Skipping Jury Duty seems like a harmless act. Sure, most have been tempted to toss their Jury Duty summons in the garbage and pretend it never arrived. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s not like I did anything illegal—false.
If you ignore a Jury Duty summons in Arizona, then the sheriff’s deputy might show up at your door with a bench warrant. Evading jury duty is considered a type of fraud. Fines of up to $2,000 dollars can be levied; jail time is also a possibility.
Arizona is actually lax compared to other states when it comes to the evasion of Jury Duty. In Massachusetts, 48,000 people were fined $2,000 each for missing jury duty. Los Angeles has levied a total of $940,000 in fines over the past year.
Jury Duty Incentive
The most basic incentive for showing up to Jury Duty is the obligation you owe your fellow citizens. In order for justice to be administered, the right to a fair trial with a jury of your peers is an absolute necessity. If that is not enough, often times you can receive pay from your employer while serving as a juror. Moreover, Jury Duty in some cases becomes a paid endeavor, and restaurant coupons and free parking is the norm.
Legitimate Reasons for Skipping Jury Duty
It is estimated that around 25 % of all jury duty summons actually are lost in the mail due to inaccurate or outdated information. Moreover, many have legitimate excuses that bar them from participation in Jury Duty, such as handicap or illness.
What is not a legitimate excuse is missing Jury Duty because of work or school. Your employer cannot reprimand you for being absent from work while serving jury duty; most colleges and university have policies in place for students who miss class due to Jury Duty.