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Selecting a Jury

Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.