AFTER one turns 18, they can be randomly selected to appear in court as a juror for mandatory jury duty.
Here's all you need to know about how to prepare and properly dress for the occasion.
What do you wear to jury duty?
Most courts have a dress code for jurors, and may be slightly different depending on the location.
In most courts there is a ban on clothing that is considered revealing, such as shorts or a mini-skirt.
Overtly casual clothing is also barred, which includes graphic t-shirts, tank tops, or open-toed shoes.
Hats or head coverings are not allowed unless they are in relation to religious purposes.
When dressing for jury duty, one should keep business casual in mind.
This can include button-up shirts, polos, or t-shirts with no graphic design or slogan.
If you want to wear jeans to court, make sure they have no rips or stains and are in good condition, preferably of a darker wash.
Skirts worn in court must fall right above or below the knee.
Failure to dress properly will get you sent home from jury duty, but the process cannot be avoided altogether. If you're sent home, you will just be called back at a later day.
What is jury duty?
Jury duty is the obligation to act as a member of a jury in court.
Jurors are selected at random, from lists of registered voters and people with driver's licenses.
Once randomly selected, a person is required to fill out a questionnaire to determine whether or not they are qualified for jury duty.
If qualified, people are chosen to be summoned to appear for jury duty.
Because of the randomization of jurors, a cross section of the community one is in is often represented and may include people of different races, genders, ages, and political affiliations.
When one is summoned, this does not automatically mean they will serve on the jury.
More questioning follows a summoning, and jurors are selected from the group to officially serve in the court.
If you know anybody involved in the case, have prior knowledge or information regarding the case, or have strong prejudices involving the case, you will more than likely be excused from jury duty by the judge.
What kind of cases require a jury?
There are two categories of cases that require a jury: criminal and civil.
A criminal trial occurs when an individual is accused of committing a crime against society.
Twelve people and alternates are called to make up a criminal jury. Before a defendant is found guilty or not guilty, an unanimous decision must be reached by the jurors.
In a criminal trial, it must be proven that the crime was committed "beyond a reasonable doubt."
In a civil trial, private wrong that don't have a broader social impact are tried.
A civil jury is made up of at least six people, and they must come to a unanimous decision at the end of the case.
The standard of proof is a “preponderance of the evidence,” or “more true than not.”
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