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Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

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Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

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Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

Is Skipping Jury Duty A Crime

Is Skipping Jury Duty A Crime?

Jury duty is an important civic responsibility that all citizens should take seriously. However, many people try to get out of serving on a jury for various reasons. Some may have busy work schedules or family obligations that make it difficult to serve. Others may just not want to take the time out of their daily lives. But is skipping jury duty actually a crime that could get you in legal trouble?

The short answer is yes, skipping jury duty can be a criminal offense in most states, including California. There are legal consequences for ignoring a jury summons, ranging from fines to jail time in extreme cases. While a first offense will usually just lead to a second summons, repeatedly skipping jury duty is not taken lightly by the courts.

What The Law Says About Skipping Jury Duty

Let’s take a closer look at what California law actually says about missing jury duty. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 209, any prospective juror who fails to appear for jury service when summoned or fails to respond to the court can be compelled to attend. This means the court can issue a warrant for your arrest if you do not show up or provide a valid legal excuse.

Ignoring a jury summons is essentially considered contempt of court. The court views it as you deliberately defying a court order to fulfill your civic duty. As a result, judges have wide discretion to punish failure to appear for jury duty with fines or jail time[1].

In California, the maximum fine for skipping jury duty is $1,500. Courts can also sentence you to jail for up to 5 days for a first offense. While rare, repeat offenders could potentially face up to 6 months in jail if found in contempt multiple times[2].

Consequences For Missing Jury Duty in California

What typically happens if you skip jury duty in California? Here are some common consequences:

  • You’ll receive a second notice reminding you that failure to appear is a crime.
  • If you still don’t show up, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
  • Police could arrest you and bring you before the judge to explain why you ignored the summons.
  • The judge will likely fine you up to $1,500 for a first offense.
  • You may be ordered to serve on the next available jury as further punishment.
  • Repeat offenders could face up to 5 days in jail for contempt of court.

As you can see, the penalties can quickly escalate from fines to jail time if you continue to thumb your nose at the court’s orders. Judges do not appreciate when people think jury duty doesn’t apply to them.

What To Do If You Miss Jury Duty

Now that you know the consequences, what should you do if you’ve already missed jury duty? Here are some tips:

  • Contact the jury commissioner’s office as soon as possible. Explain why you missed the summons and ask to have your service rescheduled or excused if you have a valid reason.
  • If you missed the date but can still make it in, go to the court and explain the situation. They may allow you to serve on another day.
  • If a warrant has been issued, turn yourself in to the police immediately to avoid being arrested at home or work.
  • Hire a criminal defense lawyer for help negotiating with the judge and minimizing penalties.
  • Request a hearing and politely explain any extenuating circumstances that prevented you from attending.
  • Accept responsibility for missing jury duty and apologize sincerely to the judge.

Being proactive and honest with the court is your best chance to reduce any fines and avoid jail time. Valid excuses like medical emergencies or military service may also get you excused without penalties.

How To Avoid Jury Duty Fines & Jail Time

The easiest way to avoid fines and jail time for missing jury duty is simple – show up for jury duty when summoned. Since it’s the law, you are obligated to appear. However, if you truly cannot serve, here are some other tips:

  • Look for a postponement notice with your summons that lets you reschedule service once within a year.
  • Send a request to be excused if you have a valid reason you can’t serve like financial hardship, lack of transportation, or being a primary caregiver.
  • Follow up and confirm if the court received your request and is excusing you from service.
  • If you miss the summons notice, call immediately to reschedule service when you are available.
  • Send a doctor’s note if you have a medical condition that prevents you from serving.

As long as you are proactive and communicate with the court, you should be able to avoid any penalties for missing jury duty. We all have busy lives, but ignoring a jury summons almost always makes the situation worse.

Valid Excuses For Missing Jury Duty

Are there any legally valid excuses for missing jury duty in California? The court understands there are certain circumstances that may prevent you from serving. Here are some approved excuses:

  • You are on active military duty or deployment.
  • You do not have transportation to get to the courthouse.
  • Serving would cause extreme financial hardship like loss of income.
  • You provide full-time care for a disabled or elderly person.
  • You have a medical condition that prevents you from serving.
  • You do not speak English well enough to serve on a jury.
  • You are over age 70 and do not wish to serve.
  • You have served on a jury within the last 12 months.

If any of these apply to you, contact the jury commissioner right away to explain your situation and request an excuse. You will need to provide documentation in some cases to support your claim.

What If I’m Arrested For Skipping Jury Duty?

If you are arrested on a warrant for failure to appear for jury duty, remain calm. The police are simply doing their job in bringing you before the judge to explain missing your summons. Here are some tips if you find yourself in custody:

  • Be polite and cooperate fully with the officers when arrested and transported.
  • Request to speak with your lawyer if you have one. Otherwise, ask for a public defender.
  • Do not try to run or resist arrest, as this will only add further charges.
  • You have the right to remain silent until you can speak with a lawyer.
  • Your lawyer can request bail so you can be released until your court date.
  • Avoid discussing details of your case with anyone but your lawyer.

With an experienced criminal defense attorney’s help, you may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed, especially if it’s your first offense. Your lawyer can also advocate for reasonable bail so you don’t have to remain jailed until trial.

Fines For Skipping Jury Duty

Let’s take a closer look at the fines imposed for missing jury duty. As we’ve discussed, California state law allows judges to fine citizens up to $1,500 for a first offense. Here are some other key facts about fines for skipping jury duty:

  • Subsequent offenses can result in fines up to $2,500 per violation.
  • You may be ordered to pay court fees and processing charges on top of fines.
  • Wages you would have earned on jury duty are deducted from any fines imposed.
  • Judges have discretion to impose smaller fines based on your circumstances.
  • Fines may be reduced or waived if you were legitimately excused.
  • Serving on your next jury duty date may substitute for fines in some cases.
  • Unpaid fines could negatively impact your credit report and lead to civil judgments.

As you can see, a single failure to appear can quickly become a costly mistake. Even if you are fined a lesser amount, unpaid jury duty fines don’t just go away. They can stay on your record and lead to additional legal and financial issues down the road.

Can I Go To Jail For Skipping Jury Duty?

What about jail time for skipping jury duty? Yes, judges can technically sentence you to up to 5 days in jail for a first offense under California law. Here are some key facts about serving jail time for missing jury duty:

  • Jail time is rare on a first offense and usually only 1-2 days maximum.
  • Repeat offenders may serve up to 6 months for continued contempt of court.
  • Judges have wide discretion to impose jail time within statutory limits.
  • Fines are much more common, but jail time is an option judges retain.
  • Time served is in the county jail, not state prison.
  • Your lawyer can argue against jail time and push for alternative sanctions like community service.
  • Serving on your next jury duty date may substitute for jail in some cases.

While unlikely, the possibility of jail time shows why you should never just blow off jury duty. Very few people actually serve jail time for a first offense. But repeatedly ignoring summons could land you in jail for up to 6 months.

Permanent Record For Skipping Jury Duty

Will skipping jury duty go on your permanent record? Unfortunately, yes. Just like any other misdemeanor criminal offense, it becomes part of your criminal record. Here’s what you should know:

  • The contempt of court offense will appear on background checks pulled by potential employers and landlords.
  • Missing jury duty remains on your record even if fines are paid off.
  • Most convictions for skipping jury duty cannot be expunged under California law.
  • Repeat offenses compound the problem and make your record look worse.
  • Certain professional licenses can be impacted by a conviction for failure to appear.
  • Talk to a lawyer to understand the full implications of having a conviction on your record.

Having a misdemeanor conviction for skipping jury duty is not the end of the world. But it’s still something that could impact your future rental, employment, and licensing prospects. This is why hiring an attorney to help mitigate penalties is so important.

Defenses For Missing Jury Duty

Are there any defenses you can raise to fight jury duty violation charges? There may be defenses and mitigating factors your attorney can use to get charges reduced or dismissed. Some potential defenses include:

  • You never received the initial jury summons – If you moved and it went to an old address, you may not have known about it.
  • You had an emergency – Medical emergencies, child birth, military service, etc. may excuse your absence.
  • Financial hardship – Time off work would cause extreme financial distress.
  • Language barriers – You aren’t fluent enough in English to serve on a jury.
  • Caregiver responsibilities – You care for children or elderly parents full-time.
  • Disability – A mental or physical disability prevents you from serving.

Before your court date, your lawyer will interview you to identify any possible excuses or defenses for missing jury duty. By gathering evidence and presenting mitigating factors, they can often get charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

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