Avoiding Jury Duty
How can you avoid jury duty? What should you know about jury duty before you report?
Jury duty can be a trying time for those who are summoned to court. You've got to put aside work and family obligations in order to perform this civic duty. When you are required to go to jury duty, there is little for sure. You don't know how long you'll be required to appear in court, you don't know what type of trial you're being summoned to, and you don't know what type of person they're looking for to be jurors.
What do you need to know when you're called to be a juror?
You can ask any question you want. You can ask how long you'll have to be there, which days you'll be expected to appear, and whether you'll be sequestered. The sequestering process many times means you're separated from your family, friends, co-workers, and media for days or even weeks. A sequestered jury is often put up in hotel rooms and supervised by a representative of the court. If you are planning a long-term project for work or a family vacation, you can ask the court to allow you to do those things. Judges are often considerate of those types of things, when they can be.
Who are the best jurors?
Generally attorneys are looking for a couple of people who are leaders of the group. They want a couple of people who have strong associations with their church, liberal rights groups, or a minority. The rest of the jurors they want people who are followers. The hope is that a couple of people will make the decision and the rest will go along with what the leaders of the group think.
How do you get dismissed from jury duty?
Attorneys typically look for several signs when choosing who should be dismissed from jury duty. They don't want people who have strong opinions about the defendant. They don't want people who appear not to want to be in court. They also don't want people who appear to have something to hide. Signs that someone has something to hide for attorneys include those who wear sunglasses to court, those who answer questions with brief responses, and those who's body language indicates such.