Evading jury duty seems harmless, right? Wrong! Not only are you interfering with the administration of justice, you are risking a $2,000 fine and possible jail time. Jury duty is a civil obligation. States take the evasion of jury duty very seriously.
When one agrees to enter a social contract and reap all the benefits said contract provides, they immediately agree to fulfill the obligation of jury duty. It is ones civil duty. To forgo jury duty would be like playing baseball and deciding you only want to hit, and thus refuse to play defense. Indeed, it is a necessary requirement for any civil body and the practice dates back as far as ancient Greece.
However, one can be exempt from jury duty under the right circumstance. Some legitimate excuses include a debilitating illness, a handicap, a bi-polar episode, death in the family, schizophrenic delusions, or a concealment of identity. What does not constitute a legitimate excuse? Work, school, or lack of interest. Your employer is obligated to keep your job waiting for you if you happen to be summoned for jury duty. All institutions of higher learning will have policies in place that facilitate a student’s involvement with jury duty. And obviously, a lack of interest is far from a legitimate excuse.
What should I expect at jury duty? Expect to serve your community to the highest degree. You will be carefully screened and briefed on the basics of serving on a jury. Jury duty is actually a great opportunity to meet new people, given that you will spend a great deal of time with your fellow jurors over the course of anywhere from a few hours to a few months.
At the end of the day, you ought to serve your community because it’s always served you. Consider jury duty an opportunity to stray from a monotonous routine and learn a bit about the justice system.