How to Get Out of Jury Duty if You Are a College Student – College students are typically exempt from jury duty, but it is possible that you could be called to serve in a case. If you’re called for jury duty, it can be easy to feel highly uncomfortable about the situation. But if you overcome your fear of public speaking, presenting your thoughts and evidence, and being on the stand as a witness or judge in a trial, starting right now could make your life easier. Preparing for this possibility can help put less pressure on you and give you more time to focus on being fully present during questioning.
When you learn that you are called to serve as a juror, it’s important to understand why you were selected for jury duty. Your state or local jury selection process will give you legal information and instructions about how your case will be run, but some jurors do not know that they have been selected until they arrive at the courthouse. If this is true for you, ask your jury coordinator if there were any reasons that were not disclosed to you. You may want to prepare yourself for what may come during your questioning or for cases in which it may seem as if some of the questions are inappropriate.
Getting called for jury duty is not always a pleasant experience, even for people who are otherwise law-abiding citizens. But if you’re a college student, you may be completely freaked out at the thought of having to take time away from your studies to answer questions that seem irrelevant in the real world.
How to Get Out of Jury Duty if You Are a College Student
Here are some of the ways to get out of jury duty if you are a college student:
1. Ask the judge for a deferral:
- If you have a class or exam the next day, it is reasonable to assume that your jury duty can wait for a couple of weeks.
- This will be hard to pull off, but if you are lucky enough to get an understanding judge, he or she may grant you the deferral.
2. Request an exemption:
- You may be qualified for exemption if you are not yet eligible to vote and do not reside in the county where your case will take place.
- Certain occupations also qualify people to be exempt from jury duty; they include teachers and healthcare providers (including doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists).
3. Accept the position of a juror with an extended term:
- If you have a demanding workload and would be more comfortable fulfilling your duty for an extended period of time, you may request to be placed on the extended duty list.
- A word of caution, though: Although there is no statutory limit to how long you can remain on an extended list, there is an ethical limit that says that those who have been on the list for very long periods of time should give up their spot if they are not selected during one or two terms.
4. Give up your status as a juror, which might come during class hours:
- There is no obligation to give up your status as a juror.
- If you are still not selected for one or more terms, you may request to be dropped from the duty roster.
- You should also think about giving up your status if you are in school, since the midnight phone call
5. If all else fails, avoid jury duty:
- If all else fails and you want to avoid jury duty altogether, there is no law that says that you have to serve on a jury.
- There are no criminal penalties for not serving on a jury, so you may simply decide to avoid it.
- You can use this as a bargaining chip, bribing the judge to drop all charges against you.
- Even if this option is not available to you, you should feel free to ask your attorney if they can speak with the judge on your behalf.
- Please note that if you decide after much thought and consideration to serve on a jury, there will be no do-overs during the process.
Advantages of Escaping Jury Duties
Fortunately, there are several good reasons why students shouldn’t hesitate to request an exemption from jury duty:
Absences will not be counted against you:
If you have a 90% average for the semester, then your professors are probably not going to care about a one-day absence from class. But if you have a poor attendance record, then it might seem like it’s best just to suck it up and try to make it to the courthouse on time. But unless the judge makes an issue of your absence (which would be unusual), the odds are that you’ll get away with a one-day absence without penalty. So make sure you try everything else first before taking this option!
You’ll need an excuse.
If you want to be excused from jury duty, there’s one important thing you need to do: you must have a really good excuse. You should have your excuse ready in advance, or you’re unlikely to get the exemption.
Being a college student is excellent grounds for requesting an exemption.
In most states, you are eligible for several exemptions from jury duty: being on active military duty (or being the spouse or child of a person on active duty), being in school, and even being self-employed are all strong excuses for why you should not have to attend jury duty. If you want to avoid jury duty, the best reason of all is being the parent or guardian of a minor child.
Now, you may be wondering why being a college student isn’t enough by itself. After all, your grades will probably be lousy if you have to miss class every day for a week. Well, it’s because most courts have strict rules about exemptions that make it difficult for students to avoid jury duty, no matter how good their excuse may be. In fact, many courts explicitly state that any student who has less than six months remaining in school is not eligible for the exemption they offer. If your student exemption is denied because your semester ends in six weeks, tough luck!
You need to give a good reason for your absence.
Most courts will ask you to provide the reason why you are not able to serve, and believe it or not, your motive is actually very important. The courts want to see that you’re taking your civic duty seriously, and they know that most people would be willing to make any sacrifice necessary in order to have a free day off from school. But if you try to get out of jury duty by saying that your grade will drop and then they find out you have an “A” average anyway, they are going to be angry. They might even choose a juror who didn’t ask for an exemption just so they can punish you for trying such a shallow trick.
If you are a college student, we recommend asking a professor to write a letter to the judge. Then gather the necessary documents (official photo identification) and meet your professor in person at the courthouse. Bring any important paperwork, such as lecture notes or textbooks, that the judge can review. And finally, be sure to dress professionally and arrive early! We hope this has been helpful!
Frequently asked questions
What is the best excuse for jury duty?
Excuse from Service
You have no means of transportation.
You would have to travel an excessive distance to the courthouse.
You have a physical or mental impairment.
You provide care for a dependent and cannot afford to have someone cover for you.
Serving would be an extreme financial burden.
Can college students get out of jury duty Texas?
EXEMPTIONS FROM JURY SERVICE
If you request, you will be excused from jury service if: You are more than 70 years of age. You have legal custody of a child under 12 years of age and jury service would leave the child unsupervised. You are a high school student or you are a college student actually attending classes.
How do you convince a jury?
Seven Principles Attorneys Should Follow to Persuade Juries
Credibility. Credibility is the one thing you cannot lose during your trial. …
Authority. It’s no news that you have to know your case backwards and forwards. …
Image Matters. …
Make it Easy.
At what age can you skip jury duty?
Exemptions from Jury Service (GOVT CODE §62.106): You over seventy (70) years of age. You have legal custody of a child/ children younger than 12 years of age and your jury service requires leaving the child/children without adequate supervision. You are a student of a public or private secondary school.
How many times can you reschedule jury duty?
If you cannot serve the week that you have been scheduled for jury duty, you are eligible to be rescheduled 1 time within 6 months of the date of your original summons. A new date will be emailed to you.
- www.txcourts.com – Juror Information and Services
- www.quora.com – How Do I get Out of Jury Duty as a Student
- www.piercecountry.com – How to get out Of Jury Duties