Tampa Bay: Skipping jury duty could mean jail time

Tampa- If you haven’t already picked up the TBT today, you should know this. On Monday 387 people skipped out of Jury Duty in Hillsborough County. Consequences? A judge is coming after you.

According to the TBT, Circuit Judge Gregory Holder decided he will take action against those no-shows that dodged their duty. The judge issued an “order to show cause” which will summon those absent to a hearing on November 4 for questioning. Penalties for those without a legitimate excuse will be possibly fined or face jail time. Those that do not show to the ordered hearing will be issued an arrest warrant.

In Hillsborough County alone, about 25 percent of people already do not respond to a juror summons. In Pinellas, the number is about 13 percent. On Monday, those 387 no-shows made up for the 25 percent. 387 out of 1,523 did not attend their summons. That does not include those with excuses that have been exempt from duty.

Missing jurors put a real delay in the legal system. Defendants have a right to speedy trial; lawyers and others involved have strict schedules.

So why skip? Majority do not show due to work conflicts. Fear of losing their job while serving jury duty can cause many not to take that chance. Another downside? Time. The Casey Anthony trial has not helped things. Now people might assume jury duty may take weeks out of their already valuable time.

In Hillsborough, most cases last only a few days.

Please contact your Tampa Bay Attorney if you have any questions regarding this matter at 813-931-0840. Think quick, call Blick!

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