Battle Born Injury Lawyers | September 26, 2022 | Nevada Law
Juries decide the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant or the liability of a civil defendant. Two different juries might deliberate the same conduct of a single defendant—one trial for murder, for example, and another trial for wrongful death. The US Constitution guarantees almost any defendant the right to trial by jury. Serving on a jury when necessary is one of the duties of citizenship. But in Las Vegas, Nevada, is it possible to get out of jury duty? Keep reading to learn more.
Myths About Jury Duty That You Might Believe
You might be reluctant to serve on a jury because you believe certain myths about jury duty are either untrue or exaggerated. Following are some examples.
- You cannot postpone jury duty. Actually, in many cases, you can. If you need to, petition the court for a postponement.
- You must sleep in a hotel with other jurors until the trial ends. This situation happens sometimes, but not very often. Typically only high-profile cases result in such extreme measures.
- Jury duty lasts for several weeks or longer. The average trial lasts only a few days, and only a tiny percentage of people summoned for jury duty serve. Most jurors spend only one day in court.
Probably a hundred more myths about jury duty float around, but the preceding are among the most common.
Nevada’s List of Excuses
If you want to avoid jury duty, Nevada offers many excuses, including:
- You’re too old to serve. Anyone over 70 can avoid jury duty by petitioning the court to excuse them. The same applies to anyone over 65 years old who lives at least 65 miles from the court where they were called to serve.
- You are an elected official, or you work for one. You are also exempt if you work for the Legislative Counsel Bureau.
- You are a breastfeeding mother.
- You are a police officer. The motivation here might be that you might be biased against defendants.
- You are a firefighter. Firefighters count as “police officers” for the purpose of this exemption.
- You suffer a chronic disability, whether physical or mental.
Other, more temporary excuses from serving on a Nevada jury include:
- You are suffering temporary disability or extreme hardship.
- You are the primary caregiver of someone who is disabled or seriously ill.
- Missing work for jury duty would cause undue hardship to you or your employer. Normally, the need to work does not excuse you from jury duty.
- You are a convicted felon whose civil rights have not yet been restored. It is perhaps unnecessary to say that committing a felony to avoid jury duty is a bad idea.
Remember that even if you show up for court ready to undertake jury duty, you might never actually serve on a jury. In fact, it is likely that one side’s lawyer will eliminate you during jury selection because they believe you will be biased against them. Some prospective jurors deliberately game the system by making it appear that they would not exercise fair judgment on a jury.
Consequences of Skipping Jury Duty
Unless an exception applies, the government can compel you to serve on a jury and punish you if you refuse. The maximum fine is $500. If you fail to pay it, the judge might hold you in contempt of court. In a worst-case scenario, you might go to jail for failure to pay the fine or failure to make a subsequent appearance in court.
Your employer can face punishment if they retaliate against you for missing work due to serving on a jury. In fact, they might face significant jail time if they fire you for serving on a jury. Your employer might even face sanctions for requiring you to use up your sick leave or vacation time to serve on a jury.
Talk to a Lawyer If You Get Into Trouble
If you get into trouble over jury duty, either as a prospective juror or as an uncooperative employer, you might need a lawyer to help you minimize the consequences. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer if you find yourself in this situation.
Contact the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Las Vegas and you need legal assistance, contact our injury attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.
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Las Vegas, NV 89135
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