Virginia Jury Duty/ Court Appearance: What you need to know

United States citizens who are 18 or older and have lived in Virginia for 1 year are qualified to serve on jury duty in Virginia, with some exceptions. Also, some counties have residency requirements for jury service. The Judicial Council of Virginia has published an informative resource, The Answer Book for Jury Service, available at http://www.courts.state.va.us.
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Length of service. Jurors serve one term of court, which varies by county. The dates and length of service appear on the summons. Sitting on a trial can affect the length of service.
Employers. Under Virginia law, an employer may not discharge or take any other adverse job action against an employee who is called to serve on jury duty. Employees cannot be required to use vacation or sick leave time during their absence. An employer that violates these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor (VA Code Sec. 18.2-465.1).
In addition, an employer may not require an employee who spends 4 or more hours in 1 day (including travel time) on jury duty to report to work on or after 5:00 p.m. on the day of the appearance or before 3:00 a.m. on the following day.
Employees. Employees are expected to give employers reasonable notice of a summons.
Business/occupational exemptions. Virginia law exempts most state officials, judges and magistrates, practicing attorneys, and members of police forces and jail officers from serving on juries. There are also other exemptions, including for those performing essential services to a business, commercial, or agricultural enterprise. Requests must be in writing and received 5 days of receipt of the summons ( VA Code Sec. 801-341.1). Contact the county of residence of the prospective juror for more information.
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