Juror Q & A
Questions and Answers to Common Questions
Q: Why is jury service important?
A: The United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution guarantee
all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic
status, the right to trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends
to the large measure upon the quality of the jurors who serve in our
Q: What is my duty as a juror?
A: As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions
must be free of any bias or prejudice. Your actions and decisions are
the foundation of our judicial system.
Q: How was I selected?
A: You were selected at random from a list of voter registrations and
a list of driver registrations from the county in which you live.
Q: Am I eligible?
A: Jurors must:
- Be a citizen of the United States and of this State
- Be at least 18 years
- Reside in the county of jury service
- Be able to read and write
- Be of sound mind
You cannot serve on a jury if:
- You have been convicted of a felony or of any type of theft (unless
rights have been restored)
- You are now on probation or deferred adjudication
for a felony or for any type of theft; or
- You are now under indictment
for a felony or are now under criminal charges for any type of
you are in doubt, or think you may not be qualified to serve on a jury
for one of the above or any other reasons, please notify the
Q: Who can be excused from jury service?
A: You are entitled to be excused as a juror if you:
- Are over 70 years
- Have legal custody of a child under 10 years of age and jury service
would leave the child unsupervised.
- Are a student in class.
- Are the caretaker of a person who is unable to
care for themselves (an invalid).
- Can show a physical or mental impairment
or an inability to comprehend or to communicate in English.
Q: What are the different types of cases?
A: There are two basic types of cases, criminal and civil (including
A criminal case results when a person is accused of committing a
crime. You, as a juror, must decide whether the person charged
is guilty or
not guilty. The accused person is presumed innocent, and the
State, represented by the District or County Attorney, must prove
guilt “beyond a
A civil case results from a disagreement or dispute between two or
more parties. In a civil case, you, as a juror, must answer questions
facts based upon the testimony and evidence admitted by the judge.
The answers to these questions are called the verdict.
I be paid for being a juror?
A: Yes. You will be paid a small amount for each day you
actually serve on a jury.
Q: Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?
A: Your employer is not required to pay you while on jury duty;
however, employers are prohibited by law from firing an employee
as a juror.
Q: Who can have a jury trial?
A: Any person charged with a criminal offense or any party
to a civil case has a right to a jury trial. All parties are
each is entitled to the same fair treatment.
Q: Are there rules about jury conduct?
A: Yes. The Texas Supreme Court has rules to assist you in
your conduct as a juror, which will be given to you by the
Q: How is a juror selected for a particular case?
A: Cases will usually be heard by juries of 6 or 12 jurors.
The larger group, called a panel, will be sent to the trial
jurors will be questioned under the supervision of the judge.
A juror may be excused from the panel if it is shown that the
act impartially concerning the case to be heard. In addition,
each side is
allowed to remove a given number of jurors from the panel
without having to show any reason. The trial jury will be the first
6 to 12 of the
remaining jurors on the panel. For more information, see How
juries are selected.
Q: What Is Voir Dire or questioning of the jury panel?
A: It is a way for the parties to select a fair and impartial
jury. Under the justice system, you may be questioned by each
they decide to remove a certain number of jurors from the jury
For example, the lawyer may ask you questions to see if you
are connected to the trial or if you have any prejudice or
the trial. These questions are not intended to embarrass you,
but rather to help the lawyers in the jury selection process.
to allow you to answer some questions away from the other jurors.
Q: What if I have a special need or emergency?
A: After you have been selected as a juror on a trial panel,
if you have a special need or an emergency, tell the bailiff.