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star*dar's avatar

CA criminal grand jury?

Asked by star*dar (54points) July 23rd, 2008

i got summoned to serve on a criminal grand jury. i work freelance and am basically self-employed, meaning i can’t be “on-call” for a month. anyone have any experience with serving on this kind of jury? how selective is the process, and will they let me go if i tell them my employment situation?

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6 Answers

Allie's avatar

I was called in once, too. I’m a student so after talking with the judge I was dismissed. From what I know they usually select a ton of prospective jurors to talk with. There were 250 other people called in to be possible jurors in addition to me when I went in. They get rid of about half right away and slowly weed out the rest until they pick the final set. Sometimes they give out questionnaires the judge writes to see if you would be a good juror for the case. Just answer honestly. And if there is something that would conflict with the trial then say so. I had finals that same week and for obvious reasons would be a very bad choice for a juror.

Seesul's avatar

Just for your future reference, Allie, for regular juries, at least, in California, they do give deferments for students. My son was away at school, and they called him during the school year. He called the court and they had him state when he could be on call during the summer. They had him list a range of dates, so we could work it around our scheduled vacation. He was then on phone alert for a week, but our local courthouse is being re-built, so they they don’t call that many on the list and he is now off the list for, I believe, a year.

@star: We were able to find a phone number online and do this all by phone, I don’t know if that applies to the grand jury or not.

Allie's avatar

Yeah, I could have used my deferment. For some odd reason which I don’t remember I decided not to. For the life of me I can’t remember it though. I think it was something like I’d just go now and get out of it in person instead of using my postponement and risking them calling me when I was in school next fall at UCD. Anyways, I did get out of it. The courthouse was only a few minutes away and I showed up like other people who were summoned. I go to college locally so it’s not quite the same as your son’s out-of-state deal.

marinelife's avatar

Does no one feel anymore that jury duty is a responsibility of being a citizen? It is supposed to be a shared inconvenience. We all have lives.

Allie's avatar

I don’t think star*dar is asking for us to help them find a way to cheat and get out of jury duty. I think he/she is asking what will happen if, due to the requirements of their job, it wouldn’t be possible. And just to let you know, I was kind of excited to go to jury duty (it was my first summons), but I couldn’t go because I had finals. Doing well in school is kind of important to me right now.

babygalll's avatar

Did you mark the self-employed box? If they call your number to go in just tell the judge that you are self-employed (he’ll already know) and cannot afford to not work and you do not have anyone to do your job. They should excuse you. Hopefully you get a really nice judge and they are having a good day.

Good Luck!

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