What to Know Before Your First Jury Duty

So you have received a letter in the mail. You read it and grimace, finding out you have randomly been selected for jury duty. The normal jury service expected is two weeks worth. You should know getting out of jury duty is difficult, the only way out is a pre-planned vacation or surgery coming up. But those excuses can only work once, and you will have to eventually visit jury duty. You shouldn’t put it off, as this is your civic duty. Many people are unsure of the process of jury duty, so here is to expect before going in.

The first time going to jury duty can be intimidating. You will go through a security check, and placed in a jurors only room. At any given time there will a 100 or more people all waiting to be assigned to a trial. One of the typical tropes of jury duty in media is the long waits, and they are justified. You could be lucky and get placed on a trial early on the first day. But generally you should expect to wait at least a few hours, or even a few days. While waiting there isn’t much to do. Bringing that book you’ve been meaning to read can be time well spent.

Many people are worried about compensation for their time spent as jurors. There is compensation you can request. Things like transportation there can be covered. Cars, motorcycles, as well as bikes have a per mile rate. Public transportation is covered such as bus fare. In the United States jurors get compensated $50 dollars a day, and also get reimbursed for meals. If you are on salary, your employer isn’t required to pay while you are off serving your civic duty. But they can opt to pay salary. It is illegal for your employer to fire you for missing work due to jury duty.

Now the wait times and compensation have been discussed. What should you expect to be doing for a jury selection los angeles caGenerally you will fill out a questionnaire about some basic information about yourself. Some stuff include your age, occupation, and interests. This is to help make the jury fair, and unbiased in each case. Once you are determined to be a good match for a specific case you will be selected. If not you’ll be dismissed and wait for the next case. 

Now you that you are selected, the judge will speak to the jurors, and give them some simple instructions. Some things may include like taking notes. The judge will give you some other basic information about the trial, such as the expected length. The court case can go from a day or two, all the way to months. Once each side has given their case, the jury will be separated into a room and begin the deliberation. When trying to reach a verdict, the jury can use any life experience to draw from, but no outside sources. Once the decision has been made, the bailiff will be told, and the verdict will be shared. You have completed your civic jury duty.

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