How Juries are Selected

If you are a registered voter, have a Texas driver's license or Texas personal identification card, your name is entered in a computer system designed to randomly select prospective jurors.

About 20% of prospective jurors are actually selected for trials.

You can expect to be finished in approximately half a day if you aren't selected to serve. If you are selected, your jury service length is one trial. While many TV shows and movies show lengthy trials, most trials last from one to three days.

During the jury selection process, prospective jurors will be given an oath. They will affirm or swear to tell the truth when responding to questions about their qualifications to be a juror.

As shown in the graphic above, prospective jurors are first part of a large jury pool. Then, they are assigned to panels, which are smaller groups from which jurors are selected. Propspective jurors that are put on a jury panel, or "impaneled", are briefed by the judge and questioned by attorneys for both sides. This questioning is called "voir dire", which means to speak the truth.

After voir dire, jurors who will hear the case are chosen and placed on the jury. A juror may be excused from the panel if it is shown that the juror cannot act impartially concerning the case to be heard. In addition, each side is allowed to remove a given number of jurors from the panel without having to show any reason.

The trial jury will be the first 6 to 12 of the remaining jurors on the panel. If you are not chosen for a jury, you will be sent home.

If you have been chosen to serve on a jury, you will now see our justice system in action.

Visit The Trial Process and Tips for Reporting and Serving for more information.