Serving on a Grand Jury
In Bexar County, two grand juries meet for two months at a time. One grand jury meets on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other meets on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Each grand jury is assigned to a different court, which rotates every two months. Unlike regular jury duty, the grand jury can function with between 9 and 12 members present each day. The grand jury listens to felony cases and decides whether or not there is probable cause to indict. In order to vote a true bill of indictment, at least nine (9) grand jurors must agree.
Grand jury proceedings are secret and are held in the grand jury room on the 3rd floor of the Paul Elizondo Tower.
9:00 AM until the grand jury finishes the cases for that day, usually by noon, but the grand jury could possibly be in session until early afternoon.
$6.00 for the first day, then $34.00 for each day they are present. Alternates only get reimbursed if they are named to replace one of the grand jurors.
For security purposes, all persons entering the Courthouse or Justice Center must pass through metal detectors, and may be subject to a personal search. No pocket knives, knitting needles, embroidery needles, etc., will be permitted into the premises.
Arriving to Court
Report to the courtroom of the court which has summoned you on the correct date and time. The judge will select fourteen people, twelve grand jurors and two alternate grand jurors. The alternates will serve only if one of the original twelve grand jurors becomes disqualified. There are ten felony District Courts and they are located in the first four (4) floors of the Bexar County Justice Center.
To serve as a juror you must meet qualifications. A qualified juror:
- is at least 18 years of age;
- is a citizen of Texas and a resident of Bexar County;
- is qualified under the constitution and laws to vote in Bexar County (note: you do not have to be registered to vote);
- is of sound mind and good moral character;
- is able to read and write English;
- has not been convicted of misdemeanor theft or a felony; and
- is not under indictment or other legal accusation for misdemeanor theft or a felony.
Additionally, a qualified juror MUST NOT:
- be related to any grand juror serving on the same panel; or
- have served as a grand juror or grand jury commissioner in the previous year.
You are not required to claim an exemption from serving on a grand jury.
An exemption may be requested if the juror is:
- is a person older than 70 years of age;
- a person responsible for the care of a child younger than 18 years;
- a student of a public or private secondary school;
- a person enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education; or
- any other person that the court determines has a reasonable excuse from service.
If you are disqualified or want to claim an exemption, you may either complete the appropriate information on your grand jury duty summons, have it notarized, and mail it to the court which has summoned you, or you may inform the judge on the date you are to appear