Jury duty laws vary from state to state. Some states have fines and prison time for fraudulent excuses. Be prepared to backup your statements. To serve on a jury, you must be a citizen, speak English and not have been convicted of a felony within seven years. Here are the best legal ways to avoid jury duty:
Most of the time a prospective juror has the legal right to change the jury date. This is referred to as a postponement. You can request the jury date be postponed for up to 10 months from the date of the initial jury request. The date requested must be on a weekday and not on a legal holiday.
A person who is 70 years old is not required to serve jury duty, but may serve if they wish. Proof of age is required.
To get out of jury duty select a civic duty job, such as volunteer firemen, volunteer EMT workers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, and dentists. These are occupations which are exempt from jury duty.
Those who are responsible for the care of seniors or children. Be prepared to prove that your presence is necessary for the proper care of these individuals.
You must be physically and mentally able to perform jury duty. To get out of jury duty, have a documented physical or mental condition that would prevent you from serving as a juror. For example, a condition that prevents you from being able to sit for long periods of time.
Financial hardship: A business owner or other self employed person who would suffer financial hardship if physically absent from their employment can get out of jury duty. Proof to include income tax statements, and monthly financial records. Financial hardship also applies to others who can show why serving jury duty will be a financial burden. This is especially important to remember for court cases of longer duration and/or that may require travel. A few years back, I was summoned to appear 1 ½ hours away from my home as a possible juror in a grand jury with multiple defendants. I had to appear two different times, filled out lengthy prospective juror questionnaires, and was being interviewed by multiple lawyers and a judge. The trial was expected to last 2-3 months, during the winter months and potentially bad weather. This would mean either driving 3 hours a day or staying in a hotel for 2-3 months during the week to be available for jury duty. This would have been a financial hardship for many people.
When being interviewed as a juror, be honest. Listen to the details given about the case and defendant. If you have any knowledge about the case, strong opinions about the case or personal beliefs that would keep you from being fair and impartial, speak up. Judges and lawyers want a juror who can be totally nonbiased and deliver a fair and just verdict.