Jury duty is a valuable civic duty, but serving on a jury can take weeks and force you to miss time from work. Worsening matters is the fact that most jurisdictions won’t reimburse you for jury duty time, aside from lunch stipends. If your employer doesn’t compensate you for your time away, you may be forced to use sick time or go without pay altogether.

The Lone Star State has laws in place about everything from vehicle inspections to child car seat usage, and that includes jury duty. As such, if you want to learn how to get out of jury service, you need to learn about Texas jury duty laws. 

The Juror Selection Process

Texas’s juror selection process is relatively straightforward. First, you will receive a summons and may have to answer a questionnaire. Getting a summons doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to serve on a jury, but it does mean you are eligible. 

Once you get your summons, you can ask to be excused or exempted. If you don’t file either request and your group gets selected, you’ll have to attend a jury screening process at the county courthouse, during which both parties’ attorneys and the judge can ask you various questions to ensure you are qualified to serve and not biased. 

If one party has concerns about your ability to be fair and unbiased, they can challenge your eligibility. Once both parties have used up their allotted challenges, the remaining people will be placed into a jury, which usually includes four alternates. 

Getting Out of Jury Duty

Texas law provides certain statutory exemptions that excuse people from jury duty. These include the following individuals:

  • Active-duty military personnel
  • Elected government officials
  • Student attending classes
  • The primary caregiver of a non-self-sufficient child or adult
  • Those over 70 years of age
  • Those who have recently served on a jury (i.e., within the past 24 months)

If you fall into any of these categories, you can request an exemption from jury duty. However, you must manually claim these exemptions after receiving a summons, as they are not automatically applied. 

How To Avoid Jury Duty Altogether

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to avoid jury duty altogether, even if you aren’t eligible for one of the aforementioned exemptions. You can request to be excused for any of the following reasons:

  • Significant hardship or extreme inconvenience
  • Health issues or disabilities
  • Public necessity 
  • Other reasonable excuses, as determined by the court

If you believe you have a valid reason for being excused that doesn’t fall under statutory exemptions, you can write to the court explaining your situation. Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide whether your excuse is legitimate or not.

Some grounds for exemption may not be apparent until you arrive for selection. For instance, suppose that one of your loved ones was recently involved in a car accident with civil and criminal implications. 

If, during selection, you were to find out that the party being tried is the at-fault driver responsible for your loved one’s injuries, you could request (and likely receive) an exemption.

Be Diligent About Jury Duty

Whether you plan on trying to get out of jury duty or look forward to fulfilling your civic duty, make sure to keep up with the dates listed on your summons and be honest when filing for an exemption or submitting a request to be excused. Remember, jury duty is not just an obligation; it is a privilege that upholds the foundation of our legal system.

Contact the Laredo Personal Injury Lawyers at Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured in an accident in Laredo, TX, and need legal help, contact our Laredo personal injury attorneys at Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.

Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers
6557 Metro Court, Suite 1 Laredo, TX 78041
(956) 529-7336

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