Your participation in the jury process is vital to the well-established principal that all defendants are entitled to a fair trial by an impartial jury. This principal is a guiding force to our judicial process, regardless of how small the courthouse.
Our jury panels are assembled by the random selection of citizens’ names from a list of water accounts in Kerrville. Those qualified are randomly chosen to be summoned to appear for jury duty. This selection process helps to make sure that jurors represent a cross section of the community.
As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. Your actions and decisions are the foundation of our judicial system.
It is important for a juror to appear on time and to dress appropriately. The courthouse hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and you will be permitted to enter the building during this time only, unless otherwise directed by court officials. Please review the Court Procedures for the dress code applicable to all participants in the municipal court process, including jurors.
- Be a citizen of the United States;
- Be at least 18 years of age;
- Reside within the city limits of the City of Kerrville;
- Be able to read and write; and
- Be of sound mind and good moral character.
- You have been convicted of a felony or of any type of theft (unless rights have been restored);
- You are now on probation or deferred adjudication for a felony or for any type of theft; or
- You are now under indictment for a felony or are now under criminal charges for any type of theft. If you are in doubt, or think you may not be qualified to serve on a jury for one of these, or any other, reasons, please notify the Judge.
Reasons to be Excused from Jury Duty
- You are over 70 years of age;
- You have legal custody of a child younger than 12 years of age and service on the jury would require leaving the child or children without adequate supervision;
- You are a student at a public or private high school;
- You are enrolled and attend college;
- You are an officer or an employee of the senate, the house of representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government;
- You are the caretaker of a person who is unable to care for themselves; or
- You can show a physical or mental impairment or an inability to comprehend or to communicate in English.
Type of cases heard by Municipal Court juries
Municipal court adjudicates certain criminal cases primarily stemming from traffic offenses, theft under $100.00, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia; and assault. In addition, the Municipal Court adjudicates citizens’ violations of Kerrville Municipal Ordinances. You, as a juror, must decide whether the person charged is guilty or not guilty of these offenses. The accused person is presumed innocent, and the State, represented by the Municipal Prosecutor or Assistant City Attorney, must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Being summoned for jury service does not guarantee that a person will actually serve on a jury. Cases in municipal court will be heard by a panel of six jurors. A larger group, called the jury pool, will be sent to the Municipal Court courtroom where the jurors will be questioned under the supervision of the judge. A juror may be excused from the pool if it is shown that the juror cannot act impartially concerning the case to be heard. In addition, each side, defense and prosecution, is allowed to remove three jurors from the pool without having to show any reason. The trial jury panel will consist of the first six of the remaining jurors in the pool.
Voir Dire or Questioning the Jury Panel
Voir dire is the official, legal term given to the informal process of questioning the jury panel. Voir dire is French for “to see, to speak.” It is through this process that the prosecutor and defense will select a fair and impartial jury. In order to do so, the jury panel will be questioned by each of the parties to see if a prospective juror has any prejudice toward either side or the factual pattern the jury will be asked to evaluate.