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The right to trial by jury is a fundamental right guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution. Florida's Constitution Article I, Section 22, states that any person, who is accused of committing a crime, has the right to a jury trial. As an American citizen, it is your privilege and duty to serve as a juror.
Jurors are assigned to a judge and sent to the courtroom for questioning, also known as voir dire. Depending on the type of case, the judge and attorneys will select their panel of six or 12 jurors, with the possibility of selecting one or two alternates.
Please be sure to visit our Reporting Information Services to verify that your service is needed.
Types of Juries
Petit juries will hear and decide civil and criminal cases. Civil cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, government, government agencies, or other organizations. Usually, the party who brings the suit is seeking monetary damages for an alleged wrong that has been done. The party who brings the suit is called the plaintiff, and the one being sued is called the defendant. The trials can involve small claims, personal injury, and medical malpractice cases. Criminal cases are brought by the state against a person(s) accused of committing a crime. In these cases, the state is the plaintiff, and the accused person(s) is the defendant. Criminal trials can involve traffic, misdemeanor, felony, and capital (death penalty) cases.
Grand juries are selected for a six-month term of duty. A grand jury has broad powers to investigate a wide range of criminal offenses and to examine the performance of public officials and public institutions. Its deliberations are conducted in secret, in conjunction with the State Attorney or a designated assistant state attorney.