Let’s just be honest, nobody ever plans on having jury duty, but it’s part of our criminal justice system and needs to be taken seriously. We’re all living busy lives and sometimes we feel like we “don’t have time” for jury duty, but when we’re called to perform the service, we need to step up. But can you actually get in trouble for skipping jury duty? Let’s dive a little deeper into the topic and potential consequences in the state of Texas if you decide to skip jury duty. 

Obviously, I am not a lawyer, so I had to do some research online and found some great information on the topic thanks to The Texas Trial Attorney. As I read through some of the information they shared online I quickly understood how important it is to be present when you’re called for jury duty. If you decide to skip it you could be facing fines and even jail time. 

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Certain Criteria to Meet if Called for Jury Duty 

There are some requirements that you must meet to be eligible to serve as a juror. 

  • You must be 18 years old 
  • You must be a US citizen 
  • You must be a resident of the county and state in which you serve 
  • You must have good character and a clear head when serving on a jury 
  • You must be able to read and write 
  • You can’t have been called for another jury for more than 6 days in the past 3 months for county court or 6 months for district court 
  • You cannot be convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor theft charge 

What Can Help You Opt Out of Jury Duty 

You cannot serve on a jury in Texas if any of these apply to you 

  • If you’re over the age of 70 
  • If you’re enrolled in secondary education or institute of higher learning 
  • Have a child under the age of 12 and cannot find child care 
  • If you’re the caretaker for someone unable to care for themselves 
  • If you’re employed by the Legislative Branch of the US Government 
  • If you’re an active US Military member currently serving 
  • If you’ve served on a jury in the past 24 months in a county of at least 200,000 people and 36 months in a county over 250,000. 

Consequences for Skipping Jury Duty 

You can absolutely get jury duty rescheduled. If you decide to skip jury duty there are serious consequences including a fine between $100 and $1,000. You could also spend time in jail between 3 days all the way up to 6 months.  

Let this be your warning to take jury duty seriously and never just skip your duty as a US citizen. 

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