What If I Don’t Show Up For Jury Duty?

The United States judicial system ensures that every citizen has the right to a speedy trial by a jury of their peers. However, many people misunderstand what it means to have a “jury of one’s peers.” It doesn’t necessarily mean that the jury will be comprised of individuals who share the same race, gender, age, or socioeconomic status as the accused. Instead, it refers to a jury of fellow citizens who can make fair and unbiased judgments.

The process of jury selection begins by randomly choosing residents who may potentially serve as jurors. These potential jurors are then sent jury duty summonses that require them to appear at the courthouse on a specific date and time. Once at the courthouse, each potential juror is questioned by the judge, prosecution, and defense attorneys to determine if they can serve impartially.

If you are selected to serve on a jury, it is your duty as a US citizen to deliberate impartially and reach a fair verdict. However, what happens if you fail to show up for jury duty? It may be tempting to simply ignore your summons, but doing so can have serious consequences. Here’s what you need to know.

What Happens if You Ignore a Jury Summons?

The jury summons you receive in the mail is an official court document ordering you to appear for jury service. It is crucial to read the entire summons carefully, along with any accompanying letters or documents. Failure to do so is not a valid defense for missing jury duty.

See also  What Does Jj The Boss Do For A Living

Even if you discover that you have a valid reason not to serve on a jury, you must still respond to the summons. The contact information for the Court Clerk’s Office will be provided in the summons, along with instructions on how to respond.

If you fail to answer the summons or show up for jury duty, you could be held in contempt of court. This may result in a judge ordering you to appear at a hearing to explain your absence. Ignoring a jury summons can lead to hefty fines or even a jail sentence.

Who is Eligible for Jury Duty?

State courts compile a pool of potential jurors from a list of residents who are registered to vote and have a driver’s license or another form of state identification. In Georgia, for example, any state resident who meets the following criteria can serve on a jury:

  • US citizen
  • 18 years or older
  • Reside in the same county where the trial is taking place
  • Able to speak, read, and write in English
  • Mentally competent
  • Physically able to sit in a courtroom
  • Not a convicted felon without restored voting rights

Even if you meet these criteria, you may still be able to get out of jury duty if you can prove that you qualify for an exemption.

Can I Legally Get Out of Jury Duty?

If you have a valid reason, there are a few options for getting excused from jury duty.

Not required to report

Call the juror information line on your summons at the specified time, typically after 6:00 pm on the Friday before your designated reporting date. Listen carefully to the recorded message. If your juror number falls outside the specified range, you are excused from service, and you can discard your summons without any penalties.

See also  What Does It Mean To Dream You Get Shot

Excused from reporting

In Georgia, you may request to be excused from jury duty if you:

  • Are a full-time student currently enrolled in classes
  • Are the primary caregiver to a child age six or younger with no alternate childcare available
  • Are a primary teacher in a home study program with no alternate childcare available
  • Are the primary unpaid caregiver of a person who is unable to care for themselves (doctor’s note required)
  • Are 70 years old or older
  • Are on active military duty

Eligible to have your jury service postponed

You may ask to have your jury duty rescheduled if you:

  • Are ill
  • Are traveling for work or have a previously scheduled vacation
  • Have a medical procedure scheduled
  • Are involved in work necessary for public health, safety, or good order
  • Have another valid excuse

Call the court at least a week before your summons date to find out if your excuse is valid and how to submit your postponement request.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Receiving a jury summons today doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself in need of legal representation tomorrow. If you’re involved in a personal injury case, you’ll be grateful to know that the court provides your lawyer with a pool of jurors from which to choose.

If you have any concerns about the jury selection process or questions about taking your case to court, don’t hesitate to reach out to Zevin & Rosenbloum, P.C. They are experienced personal injury lawyers in Atlanta, with a long-standing history dating back to 1971. Request your free case evaluation today by visiting 5 WS.

See also  The Beginnings of Industrialization in the United States
The 5 Ws and H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information gathering or problem solving. 5ws.wiki will best answer all your questions

Related Posts

Daily Checklist for Forklift Safety: What You Need to Know

Daily Checklist for Forklift Safety: What You Need to Know

Forklift trucks are often considered the “heart” of manufacturing operations. It is crucial to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your forklift truck at all times….

What Does Chicago Think Of Leonid And Friends

Video what does chicago think of leonid and friends A Tale of Resilience: Leonid & Friends and the Ukrainian Crisis Vocalist Serge Tiagnyriadno, a member of the…

What Happens If You Lose a Car Accident Lawsuit

What Happens If You Lose a Car Accident Lawsuit

If you find yourself on the losing end of a car accident lawsuit, the consequences can be daunting. Not only will you be responsible for any damages…

What Time Does Costco Open For Executive Members

Costco Executive Membership is an exceptional choice for those interested in joining a warehouse club. It provides excellent value for the money, offering a range of perks…

Days of Our Lives: The Move to Peacock and What You Need to Know

Video what channel is days of our lives on at night If you’re a fan of the long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives and rely on…

“The Twists and Turns of I Know What You Did Last Summer Episode 6”

Survivors Navigate Danger in Cult Compound In the sixth episode of the thrilling series “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” the remaining members of the O.G….