Preparing for Jury Duty

Cartoon judge

Preparing for Jury Duty

At some point in time, you will receive an official-looking envelope in the mail with your name on it. Seeing this may fill you with worry or anxiety, but have no fear. Jury duty is a normal part of being an American Citizen. If you have been accused of a crime, it is your inalienable right, as an American Citizen, to stand in front of a jury, rather than a judge, to defend yourself. With this right, however, comes the duty to serve as a juror when you are called upon to do so.

You Absolutely Must Appear at Court

A summons to appear for jury duty is not a suggestion or a request. It is a requirement. There are viable excuses to miss jury duty, but they are infrequently granted. However infrequent, you may still request to be excused. To do so your request must be supplied in writing accompanied with any relevant documentation. If you are able to show that jury service would have a substantially adverse impact on your ability to live your everyday life then your request may be granted.

What to Expect

When appearing for jury duty, it is suggested that you show up in formal business attire. Although formal business attire is not required, it is best to be safe. If it is deemed that you are dressed inappropriately, you may be asked to return home and change. This is not an excuse to avoid jury duty because you will be required to return. Normally, courts will compensate jurors for travel. If you are sent home to change, you will not be compensated for additional travel.

Some jurors will not be selected to serve on the actual trial. If you are, you will have to participate for the entire duration of the trial. The average trail length is 2-7 days. Also be aware that when you serving on a jury, you are prohibited from discussing the case with anyone, including friends and family members. If the case that you are serving on is newsworthy, you may even be asked to refrain from watching or reading the newspaper. Please reach out to us at Van Norman Law if you have any questions about jury duty.