Jurors represent a key piece of our legal system. Lawyers take special care in choosing the right men and women for their cases. Many adults have had the opportunity to serve as a juror. Love it or hate it, it is a fact of life. To maintain an effective civil and criminal legal system, jury duty is a required aspect of our society. If you have questions about crimes or incidents related to your status as a juror or other juror related legal issues, please contact your experienced Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer.
Jurors have special protection by law. In Virginia, it is a violation of the law to make a threat or to use force against a juror. (See 18.2-460). Also illegal is bribery or perjury involving jurors.
Law enforcement officials are not immune from potential charges related to jurors. Virginia law prohibits officers from “improperly summoning” jurors. To be convicted though, the officer must have the requisite mental state under the law. The crime itself is a misdemeanor, but civil fines can be ordered. (See 18.2-465). For a more in depth discussion of your case, contact your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer right away.
Cheating isn’t allowed in Virginia. The law has hefty penalties in store for a person found to have attempted to summon a juror with the intent that he or she find a certain way in a case. Similarly, the law does not allow for fraud in the actual selection of jurors from a jury pool. (See 18.2- 466 and 467).
The role of the juror in all cases is essential to justice, law, and equity. If jurors are not used, the case is decided by a judge. This is also referred to as a “bench trial.” Parties will elect to have a jury based upon various factors and strategies of their choosing. Whether there is a right to have a jury, is a topic deserving of its own article. The bottom line is that jury duty is a serious job, and the proprieties and dignities involved are maintained by the law to the maximum extent possible. If you have any questions about jury duty or jurors in general, please consult your local Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer.