Is It Possible to Get Out of Jury Duty in Clearwater?

Serving on a jury can be a hassle. While employers are required to excuse you from work if you are selected as a juror, some employers will not pay you for the time you miss. Additionally, as a juror, you will be sitting close to strangers for hours each day and then expected to deliberate with them to reach a verdict.

It is no wonder that when the notice of jury duty comes in the mail, many people try to find a way to avoid serving. However, only the court can formally excuse you from serving on a jury.

Do Not Ignore a Clearwater Jury Duty Notice

Whatever you do, do not ignore and fail to respond to a notice for jury duty. While you may not face immediate consequences, some courts may place your name at the top of the list the next time a jury needs to be summoned. 

Although it is rare, a court could find you in contempt and fine you or order you to jail for disregarding your jury duty notice.

Notices that you have been summoned for jury duty are court orders. There can be consequences if you fail to show up. In extreme cases, a court may order that you be arrested and brought to court or detained pending a contempt hearing.

Reasons Why You May Be Excused from Jury Service

If you receive a notice that you have been selected for jury service, there are reasons why the court may excuse you from service

You should inform the court of your reasons for seeking an excuse as soon as possible. Unless the court tells you otherwise, you should still show up for jury service at the date and time shown on your notice.

Physical Excuses and Language Barriers

If you have a medical condition that prevents you from leaving your home or from doing the work of a juror, you might be excused from service. Similarly, if you provide care for someone with a medical condition that requires your constant attention, you could be released from having to serve. 

In either case, be prepared to provide supporting documentation if requested by the court.

Additionally, if you cannot adequately understand English or have vision or hearing troubles, the court may excuse you from serving on the jury. Even so, you should still appear for jury service unless the court tells you otherwise.

Scheduling Conflicts

People plan vacations months in advance. Some of these plans can be difficult or expensive to change. The same can be said of surgical procedures. Fortunately, most Florida courts are sensitive to these issues and will work with potential jurors whose other commitments conflict with jury service.

In most cases, a scheduling conflict will not entirely excuse you from jury duty. Instead, you can ask for a postponement through the Pinellas County Clerk of Court website. 

Prior Knowledge and Prejudices

Finally, while not sufficient to keep you from showing up for jury service, having prior knowledge of a case like a car accident or holding to certain prejudices may result in you not being selected as a juror. If you are not able to keep an open mind to the facts of a case or cannot be fair for one reason or another, you may be excused from service.

Remember, though, that there can be negative consequences for providing false information to the court. You should never lie to the court about prior knowledge of a case or about prejudices you hold.

Final Thoughts on Jury Service

Even though it is inconvenient, many individuals find jury service to be enlightening and rewarding. Nonetheless, if you do have physical, scheduling, or other reasons why you should not serve, you should inform the court as soon as possible and follow the court’s directions.

Contact the Pinellas County Personal Injury Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg personal injury law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States
(727) 796-8282

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
(727) 349-1728