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Can I Get Out Of Jury Duty If I'm In College?

Can I Get out Of Jury Duty If I'm In College?

It is a great thing to respond to the call of duty and if the call is something linked to the sustenance of the national justice system, you are not only duty-bound but there is a sense of pride too in the performance of such duties.

However, let us face, there are sometimes when jury duty might clash with certain important priorities currently going on in your life. These priorities could include college education during which you already feel bogged down by the pressures of intense courseware, assignments, homework, and more.

At this time, attending to jury duty could not only be difficult but also a hindrance. Can I get out of jury duty if I'm in college? Or can I get out of jury duty if I'm a student? Yes, you can. But, you need a court approval after you go through a legal process asking for approval to be excused from jury duty. Do not try to wriggle out without following the approved due process; ignoring a jury summons could lead to up 2 years' incarceration.

Moreover, such nationally sensitive aspects of your life could be recorded and come back to haunt you during vulnerable times. For example, if later in your life you choose to stand for public office, it would be quite easy for someone to dig up your past and find this record of avoiding jury duty. This can really, really be unpleasant for you.

While my above example may be far-fetched (or need not be at all if you are ambitious enough and your convictions of doing good for the country from a public office are strong enough), yet jury duty should not be taken lightly. Yes, it might seem a little inconvenient to do jury duty while you are in college or during your student days, but do not ignore the summons.

Respond prudently and ask for an exemption and/or postponement as per reasons allowed in our constitution.

Some tips to help you get out of jury duty

Request for a different date – The jury selection process is a random computerized one. If your name comes in the list, you get the notice of jury duty automatically to your registered address along with a jury form. On this form, you can mark your need for special accommodation and state with reasons why you cannot attend jury on the said dates. You could use any valid reason including the following:

  • Sickness

  • Going out of town

  • Studying for bar license

  • Wanting to join the military

  • You have already served jury duty in the last 3 years

Any valid reason will help automatically postpone your next jury call by at least one year. Don't feel shy to use your children (only if you have) as a valid reason too.

Specifically, ask for a date in December – There is a high likelihood of cases being delayed or moved further during this month. Chances that you may never get called in are quite high. And you have loyally fulfilled your civic duty.

Prove that you are economically in a very bad situation and you cannot afford to quit your job – Obviously, this reason can be used only by those who are working and attending college simultaneously. However, caution is advised when you use this excuse. Unless you clearly believe that not being able to work during jury duty can really pose financial hurdles for you, do not count on the judges hearing your case to accept your plea.

Yet if you do wish to apply under this category, you must come with your comprehensive financial statements and holdings, proof of wages and employment, and the tax details of the previous year on the first day of jury duty. If the judge thinks there is a valid case in your argument, you will be let off from jury duty. You would have lost only one day of college.

Instead of giving an alternative preference for a later date, give one for an earlier date – What happens in such cases is that most lawyers would have already completed their jury list for the days closer to the current time. When your early date preference is now incorporated into this already set and closed listings, your name automatically moves to the last on the list. This fortunate turn of events could result in a highly probable chance of you never get called for jury duty.

Ask for a rescheduling of your jury duty to the next break you have in college – You can easily request for the jury duty to be rescheduled during your spring/winter/summer break. Most jury commissioners are reasonable and will easily make allowances for students. You can say that you are ready to work hard to make up for missed student work, but making up missed lectures/class lessons is not easy.

Some states will accept a medical reason as strong enough cause for allowing rescheduling of jury duty – In some states, such as California, trials could be of long duration; sometimes stretching 10-20 days. In such cases, the judges do give options for jurors to be excused if the reason is health-related. In fact, when you are excused for a medical reason, you are deemed to have completed jury service and you will get a certificate to this effect. However, if your reason is checked and it comes out that you lied, then it will be considered as a felony and you could face a jail term for up to 20 days. Do not ever lie in such cases. But, do be aware that medical reasons are accepted for rescheduling of jury duty.

Another way to get out of jury duty is working out ways to get dismissed – Before I tell you more about this, please remember an important point. There are many ways you can answer questions such that you come across as being biased and hence can be rejected for jury duty in any case. However, please do remember that it is both illegal and immoral to say something simply to be dismissed. Do not use these reasons unless you truly believe in them.

Argue that you are unable to maintain an objective outlook for this particular trial –Here a few examples of questions that you can pose during the jury interview which reflect your prejudices and which can get you dismissed:

  • I am a little unclear about the concept of "beyond reasonable doubt."

  • I believe that a large number of people who are arrested for crimes are actually guilty. How can I pretend to think that the accused is innocent till the trial is over?

  • Police officers are, in my opinion, better observers than the average citizen. This is because they are trained in that arena. Moreover, I think that all police officers are more moral than the average citizen because otherwise they would not have been recruited by the state.

  • How can I believe the defendant is innocent if he or she does not have the courage to get up on the stand and claim his or her innocence?

  • I don't believe our system works well. I have been victimized before and the culprit is still at large.

  • The defendant looks so much like my daughter. And my daughter seems to have similar problems.

Display a stubborn streak or show off your intelligence – Present yourself in the courtroom like as you know everything. This high-strung attitude is normally disliked by many lawyers and chances that you get dismissed are high.

Final Notes

So, to reiterate, the answers to your questions such as, "Can I get out of jury duty if I'm in college? Or "can I get out of jury duty if I'm a student?" are yes, maybe you can. You HAVE to respond to the jury summons. When you are filling up the jury form, then at the appropriate place, you can ask or request for a postponement or rescheduling of your jury duty for a more convenient time.

Just to give you a perspective, you will probably be called for jury duty twice or thrice in your lifetime and there high chances that you many not serve at all. However, you are duty bound to respond appropriately to the summons; DO NOT ignore it; it will only serve to cause you needless harm in the future.

And when in times of stress driven by multiple such factors, do not hesitate to contact us at Prescott Papers. Our experts will help you by delivering custom essays, homework, and more. This will help you manage your time better and also will help lower the stress levels in your life.

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