Frequently Asked Questions
How was I selected for service?
The pool of prospective jurors is drawn at random from a list provided by the the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This process began in 1998, which allows for the summonsing of all citizens in Florida with a valid Driver's License or Florida identification card.
What qualifications do I need to serve as a juror?
Jurors must be 18 years of age or older, citizens of the United States, and residents of the county in which they are summonsed.
What would disqualify me from serving as a juror?
If you are currently under prosecution for a crime or a convicted felon without your civil rights restored, you may not serve as a juror in the state of Florida.
What would exempt me from serving as a juror?
You may request exemption from jury duty if you meet any of the following criteria:
- Persons 70 years of age or older
- Expectant mothers
- Persons not employed full-time who are responsible for the care of an infirmed or disabled family member
- Parents not employed full-time with custody of a child(ren) under 6 years of age
- Full-time law enforcement officers or investigators (must have arrest powers)
- Currently attending school out of county/state
- Currently serving in the military out of county/state
- Served as a county juror within 1 year immediately preceding this jury date and not postponed or excused
I served as a Federal juror this year - why am I being summonsed?
Federal jury service is under the purview of the Federal court system, and is entirely separate from the state trial courts.
How long will I have to serve if summonsed?
Most juries are selected on the first day of jury service, which is usually an all day process. If you are selected as a juror, you will be instructed to return later in the week for that particular trial. Occasionally, a trial may last beyond one week, or a grand jury will be empaneled which may require an extended length of service. If you are not selected to serve as a juror, your service is over. Over 85% of jury trials last only one day.
How should I dress?
The dress code of the court is general business attire. To show proper respect for the court, we ask that you please refrain from wearing shorts, tank tops, or flip flops. You may wish to bring a sweater or jacket, as the courtrooms are air conditioned.
Will I be compensated for my service?
Jurors who are not regularly employed or who will not receive their regular salary while serving are entitled to receive $15.00 per day for the first three days of service. All jurors will receive $30.00 beginning with the fourth day of jury service and each day of service thereafter. The Juror Questionnaire Form must be completed prior to reporting for jury service and presented to the Clerk of Court upon check-in. For those eligible to receive payment, a check will be mailed within 10 days of completion of service by the Clerk of Court. There is no added compensation for mileage.
What happens if I fail to appear for jury duty?
Jury duty is governed under Chapter 40 of the Florida Statutes. Within this chapter are penalties for those who do not report for jury service: Any person who is duly summoned to attend as a juror in any court and who fails to attend without any sufficient excuse shall pay a fine not to exceed $100.00, which fine shall be imposed by the court to which the juror was summoned, and, in addition, such failure may be considered a contempt of court.
English is not my primary language. Can an interpreter assist me during my jury service?
Yes - please contact Court Interpreting to request an interpreter for your service date.
I require accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act in order to fulfill my jury service. What do I need to do?
Under the American with Disabilities Act, if you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact Ms. Vanessa Sagar, ADA Coordinator at (352) 337-6237, at least 7 days before your scheduled court appearance. If you are hearing or voice impaired, please call 711.
Can I bring reading materials or work with me?
Yes, you are welcome to bring reading materials, work materials, laptops, netbooks, and cellphones with you. We ask that you please leave newspapers at home. Please note that you will be asked to turn all electronic devices off while in the courtroom.
What can I expect on the day of service?
Jurors will be qualified by the presiding judge during the venire process. You will have an opportunity to speak with the judge directly at this time if jury services constitutes a hardship for you. After venire, you will be sent to the courtroom for voir dire, during which the attorneys will ask questions of you to determine who will sit and hear evidence during the trial.
What can I not bring to the courthouse?
For security purposes, please do not bring the following items into the courthouse: knives, scissors, handwork needles, metal fingernail files, screwdrivers, tools, and any other sharp items that may possibly be used as a weapon. All persons entering the courthouse are subject to search. All weapons are prohibited.
What are some general rules of conduct I should observe while serving as a juror?
- Carefully follow all the instruction as given by the Court.
- Be on time - the trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present.
- Listen carefully - it is important that you hear every question asked and every answer given since your verdict will be based on the evidence presented.
- Do not talk to anyone about the case until the Court instructs you that you are allowed to do so - this will occur either after a verdict is rendered or a mistrial is announced. This includes the Clerk, lawyers, judge, bailiffs, court staff, and family and friends. If anyone tries to talk to you about the case or influence you as a juror, you should report it to the Court immediately.