Jury Duty in Arizona 101
Just when you least expect it, you might get that dreaded notice in the mail that you have to appear for jury duty. Well, for some, the notice is not dreaded. Some get excited at the possibility of serving in a trial “Law and Order” style. But most don’t like the idea of having to take a few days off work to sit in court in an Avondale criminal defense case for long hours while they listen to dry points of law.
Unfortunately, if you are called to serve, chances are you won’t have much choice about it. Here’s what you need to know about jury duty in Arizona:
Who Must Serve
Every person over the age of 18 is eligible to serve jury duty in Arizona, and every person who is chosen must serve. Failure to show up for jury duty when called could result in fines and other penalties.
Some people can be excused from jury duty under certain circumstances. Possible reasons to be excused from jury duty include:
- Physical or mental disability. The person must present a note from a doctor explaining how the disability would preclude the person serving jury duty.
- Serious illness or medical condition.
- Being responsible for providing the “actual and necessary” care of another person, such as caring for an ill relative.
- Serious financial burden. If the person would not be able to pay for daily living expenses as a result of serving jury duty, the person may be able to be excused.
- The inability to read or understand English.
- Being outside of the jurisdiction at the time of the summons. For example, those who are working overseas may be excused from jury duty if they are called.
- Actively serving in the military.
- Being at least 75 years of age.
A computer program randomly selects who must serve jury duty. That means that some people may get called more frequently, while others may never get called at all.
Those who have a permanent physical or mental disability that would prevent them from serving jury duty can request that their names are removed from the database used for this selection process. Those who are 75 years or older may also ask to be permanently removed from the system.
When potential jurors show up for service, they will need to answer questions to identify potential biases in a case. Those who are selected to serve on a jury panel will need to remain for the full trial, which may take three to five days on average. Those who are not selected are dismissed after the first day, and their obligation is considered fulfilled.
Some people may not have a physical disability that precludes them from serving jury duty, but they may need accommodations to make it possible for them to serve. In such cases, these people can apply for assistance.
For example, the jury assembly room can be located far from the actual courtroom. Those with physical disability may find it difficult to walk this distance each day. Accommodations might include the use of a wheelchair or a transport vehicle. Requests for accommodations must be made at least 10 days in advance of service.
Failure to show up for jury duty can result in serious fines and penalties. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of this information to try to scam people out of their money.
The most popular scam involves getting a call informing you that you did not show up for jury duty. You may be surprised to hear it since you never got a notice, but you may think the notice was lost in the mail. The scammer may ask you for personal information over the phone, such as your social security number or birth date, or may tell you that you can pay a fine over the phone to settle the matter. Never provide personal or financial information over the phone.
My AZ Lawyers can advise you of your jury duty obligations in Arizona and can help you if you have become the victim of a jury duty scam. Call us today to find out how our experienced lawyers can help you, no matter where you live in Arizona.
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Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800
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Glendale, AZ 85308
Office: (602) 509-0955
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Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450
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Avondale, AZ 85392
Office: (623) 399-4222