In a number of our posts, we have highlighted the importance of police officers having experienced criminal defense attorneys when they are charged with crimes. We have also noted how the current political (public relations) climate suggests that authorities are more intent on holding wrongdoers accountable, even if they are police officers who are otherwise model citizens.
A story out of Imperial County exemplifies this sentiment, as well as the need for an officer to have a strong legal defense. Last October a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed his partner during a firearms safety talk. While the incident is an extremely cruel irony, it has taken a substantial emotional toll on the Fresno County Sherriff’s department.
In adding further insult and complications, the Fresno County District Attorney has charged the deputy with involuntary manslaughter by lawful act in an unlawful manner in violation of section 192(b) of the California Penal Code. The charge is a felony that carries at least one year in state prison as a penalty.
Few details have been released regarding the case, but authorities must have learned something within the course of investigating the matter that led them to believe that more than just a tragic accident occurred. Nevertheless, it exemplifies the need for an officer charged with a crime to have an experienced criminal defense attorney to review all of the relevant facts and put forth a strong defense in court.
If you have been charged with a crime or believe you are under investigation in anticipation of criminal charges, we invite you to contact us.