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This blogger is going to admit that, while she has never seen an actual episode of Jersey Shore, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro's recent stint in a New Jersey courtroom proves that the show has a purpose beyond instructionals on how to gym, tan, laundry. Its cast is constantly providing a barrage of legal lessons.
Ronnie spent part of Valentine's Day in court, where he pled not guilty to a charge of aggravated assault stemming from a fight that occurred outside a nightclub during the show's first season. The fight involved Stephen Izzo, who was allegedly punched in the face and knocked unconscious. For those who are big Jersey Shore/Ronnie fans, this was also the fight that put the DVD of the show's first season in jeopardy. It was apparently a big deal.
Though polite and punctual on Jersey Shore, Ronnie failed to bring his manners to court. Slated to see the judge at 9 a.m., he and his lawyer failed to appear in the courtroom. Superior Court Judge Stephanie M. Wauters was on the verge of issuing a bench warrant for his arrest when the pair walked in, reports USA Today. Apparently the two were outside "conferring" about the case. The judge didn't care, reports the paper, telling Ronnie that the proceedings were serious and deserved respect.
So, what's the lesson here? Well, besides the fact that aggravated assault can land you in prison for up to five years in New Jersey?
If you don't show up on time to your court date, the judge may issue a bench warrant. This means that once a police officer locates you, you will be placed under formal arrest. Bench warrants also may mean higher bail amounts, forfeited bail, or being held until trial. Being on-time to court is clearly essential.