November 17, 2015
Wherever you live, there is a good chance you will be called for jury duty at some point. This is something that should be taken seriously. Nonetheless, serving on a jury is not easy or convenient for everyone. In certain situations, jury duty can cause people hardship. Florida law views jury duty as an obligation that residents should fulfill, but here is what might happen if they cannot.
Failure to Appear
Jury duty is part of the Constitution that guarantees every person the right to a trial by jury. Should someone not report for jury duty for any reason, there could be legal consequences. The rights and responsibilities of a person in Florida when it comes to jury duty is covered under Chapter 40 of the Florida Statutes. If a person does not report for jury duty without a proper excuse, they could be required to pay a fine of up to $500 by the court where they were to serve. More importantly, a person who does not appear could also be found in contempt of court and given a six-month jail sentence.
There are certain situations where a person will not be required to serve on a jury:
– Not a U.S. Citizen
– No longer lives in the jurisdiction of the court that sent them the summons
– Those currently being prosecuted for a crime
– Convicted felons
– Expectant mothers
– Anyone 70 years old or older
– Current a law enforcement officers
– Those with a physical disability
Length of Service
The Florida Legislature had made it so all the courts in the state utilize a one day or one trial process for choosing a jury. It is possible for a juror to be selected to serve on a jury the day they report. There are trials that will start and finish within one day. When a person reports, they could be sent to a courtroom where the amount of time required to try a case will be discussed. Should a person not be chosen for a trial by the end of the day, they may be released, having fulfilled their jury duty obligation.
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