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View Poll Results: Rubber band from morning newspaper?
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  #1  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:22 PM
ALawPoker ALawPoker is offline
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Default HELP! (personal/low content)

I am originally from Massachusetts, and went away to college in NY in 2001. Since the summer of 2005 I have been living permanently in NY, and paying taxes to NY state.

Over the past few years I had gotten a few letters for jury duty, which I (stupidly) ignored, assuming if I was fined for not showing up that I could use being away at college as an easy excuse.

Yesterday, (I happen to be in MA right now) I received a letter telling me that I'm being charged with a misdemeanor (for non performance of jury service) and am sentenced to a court date at the end of January.

The "offense date" is listed as 3/18/04, so that's actually when I was in college. Though I presume they had also been sending me other stuff since then.

I know I was stupid and that there was probably an easy way to inform them that I was out of state the first time they mailed me for duty, yada yada. But right now I'm trying to decide what my best play is, and would appreciate any advice.

Do I just wait til my trial? (lol, I can't help but laugh at the idea of having a trial over this.) Do I get in touch with someone and tell them my story? Will this work? Am I screwed? Any advice how I should specifically defend my position?

I mean, I admit I was just lazy/stupid. But at the same time, I really don't live in MA anymore, and (like I said) have been paying taxes to another state. So I don't see much reason why this should be a problem; but the formal criminal complaint is pretty out of the blue and upsetting.

I like having the ironically clean record, and would prefer to keep it that way. Any and all help is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:28 PM
iron81 iron81 is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

Get a lawyer, instruct him to plead the case. You'll probably get a fine + probation. You probably won't have to disclose this on job application forms if its a misdemeanor.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:39 PM
ALawPoker ALawPoker is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

Bah, sounds like you think this is more serious than I was hoping for. You don't think there's a reasonable chance I get the charge dismissed?
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:44 PM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

iron,

He asked the wrong question. The right question is what should the Commonwealth of Massachusetts do to him.
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:49 PM
iron81 iron81 is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

Yes, there's a reasonable chance, but you'll have to negotiate with the prosecutor. Judges don't like people who skip out on jury duty, it makes their job harder. You can try calling the prosecutor yourself if you know who he is, but I wouldn't try that unless I didn't have the money for a lawyer. My wild guess estimate for the attorney's fee if it's a relatively simple plea bargain is $500-$1000.

I wouldn't be shocked if you got a few days to a few weeks in the county jail over this if you go to trial, but I doubt a plea bargain will involve jail time.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:51 PM
bobman0330 bobman0330 is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

Get a lawyer, but don't plead! You're innocent if you permanently moved to NY.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:52 PM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

[ QUOTE ]
Get a lawyer, but don't plead! You're innocent if you permanently moved to NY.

[/ QUOTE ]

See his timeline.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:53 PM
Copernicus Copernicus is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

Start with a certified letter, return receipt requested, explaining the situation (without the mea culpas). you were a ft student, you didnt think you were obligated for jury duty, no longer a resident blah blah blah.

They may very well drop it without spending money on a lawyer. If nothing else the letter should stop the clock on any additional penalties.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:54 PM
iron81 iron81 is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

Since you're living out of state, you can probably blow this off as long as you don't mind never coming back to Massachusetts. They don't extradite people over misdemeanors.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:56 PM
XXXNoahXXX XXXNoahXXX is offline
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Default Re: HELP! (personal/low content)

[ QUOTE ]
Since you're living out of state, you can probably blow this off as long as you don't mind never coming back to Massachusetts. They don't extradite people over misdemeanors.

[/ QUOTE ]

OP,

I thought I remember you being in law school? Am I way off? Maybe its just the name...
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