Anderson Injury Lawyers | June 16, 2023 | Personal Injury
Jury duty is one of the most important obligations that US citizens must fulfill for their country. However, just because it is important doesn’t mean everyone wants to do it. If you’re hoping to avoid jury duty, you need a legal excuse to do so. Several exemptions will allow you to avoid serving on a jury.
Do You Need an Excuse or Deferment?
The first question you should ask is whether you need to be excused from jury duty or whether you just need a deferment.
Many people are more than happy to do their civic duty but can’t easily attend when they are summoned.
If that describes your situation, you can request a deferment. Once you have received a summons from the Dallas County court, you can request postponement using the online portal.
Fill out the form using information from your jury summons. Typically, the court will respect a request for deferment and let you pick from a short list of alternate dates. This ensures you are summoned at a time convenient to you and that the court gets a potential juror.
A Jury Summons Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You Will Be Placed on a Jury
The majority of people summoned never actually sit on a jury. When you respond to a summons, you will be put into a pool of potential jurors. Those are the people who can be selected for a jury.
However, individual jurors are only chosen after voir dire. This is when lawyers try to determine whether you can offer a fair opinion in the case. There are plenty of reasons you might not be chosen during this process.
For example, if you know someone in the case, you would be stricken from the jury due to a conflict of interest. Similarly, if you were recently a victim in a car accident, the court may decide that you could be biased when faced with a similar case.
Getting Excused from Jury Service in Dallas, TX
Though a summons doesn’t ensure that you will be chosen for a jury, you may still prefer not to take your chances. In this case, you need to be exempted by the court.
You can be excused if:
- You are older than 70 years
- Doing jury duty would leave young children without supervision
- You are currently a student
- You are part of the legislative branch of Texas
- You have served on a jury in the past three years (due to the size of Dallas)
- You are an active member of the military serving outside the county
- You have a disability that would prevent you from performing your duty
- You can’t read, write, or understand English
- You have previously been convicted of a felony
- You aren’t a resident of Texas or Dallas County
While these cover most of the automatic exemptions, you can also receive an exemption by directly petitioning a judge. These are granted only for the most extenuating circumstances.
Ask for an Exemption, but Never Skip Your Jury Service
If you wish to avoid jury duty, that is your right. There are several legitimate reasons to be excused, and a judge might exempt you for specific circumstances that apply only to you. But if you don’t qualify, the one thing you should never do is skip. This could result in criminal liability, which isn’t worth the hassle.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Texas
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and need legal help, contact our personal injury lawyers at Anderson Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve Tarrant County, Dallas County, and throughout Texas.