How To Get on a Jury

It’s important to serve on a jury and have a civil right.It can be fun, educational, entertaining, and meaningful.Civil and criminal matters are decided by randomly selected jurors.You can’t guarantee your seat on a jury, but you can try to maximize your chances of being selected.

Step 1: You should be legally qualified to serve.

You cannot serve on a jury if you don’t meet certain criteria.To serve, you must be a United States citizen, at least 18 years old, proficient in English, and mentally competent, unless your civil rights have already been restored.

Step 2: You should make sure you are not exempt.

Some groups are not allowed to serve on a jury because it would interfere with their employment.The exempt groups include active duty armed forces members, Professional firefighters, Police officers, and Federal, state, or local public officials who work full-time in that position.

Step 3: You should get on the right lists.

The government keeps lists of jurors.Records from the Department of Motor Vehicle and the Secretary of State’s records are the two most used lists.To maximize your chances of being selected to serve on a jury, register to vote and get a driver’s license or state ID card.

Step 4: You must attend your jury service date.

When summoned for jury duty, the first thing to do is attend.Arrive early to the location indicated on your jury duty summons and dress well.By dressing well, you will show the court that you care about jury service.

Step 5: Have some time to yourself.

Potential jurors can be excused if serving would be an unreasonable hardship.Teachers and students who need to miss class are often excused.There are temporary scheduling conflicts that can cause some jurors to be excused or rescheduled.After many of your fellows have been excused, you’ll remain in the jury pool if you have time to serve.Similar pools of potential jurors are used to pick grand juries and trial juries.Since grand jurors sit for a long time, they are more likely to be composed of retired people.

Step 6: Understand how jurors are chosen.

voir dire is the process by which the attorneys on both sides pick jurors from the jury pool and dismiss the others.In civil cases, the prosecution and defense will take turns asking questions to the jury.The attorneys will take turns excusing the members of the jury pool who they don’t want on the final jury based on how potential jurors answer.

Step 7: Be fair.

Attorneys will be looking for biases or impartiality among potential jurors during jury selection.Potential jurors are likely to be excused if they seem like they might be biased against the defendants.downplay your biases to maximize your chances.If you have a close friend or relative in law enforcement, the defense may assume that you are pro-law enforcement and prejudice you against the defendants.You are likely to be excused by the defense for that.

Step 8: You can watch your body language.

During jury selection, attorneys will look at how you are sitting.Some jurors fold their arms when listening to something they don’t agree with, or nod along with statements they do.Don’t use gestures or expressions to communicate your opinions.

Step 9: A neutral internet presence is maintained.

Attorneys try to learn more about jurors through online searches.If an attorney searches for you, he or she will look at your opinions and lifestyle to see how they compare to the interests of his or her client.If you limit the amount of political or religious messages you share publicly and hide any photos that you don’t want your employer to see, you can appear more nondescript and neutral online.