First Time Juror: What You Need To Know

Congratulations! You have received your first jury duty summons! Serving on a jury is a very important part of your citizenship, and it comes with many important duties. Here are some things you will need to know once you have been summoned for jury duty.

Do You Have to Attend?

If you have received a jury subpoena, you are legally required to attend. You should want to attend jury duty, especially if it is your first time.

It is important for all citizens of this country to understand how the court system works. You also will have a hand in making a major legal decision, which is crucial for everyone to experience.

What if You Do Not Show Up for Jury Duty?

A jury summons is an official court order. If you fail to attend at the time and date requested, you could end up having to deal with some severe consequences. You can be ordered to pay fines up to four figures and also go to jail.

Although these punishments seem brutal, it is essential. Jury duty is required of every citizen of the United States, so it is a significant problem if too many people do not report to jury duty as required. The punishments have to be served to prevent people from not appearing when summoned.

What Happens When the Timing is Bad for Jury Duty?

There are times when jury duty service is required at a time that is not good for you. Many counties will let you postpone your jury duty service in certain circumstances.

For instance, if you are a college student who is required to attend classes, you may need to postpone your service until you are out on break or when you have finished school.

To postpone your jury duty service, most counties require you to submit your request in writing stating why you cannot serve at that time. The judge will evaluate each request and make a determination whether or not you are excused from jury duty.

What Do You Need to Bring with You?

When you report for jury selection, you need to bring the summons you received in the mail. Dress nicely, and bring along a book or something you can do because there will be periods where there is nothing going on.

Also, check your county's rules for cell phones. Many will not be allowed in the courtroom. If your county does allow them, be sure to turn it to silent as soon as you enter.