There are some universal truths in life that apply to every single person, no matter their age, gender, race, or religion. One of these is that no one, absolutely not a single person in the world, actually wants to go and do jury duty. Anytime you get told you have to show up for up jury duty, you always try to find some excuse, some way to escape its annoyingly boring grasps. Well, for the next time that you get the news and the court says they need your help, I’ve got some solutions. Here are five tips on how to get out of jury duty.
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Jury Duty nullification
Every juror is asked the question in some way, shape, or form: “Do you believe that you can judge the case solely on the basis of the facts and the law, and not on your opinion of whether or not the law is right or just?” And this is where you show your bias and disagree with the law in some way. (For example, if it’s something drug-related, you could say that you believe that all drugs should be legalized in the United States.) It’s pretty easy to find something that you argue against when it comes to most cases.
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Be the victim of a similar crime (AKA it happened to you before)
This is where telling a white lie can easily help you escape jury duty. You can claim that you were the victim of a similar crime, and as long as there is no way that the judge or any of the attorneys can prove that you’re lying, you’re in the clear. This works really well for cases like armed robbery. You could tell the court that you were once held at gunpoint before or mugged, and they would be none the wiser. If there’s no evidence for it or against it, they’ll believe you 99% of the time.
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Now by this I don’t mean pretend to be racist, sexist, or homophobic. All you need to do is exaggerate your mannerisms and movements when being asked questions. The prosecution and defense are going to be more inclined to pick a juror that is unbiased and on “their side.” By shaking your head, sighing, rolling your eyes, or even making a “tsk, tsk” noise when discussing the case, you’re not simply looking disinterested. You’re looking judgmental, like you already have an opinion formed before being part of the actual jury yet. It’s sure to make you less desirable for jury duty.
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Now, getting out of jury duty for medical reasons is effective but it’s also tricky. You need to provide a doctor’s note in order to prove the validity of whatever “condition” or “issue” you’re claiming to have. However, you don’t need to be seriously ill to get away with this. Simply stating that you suffer from severe migraines, panic attacks, or other similar problems could very well be enough to get you dismissed from jury duty. The court won’t want and can’t risk choosing someone whose health issues could impede their involvement with the case. Therefore, if your medical reason is convincing enough, you might be in the clear.
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Primary care provider for an infant/elderly parent/etc.
This last reason can be a lie based in truth. For example, my mom helps take care of my grandmother take care of my grandfather, who has suffered four strokes and is housebound, every week. This isn’t just a generous action on my mom’s part – she really needs to be there because my grandmother can’t do everything by herself. So when my mom was requested for jury duty a year or two ago, she exaggerated the truth a little bit and said that there was absolutely no one else who could help with my grandfather and that his health would be in risk without her there. This same concept can be used for those who need to be there to care for an infant. These situations may not get you out doing jury duty forever, but as temporary excuse, they’ll work perfectly fine.
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