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The function of the Grand Jury is to evaluate evidence to determine whether or not a person should be formally accused of a specific crime. If an indictment is returned by a Grand Jury accusing a person with a crime, the case will be sent to a trial court. Attorneys assigned to the grand jury review investigations from police agencies, prepare and present the cases to the grand jury.
Assistant criminal district attorneys assigned to grand jury present cases to a grand jury every week. They indicate the kind of offense to be considered, summarize the evidence, call witnesses, and answer questions by grand jurors. After hearing the evidence from the attorney and witnesses, the grand jurors deliberate as a group and vote in secret.
Only members of the grand jury are permitted to be present during the deliberations and voting. The grand jury decides whether sufficient facts are presented to a criminal charge or charges against the person accused. Guilt or innocence is not determined by a grand jury. If at least nine grand jurors vote that a person should be formally charged with a crime, a true bill of indictment is signed by the presiding juror of the grand jury and turned over to the district court. If the evidence is determined to be insufficient, the grand jury may vote a "no bill".
Prospective grand jurors will be selected and summoned in the same manner as for the selection of panels for trial cases in the district courts. From among those prospective grand jurors who are summoned, the court impanels twelve grand jurors and four alternate grand jurors to serve. The law requires courts to impanel grand jurors who are "randomly selected from a fair cross-section of the population of the area served by the court." This means that even if the court summons you, you may or may not be selected to serve. If you are not selected, this is not a reflection on you, but rather the court’s attempt to comply with the requirements of the law.
The laws and rules regarding qualifications are found in Article 19.08 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. To be qualified to serve as a juror you must:
You are not required to claim an exemption even though one might apply to you. If you would like to serve even though you are eligible for an exemption then we certainly appreciate you choosing to do so. The exemptions regarding grand jury are found under Article 1925, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. You may claim an exemption from grand jury service if:
The court also may determine if a person has a reasonable excuse from service other than those listed.
Unfortunately, persons summoned to appear for potential grand jury service cannot change their appearance date.
Grand jurors are paid for their service. Each prospective grand juror receives $6 for the first day of appearance and then $40 for the second and any subsequent days of appearance. Grand jurors may donate their pay to a number of organizations that have been approved by the Denton County Commissioners Court. A total donation made by both petit and grand jurors to those organizations averages about $75,000 annually.
Unfortunately, your employer is not currently required by Texas state law to pay you while you are serving as a grand juror. However, the law states that an employer cannot terminate your employment for attending grand jury service.
Unfortunately there are no business/self-employment exemptions administered by the state legislature at this time.
Those selected by a district court judge to serve on the grand jury will meet every Thursday for a three-month term.
Please write on the front of the summons envelope or form "Deceased" and return to Jury Services.
The summons needs to be returned indicating that the person does not live at the address. Please write "Please return to sender this person does not live at the address" and then return the envelope back in the mail.
There are no transportation exemptions. You may contact the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) at 940-243-0077. Visit the Denton County Transportation Authority website which includes information regarding the new A-train which runs along I-35 to Denton.
You will be required to pass through security at any county buildings in which courts are located. You will not be allowed to bring into the buildings any type of weapon, including pocket knives. If you are wearing a belt, you will be required to remove it before passing through the metal detector. Please leave at home or in your vehicle anything you think might not be allowed in the building.