Our system of justice and the rights afforded our citizens allows for a jury of ones peers to be the decider of the facts in a court case. Duty is also defined as a responsibility, assignment or moral obligation. Jury duty is therefore a very important part of our civilized society and truly is a duty.
In Florida jury duty is under chapter 40 in the Florida Statutes.
We have complied the most frequently asked questions for your convenience. If you still have questions after you have reviewed the following information feel free to contact us: 850.926.0905
You must be a licensed driver in Florida or possess a DHSMV id card, and be a resident of the State of Florida and Wakulla County. [18 years of age or older.]
How are jurors summoned for jury duty?
Jurors are selected by licensed drivers or registered others by the DHSMV by a list that this agency provides our office.
What exemptions are allowed for serving as a juror?
The Florida Statutes provide several possible exemptions the court may use to determine exemption from jury duty (these are not automatic exemptions). These include:
Anyone having served as a juror in Wakulla County during the last twelve months.
An expectant mother or a parent that is not employed full time and has custody/care of a child under the age of 6 years of age.
Any potential juror age 70 or older (you may ask for permanent excusal from jury service in writing, contact our office for a form). [We mail a form w/summons]
A sworn law enforcement officer.
Persons responsible for the care of a person who is incapable of caring for themselves because of physical or mental incapacity.
Persons who because of serving as a juror would create a hardship, [extreme inconvenience or public necessity].
Convicted felons or persons under prosecution.
How do you receive pay for jury duty?
If you will receive regular pay from your employer while you serve as a juror, you are not entitled to jury pay for the first three days of jury duty. If you will not receive any employee pay for jury duty or if your employer pays your regular pay less whatever you receive as jury pay, you are entitled to $ 15.00 per day for the first three days of jury service. For all jurors who serve more than three days, each will be paid by the county $ 30.00 per day for day four and beyond. If you are otherwise eligible for jury duty pay, you may elect to donate your pay to the local domestic violence shelter or to the guardian ad litem program by signing an election form that our office will make available upon request. If you are excused from jury service at your own request, you are not entitled to receive jury pay.
How long will the jury service last?
Jurors are usually summonsed to appear early in the week and normally the selection of jurors takes place on the first day of service. Sometimes this process is done for several trials from the same pool of potential jurors. The actual trials will follow the selection process, sometimes beginning that same day as the summons. If there are multiple trials for that week, the others will be scheduled for later in the week and those jurors selected will be told what date to report back for their duty. Most trials in Wakulla County last only one day, so the majority of people chosen for jury duty will only serve the day of selection and the day of the trial.
What types of trials might I be involved in as a juror?
There are three types of juries that you may be summonsed for, grand jury (18 members) standard jury (12 members) and petit jury (6 members), along with alternates. The grand jury deals exclusively with criminal cases while cases that come before other juries are divided into civil and criminal. Civil cases involve parties (plaintiff and defendant) who come to the court to determine and settle their respective rights. Criminal cases involve the people of the state of Florida, represented by the prosecutor, and a defendant accused of a violation of the law which can be represented by an attorney or by themselves.
How are jurors selected for the trial panel?
A group of potential jurors are impaneled in a case, and the judge and attorneys will ask some questions regarding the background of the juror. This is done for the sole purpose of assisting the attorneys in deciding which jurors to select to hear the case. There are a variety of reasons for what makes a juror less desirable for hearing a case, and these are usually brought out by the questioning process of the court during the "voir dire" process of examining the potential jurors. After questioning, if any potential juror still has reason to feel that they could not serve as an impartial juror, they should bring this to the attention of the judge. If a juror is excused for any reason, It is in no way a reflection on the juror. The excusing of a juror in a case only means that in that particular case, it is proper and lawful to excuse him or her.