As we have mentioned in previous posts, the best approach for defending against a criminal charge varies depending on the circumstances surrounding an alleged crime. As it turns out, the circumstances surrounding an alleged crime also have a bearing on a charge being brought in the first place. A Texas man who shot and killed a sheriff’s deputy is finding that out firsthand. A grand jury recently decided against indicting the man for the death of the deputy.

The incident occurred late last year when several law enforcement agents executed a warrant on the man’s home. The warrant was executed early in the morning—before 6 a.m.—and the officers allegedly entered the house without first knocking. According to the man’s lawyer, his client reached for a gun and shot the deputy, thinking he was an intruder. The grand jury apparently believed the man thought he was being burglarized.

Though the man will not face murder charges he is not completely in the clear. At the time of the incident the man had marijuana plants in his house. Accordingly, the grand jury indicted him on possession of marijuana while in possession of a deadly weapon. Because this is a third-degree felony, it is likely that he and his criminal defense lawyer will mount an aggressive defense.

As this case illustrates, one never knows how criminal allegations will be resolved. Because of this uncertainty, most find it beneficial to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In general, the sooner one does this, the better.

Source: Star Tribune, “Grand jury won’t indict man who shot, killed Central Texas sheriff’s deputy in December,” Nomaan Merchant, Feb. 6, 2014