As a citizen of the United States, you may be summoned to appear in court and act as a juror. While you may be less than happy with the summons, you need to understand that you cannot just ignore it. You will probably end up with a bench warrant for not showing up and will end up in court anyway, just not on the right day and not to sit in judgment of someone else. So, when you get the paper in the mail, be sure to mark the time and date on your calendar and show up. Here are a few other things you need to know to help you get through the whole situation.
You will need to find out the proper dress code for the court you will be attending. If there are no instructions on the summons you can look on the court's website or call the clerk to find out what you can wear. Be sure to follow the code or you may be found in contempt of court and fined. Trying to get out of jury duty by showing up unkempt or dressed inappropriately is not a good idea. You could be fined and then given a new date for your civil duty.
You May Not Actually Serve
Receiving a summons does not mean you will actually have to perform the duty. The lawyers involved in the jury selection process will ask you some questions to determine if you will be able to remain unbiased during the trial. You may also be excused if one of the attorneys feels you do not fit in the proper demographics for the case. They may want to have as many males or older people on the jury as possible. If you are a young female, you will most likely be excused.
You Are Paid for Your Service
While you will probably not make the same amount you would have if you had gone to work, you do receive a stipend for performing jury duty. In addition, you may be able to receive your pay, or at least part of it, by talking with your employer about the situation. Some businesses feel it is a civil obligation and you are doing the community a favor. This can, in turn, show the public your employer is community-minded, which is a good marketing strategy.
Most of the time you will only have to do jury duty for a day or two. However, if you do end up on a case that takes a long time, you may find yourself intrigued and excited to be part of something big. Either way, take pride in being chosen and do what you need to do to help justice be served.