Receiving a jury summons can be an intimidating experience. However, there is no need to panic. Serving on this duty isn’t always the long, tedious, and costly affair that many TV shows and movies make it out to be. Jury duty usually only lasts for 2 or 3 days at the most, and many such experiences come to an end long before that. There’s no reason to think you’re going to be sequestered away for weeks on end, only to lose your job and benefits when you finally reappear. This is almost never the case in real life. But if you do want to avoid jury duty, there are ways you can go about it.
Do I Have to Go to Jury Duty?
A jury summons is binding. There are very few legitimate excuses to get out of jury duty. This means that the answer to the question, “Do I have to go to jury duty?” is, in most cases, yes. However, if you have a really good excuse that is approved by the court, you can get out of it. Read on for a few excellent hints and tips that will furnish you with excellent excuses to get out of jury duty if you absolutely feel the need to make use of them.
What Happens When You Miss Jury Duty
You may well be wondering what happens when you miss jury duty. According to the state you live in, any number of things – most of them punitive in nature- can occur. Missed jury duty can result in fines being imposed, the exact amount of which can range anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars. In some states, skipping jury duty can even result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. As can be seen, missed jury duty is an offense that the state takes very seriously. It’s a course of action that is not recommended.
How Does Jury Duty Work?
Considering what happens if you miss jury duty, you may as always get a feel for what you can expect. How does jury duty work? The answer is that you are for jury service via an official jury duty summons. This jury duty summons will require you to appear at the courthouse in order to be considered for jury duty on a particular case. If you are chosen for the task, you can consider yourself officially a part of the trial process. Getting out of jury duty will no longer be an option unless you can prove to the court beyond a shadow of a doubt that this will be a hardship for you.
How to Get Out of Jury Duty
If you really want to know how to get out of jury duty, the following helpful hints and tips will show you the way. Please keep in mind that all of these hints may not be useful in the particular state or jurisdiction you live in. In general, these tips on how to get out of jury duty are meant to aid people who have a legitimate reason to avoid serving on jury duty. If you do not have such a pressing reason, it’s not advisable for you to attempt to try any of these excuses for jury duty avoidance.
How to Get out of Jury Duty By Proving Economic Hardship
Perhaps the most effective method of how to get out of jury duty is to plead to the court that doing so will cause you to lose your livelihood. If the job you currently work at is your only means of support, you may not be willing or able to risk losing even a few days’ worth of income. The state of your finances may be such that even a single default payment on your home or car payment due to missed income may cause you to lose these valuable properties. As such, you can present the court with documented evidence of your weekly income in order to back up your request for an exemption.
How to Get Out of Jury Duty By Requesting a Change of Date
Another legitimate means of how to get out of jury duty involves requesting a change of date. There is a limit on how many times can you postpone jury duty, but a single one won’t cause any problems if approved. You need to show the court proof that you have a good excuse for sitting out this particular date. This may include needing to be out of town on official business or a family occasion, such as the funeral of a loved one. In most cases, this is not a permanent method of getting out of jury service, since it merely postpones the date that you must appear to serve.
Request That the Date Be Moved to December
If you really want to know how to get out of jury duty, you’ve got to a little creative thinking. If you have managed to obtain a postponement for your service, you can ask for a date where such service has a high chance of not panning out. One of the best methods of how to get out of jury duty involves requesting that the date for your service be moved to December. This is the traditional month when court dates are moved, delayed, or sometimes even canceled altogether. This way, you will still have the official status of obeying the summons, even if you never actually get called.
How to Get Out of Jury Duty By Being Too Smart
Sometimes, the best method of how to get out of jury duty consists of simply showing up for the summons and being yourself. If you make a casual show of your intelligence, some lawyers will interpret this as a sign that you are simply too smart to be pliable. In other words, they won’t be able to use fancy words and logistical chicanery to sway your judgment in the direction they want it to go. While this will not work in all cases, sometimes the best method of how to get out of jury duty is to simply be “too cool for school.”
How to Get Out of Jury Duty By Being Too Dumb
Of course, there is also another way to avoid having to serve on a jury. You can show up and play dumb. Avoid questions by fidgeting with your glasses or cell phone the entire time. Ask the lawyer to endlessly repeat or simplify questions. Let it be known that you don’t have much of a mind for complex questions of legal maneuvers. While you don’t have to overdo – no one wants to come off in public as a complete cretin – you can easily convince the lawyer that you are not a desirable member of a potential jury.
Can a Lost Jury Summons Get You Off the Hook?
What happens if you miss jury duty due to a lost jury summons? Will this get you off the hook? To make successful use of this particular excuse, you will have to prove that you never received your summons in the first place. This is not as easy as it sounds, as such documents are duly registered and tracked by the court that issues them. If you’re going to use this as an excuse, you had better be earnest about it. If it is proved that you are simply making it up as your personal method of how to get out of jury duty, you will be subject to serious criminal charges, including perjury.
How Many Times Can You Postpone Jury Duty
You may be wondering just how many times you can postpone jury duty. The answer will vary according to the state that you live in. In most cases, you will be granted an exemption for two or three occasions, meaning that sometime in the future you will probably be mandated to appear. However, if you can prove that the nature of your excuses to get out of jury duty means that your inability to serve will be permanent, you may be granted a lifetime exemption. Again, this will depend on the state that you live in as well as the validity of your excuses for jury duty avoidance.
How Can You Get an Official Jury Duty Postponement?
The only way that you can get a jury duty postponement is to contact the court directly and request one. At the time you make your application for such a move, you will need to provide proof that serving on a jury will lead to loss of income or other personal hardships that disqualify you from such a duty. Your reasons will have to be legitimate and your evidence will need to be compelling. Once again, if your request for a postponement is found to be fraudulent, you may find yourself facing charges.
There’s No Need to Worry About Serving on a Jury?
In the end, worrying about how to get out of jury duty is probably not worth the time and trouble. Coming up with excuses to get out of jury duty may be a fun exercise. However, actually skipping jury duty carries serious consequences in its wake. If you’re going to try getting out of jury duty, you’d better have an excellent reason to back it up. It’s probably better to just relax, make the most of your new experience, and chalk it all up as one of the duties you are called upon to perform as a citizen of these great United States.