Trial by jury is a fundamental principle of our system of justice and a citizen's right to a trial by jury can be traced back to both the United States Constitution and the Texas Declaration of Independence. Although the right to a jury trial is considered a fundamental safeguard of each American's constitutional liberties, the concept of a jury trial is hardly new, dating back to medieval England.
Your jury summons puts you in the center of this most basic right of all Americans. The United States and the State of Texas Constitutions guarantee a right to trial by jury for anyone accused of a crime, regardless of his or her race, religion, gender, national origin or economic status. Any time the facts of a civil or criminal case are in dispute, the parties have a right to have their case heard by a jury of fair and impartial citizens who will make decisions without bias or prejudice.
Information for Jurors
Qualifications for Jury Service
(Texas Government Code, Section 62.102)
To be qualified to serve as a juror you must:
1. be at least 18 years of age;
2. be a citizen of the United States;
3. be a resident of this state and a resident of the county in which you are to serve as a juror;
4. be qualified under the Constitution and laws to vote in the county in which you are to serve as a juror (Note: You do not have to be registered to vote to be qualified to vote.);
5. be of sound mind and good moral character;
6. be able to read and write;
7. not have served as a juror for six days during the preceding three months in the county court or during the preceding six months in the district court; and
8. not have been convicted of misdemeanor theft or a felony;
9. is not under indictment or other legal accusation for, misdemeanor theft or a felony.
Exemptions from Jury Service
(Texas Government Code, Section 62.106)
1. You are over 70 years of age.
2. You have legal custody of a child or children younger than 12 years of age and service on the jury would require leaving the child or children without adequate supervision.
3. You are a student at a public or private high school.
4. You are enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education.
5. You are an officer or an employee of the senate, the house of representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government.
6. You are the primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself. (This exemption does not apply to you if you are a primary caretaker only in your capacity as a health care worker.)
7. You are a member of the United States military forces serving on active duty and deployed to a location away from your home station and out of your county of residence;
8. You have served as a juror in this county during the 24-month period prior to the date you are required to appear by this summons.
9. You have been summoned for jury service in this county and you have served as a petit juror in this county during the three-year period prior to the date you are required to appear by this summons.