone for a full day
  • You are an active member of the military
  • You were previously convicted of a felony
  • You are not a U.S. citizen

Finally, you can request a delay in service if the day you were ordered to appear is inconvenient (for example, you are attending college out of state).

Never Skip Jury Duty

Receiving a summons for jury duty can be inconvenient, but it is your civic duty to serve if called to do so. Skipping jury duty is just asking for a fine or worse. If you have a good reason, you can request to be excused, but skipping is never the right option.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Bronx, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the Bronx personal injury lawyers at Oresky & Associates, PLLC at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Oresky & Associates, PLLC – Bronx Office
149 E 149th St
Bronx, NY 10451
(718) 993-9999

Oresky & Associates, PLLC – Queens Office
104-09 Roosevelt Ave
Queens, NY 11368
(347) 507-3884

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