While a grand jury is generally not a preferred forum for a criminal defendant, it’s often used when a case is either politically sensitive or tough to prove, said Sacramento attorney William Portanova, who worked as a district attorney for 10 years and a federal prosecutor for seven.

He said taking the case to the grand jury doesn’t mean Andrews is getting special treatment, but it will allow the Marin County district attorney’s office to wash its hands of the high-profile incident if the panel chooses not to indict him.