You know how there are certain phrases that just instinctively send chills down your spine? Bad haircut. IRS audit. Assembly required. See? But perhaps the worst of these terrifying terms is the one that has the power to strike fear into the hearts of even the strongest humans: jury duty.
If you’ve ever gotten a jury duty summons and immediately been tortured with visions of sitting for hours listening to boring strangers argue, then you’ve come to the right place. Because thanks to these jury duty excuses, you’ll never have to waste your time doing your civic duty ever again. Here, you can find the cleverest, craziest, and wildest ideas about how to get out of jury duty.
A quick warning: you may want to research the following tactics before using them as reasons to get out of jury duty. Just to make sure they’re totally legal. While we’re fairly certain that making yourself appear as sleazy, unintelligent, or undesirable as possible during jury selection isn’t against the law, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Otherwise, you might find yourself on the wrong end of that courtroom.
That said, here you’ll find a list of everything from valid excuses, such as financial hardship, to outrageous ideas like soaking your clothes in vodka to make them think you’re an alcoholic.
Keep in mind that during jury selection, lawyers can request that you be booted from the jury box before the trial ever begins, so scroll on down and check out some creative ways to up your odds. Jury duty exemptions are hard to come by, but there’s no way to win if you don’t try! Don’t see some of your favorite ways to get out of jury duty listed here? Add those bad boys to the list! You fellow lazy citizens will thank you.
list ordered by
Ask About Jury Nullification Jury Nullification is a little known loophole that's every lawyer's worst nightmare. Most of them hate the idea of having a juror on board who even knows about it.
Claim You're Incredibly Racist Against all races. Even your own.
Pretend to Be Hard of Hearing Saying "HUH?" every time you're asked a question will get you thrown out of the running real quick.
Mention You Were a Victim of the Same Crime The more you appear to sympathize with the victim, the more desperate the defense lawyer will be to make sure you're not selected. For good measure, throw in a mention of how the bastard that committed the crime against you was ...
Mention Any Incarcerated Relatives Prosecutors are generally looking for people who aren't jaded when it comes to the police or the system, so mentioning any relatives you feel have been unfairly incarcerated can be a huge red flag.
Confess that You Already Heard About the Crime Preferably from someone who'd be totally biased, like the victim's best friend or the arresting officer.
Keep "Accidentally" Falling Asleep If called out, act incredibly embarrassed and explain that you're either narcoleptic or on a new medication that makes you really, really tired.
Appear Incredibly Confused Got a great valley girl impression or a foreign accent you can do convincingly? Now's the time to pull it out- whether you want to appear not to understand much English or to be just plain dumb, play it up as obnoxiously as ...
Burst into Tears Repeat every 15 minutes. Then apologize profusely and say you're going through a rough break-up. If the judge or either of the lawyers "reminds you of your ex" even better.
Be the Prosecutor's Worst Nightmare Show up dressed like a thug and giggle and nod knowingly each time a non-violent offense is mentioned. There's no way the prosecutor will let you past the selection process.
Claim to Be Psychic Show up in your best shiny turban, and look ultra confident as you assure everyone present that there's no need for a trail, as you already know the truth.
Get a Doctor's Note If you've got a medical problem of any sort, this is one of the few times it can actually be used to your advantage. Milk it!
Be a Huge Fan of Cops During the initial phases of jury selection, mention any family members on the force and let the lawyers know that you think all cops are faultless American heroes. This often raises a red flag for defense lawyers, who are ...
Show Up with a Baby If the baby starts to cry, all the better. If not, casually mention that you'll have to breastfeed regularly and hope that won't be an issue.
Tell Them You're a Body Language Expert This alone can be enough to get you booted off the jury by the defense, especially if he thinks there's a possibility his client may be guilty.
Dress Like a Crazy Person Show up in your worst outfit on the first day of jury selection. Ater all, what lawyer wants to trust his client's fate to a guy in a midriff-bearing tank top?
Claim Financial Hardship This one's totally legit if it really would be a financial disaster for you to take off work for a long period of time. But don't lie! You can get in big trouble in some states!
Hit on Everyone Like everyone. Even the judge.
Mention that You've Studied Law Watching a lot of Law & Order doesn't count, but skimming a free online course on www.openculture.com before coming in for jury questioning means you can truthfully say that you have studied some law yourself. That ...
Subtly Suggest You're a Boozer While it's a horrible idea to show up to any government building intoxicated, there are no laws that say your clothes can't reek of booze.They can't arrest if you're not actually drunk, and the mere suggestion that you're an ...
Claim to Have an Overactive Bladder Let them know you'd be happy to serve but just wanted to ensure there'd be bathroom breaks every 10-15 minutes.
Rail Against the Judicial System Seize the opportunity to tell anyone who'll listen what's wrong with America these days, especially the judicial system. The feeling will be mutual.
Show Up with the Worst Body Odor Your Armpits Can Muster You'll be the first to go.
Appear Interested in Anything But the Trial Now's the time to bust out those origami skills. Both lawyers are looking for people who appear sympathetic to their argument, so a guy who has the attention span of a 3 year old isn't likely to gain any fans.
Play the Dependent Card Often, mentioning a baby or older person who'd be lost with out you is a valid excuse for opting out of serving.
Say You Think You May Be Pregnant Most women don't even show until around 3 months and there aren't many lawyers who'd care enough to make you prove it with a pregnancy test.
Get a Note from Your Boss Especially if he's a small business owner. If there's any aspect of your job that only you can do, make sure he mentions that in the note.
Be Obnoxious Stretch, yawn, and generally be as distracting as possible. One or both of the lawyers may become nervous you'll be a hindrance.
Say You're Buddhist This one is actually valid, as it's against the beliefs of many Buddhists to judge others.
Pass Notes Constantly write funny notes during the jury selection process an pass them to the other jurors.
Claim You Don't Have a Car and Someone Stole Your Bike Tell them they're more than welcome to pick you up and give you a ride, though. They won't.