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What Happens If I Fail to Appear for Jury Duty in South Carolina?

What Happens If I Fail to Appear for Jury Duty in South Carolina?

In the state of South Carolina, you may be summoned for jury duty as long as you are at least eighteen years old and you are a licensed driver and/or registered voter. Once you receive a jury summons in the mail, you are legally obligated to respond. Since this is an official court summons, a failure to respond could land you in serious trouble. While the court may not choose to go after every person who has failed to respond to a jury summons, you could be fined and ordered to perform community service if you knowingly fail to appear and serve. The court would also have the right to hold you in contempt- although this is unlikely to occur.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of different courts which you may be subject to receiving jury duty notices from:

  • County Circuit Court
  • Magistrate Court(s)
  • Municipal Court (if you live inside city limits)
  • Probate Court (yes, every now and then they have jury trials)
  • Federal District Court
  • State Grand Jury
  • County Grand Jury

This can easily get confusing, especially since you might get notified to serve in multiple different courts the same year (or if your luck is bad, on the same day!). You're best off by complying with the official court notices you receive. If you're unable to attend on the date specified you should reach out to the court office in advance requesting to be excused. Most of the time scheduling issues can be easily addressed.

Some of the circumstances under which you could be excused from jury duty include:

  • You are over the age of 70
  • You no longer live in the jurisdiction of the court
  • You cannot speak the English language
  • You have recently served jury duty in the same court
  • You are medically unable to serve
  • You are a caretaker for a young child
  • Your service is so critical to a business that if you aren't there it ceases to function
  • You are a school teacher or a student (be careful, they can transfer you to the summer)
  • It's just a really bad day or week for you to serve. Maybe you're getting married, going on vacation, or have some other reason.

Be aware of jury-duty scams. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer or court official demanding immediate payment for missing jury duty this is likely a scam.

If you or someone you love has been asked to pay a fine or complete community service for failing to appear, it may be in your best interests to consult a Lexington criminal attorney from the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, Jr., LLC. Our firm knows how the South Carolina court systems work, so we may be able to help you resolve this matter, and help to determine if it's genuine issue or a scam. We do charge a consultation fee for issues involving missed jury duty. To schedule your consultation with our Lexington criminal defense lawyer call (888) 301-6004


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