One of the biggest ways the United States differs from other countries is jury service. In our system of justice, ordinary citizens serve on juries hearing the cases and making decisions. This principle was so important to the Founding Fathers, they recorded it in the constitution. Below is an explanation of how jury service works.
Types of Cases
There are two basic types of cases that require jurors to serve. First, there are criminal cases. While not every criminal case involves a jury, serious ones usually do. These include murders, robberies, and other types of violent crimes. In most jurisdictions, a criminal defendant is guaranteed a trial by jury if the charge is a felony.
Civil cases are the other types of cases that usually involve jury service. Most civil cases involved business dispute. Civil cases include personal injury claim.
How Do I Get Notified?
In most jurisdictions, a juror receives a card in the mail instructing them when and where to appear. This is a Summons. It is an order by a judge requiring you to appear on that date and time.
While every jurisdiction is different, most follow the "one day, one service" rule. This means that you are called to serve on jury duty on one particular day. If you are not on a jury by the end of that day, your service is done. If you are called to be on a jury, you must serve until the end of that case.
What If I Miss Jury Service?
Missing jury service can have serious consequences. Some jurisdictions impose fines and, in rare cases, judges can issue warrants for your arrest. Most of the time, if you miss a jury service, you will get a call or another Summons in the mail instructing you to appear on a different day.
If you know you are going to be unable to attend jury service, it is always best to call ahead of time and let the court know. Keep records on who you talk to and when so that if you are called again you can explain what happened.
Jury service is one of the most important differences that separates the United States from every other country in the world. As a judge once said, "We are only called to serve our country 2 times: 1 if we are drafted into a war and 2 for jury service. Both are high honors."
At Dixon Law Office, our attorneys go to trial in front of juries all the time. This significant experience representing victims in serious crashes and help those victims get the compensation our system of justice says they deserve. If you are a loved one has suffered serious injuries or has died as a result of the fault of someone else, Dixon Law Office can help. Call (888) 354-9880 or go to www.attorneysmakingitright.com today.
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