What Is Jury Duty? Is It Mandatory To Go For Jury Duty?

U.S. citizens who get a summons from a court to appear on a specific day and time to possibly serve on a juror’s panel have a duty termed as jury duty.

Jury duty is considered a civil responsibility, and failure to appear for jury duty without an approved exemption may result in a fine or imprisonment for contempt of court.  Your absence from jury duty is considered illegal, and for this reason, your personal presence before the court is mandatory. 

What Is The Meaning Of Jury Duty? 

Jury duty refers to a U.S. citizen’s duty to appear before the state and serve as a juror if requested to do so. When you are selected as a potential candidate for the juror designation, you are called to a selection process at a specific date, place, and time.

You are asked to fill in a particular questionnaire before appearing in the selection process. It may also happen that before your selection round, a court case has already been settled. You will be informed in this case and won’t be required to participate in any jury or selection processes. 

Who Is Called For Jury Duty?

Any Person Who Meets The Following Criteria Can Be Called For Jury Duty. 

  • The person who holds the citizenship of United States and who is 18 years or above
  • Living within the geographical boundaries where the jurisdiction of the court is applied
  • Know the English language fluently
  • be of sound mind
  • A good person against whom no charges have been filed in his entire life. 

If a person meets all the requirements stated above, he can be called for jury duty once a year or even more than once every following year. However, a person can lose his right to appear on jury duty if he commits any crime or breaks any law. However, it will be restored after seven years of conviction. 

You Must Serve On The Jury, Is That Required? 

Yes, if you are called for jury duty, then it is completely mandatory for you to be present for the same. 

What Is Jury Duty? Is It Mandatory To Go For Jury Duty?

If you are an employee and at the same time you are called for jury duty, then federal law protects your rights and allows you to go ahead with jury duty. The federal law states that if you are asked to be present for jury duty during your employment, your employer has to provide you with sufficient leave to attend the jury duty, and when you return to the job, the place should be available to you.

No one can take your place. In addition to this, if you are on jury duty during the course of your employment, your employer will not give you any pay. Instead, you will get the pay of a juror. 

Two Major Possible Consequences That May Happen If You Fail To Appear For Jury Duty

Missing Jury Duty Without Any Valid Reason May Lead To Serious Consequences. Generally, It Depends On Two Factors:

  1. The state in which you are living. This is due to the fact that certain states have light fines for doing so, whereas others have very punitive sanctions.
  2. The judge before whom you are appearing. Your penalty or punishment depends entirely on the judge. He may give you the easiest or the worst penalty. 

Can I Get Out Of Jury Duty? 

Yes, one can get out of jury duty by putting in a statement or excuse that presents a genuine reason for their inability to attend court. Such excuses include the excuse that you are in a different country and unable to be present for jury duty; you are physically suffering or hospitalized; there is any mental or physical disability; and many more.

In this kind of circumstance, you must provide a verified explanation for your excuse. If the proof is valid, then you need not be present for any jury duty. 

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