When it comes to jury duty and the jury duty selection process, some people may never be selected, while others may get all the luck! If (or when) you receive a jury summons from the juries commissioner, there are several things you should always do this post.

Firstly, make a note in your diary and check that you're not on any planned leave, hospital visits or overseas at the time. With the date in mind, you need to tell your employer that you will be required and tell them to refer to the website for details as to what is going on – this is their responsibility.

With that done, keep your summons in a safe place, so that you can refer to it. There is a range of things that will need to be done at later days.

What if you can’t attend jury duty?

If you have a genuine reason, you may have your services deferred or excused based on your request. Unless you are self-employed or work for a small business, work will typically not be accepted as a reason.

On the back of your summons is a statutory declaration, which needs to be filled out and submitted as soon as possible. This ensure that the juries commissioner has time to review and process your request.

What happens when you go?

The day before you are expected to attend, you should review www.juries.vic.gov.au or call 1300 987 917 and follow the prompts to ensure that you still need to attend. Depending on the needs of the court, this may have changed or even been cancelled, so it is vital to check before you turn up.

On the day, make sure that you:

  • bring your lunch or money, as this won’t be provided
  • Allow plenty of time to arrive and be directed to the jury pool room
  • wear neat, casual clothing

You will then be directed to a court room where you will sit in the body of the court waiting to be called. You will then be called to the jury box, walking past the accused. Unless the accused makes a ‘challenge’ against you, you will take a seat in the jury box, and the court case can then begin.

What if you don’t go?

Simple – if you don’t go without a valid reason, it is an offence and proceedings can be taken against you. So it's best to be prepared, attend or have a reason and be sure to let the juries commissioner know as early as possible.

To find out more information on jury duty in Victoria, visit the Juries Website.

You can also contact the McClure Law Team to discuss your options with our friendly team.

Have you been charged by the Police or are you going to the Magistrates' Court and need a criminal defence lawyer? You might also need character references for court.

There's nothing nice about being part of a criminal law proceeding, especially if you are the accused. If you need  character references, there are a few things to know to get the most out of each referee.

How to choose the 'perfect' character reference

A judge or magistrate will read a character reference before a sentence has been decided in a trial. The reference will always be more helpful if your character reference is a long-time friend who has no criminal record.

How To address the Court

If you have been asked by your defence lawyer to prepare or present a character reference for your hearing, there are several key elements that should always be considered when  your character reference is addressing the Court in either a spoken or written situation:

How the character reference can help you

Although a criminal law character reference may not alter the outcome of a Magistrates' Court trial or sentence, it may alter the time or severity of the sentence given to the accused. The truth, however, is that a character reference is of paramount importance, be it positive or negative. What is said could impact yours or someone else’s life.

For any criminal law matter, it’s most important that before you do anything, or say anything to the Police that you always speak with a legal professional to ensure you properly understand your rights and responsibilities.

Do You Have Police Charges Against You?

If your name is on the Magistrates' Court list, then call us for assistance.
At McClure Law, we work closely with all of our clients to get the best result in their criminal law matter. For more information email us on law@mcclurelaw.com.au or call us on (03) 9744 1881. We'd be happy to help you.

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