Parker County Today September 2017 - Page 22

Andrew Decker poses with his son, Austin, and his 2015 buck “Dos” Facebook Post Becomes Hunting Without a License BY ANDREW DECKER E 20 very hunter likes to tell a story. Those stories used to be told by the fire at the deer camp. The hunter could make that deer bigger than anything anyone had ever seen. Now those same hunters can instantly post that kill right to Facebook. All the world can know that your Texas buck is finer than the wine in Napa Valley. A hunter who is hunting with- out a license is no less vain. Game wardens can look at Facebook just like the rest of us. A Texas game warden sitting in his office can troll Facebook and purposefully look for the latest posts about hunting in his area. Sure enough, a big buck with a hunter grinning ear to ear pops up on the feed. The game warden then casually runs the name of the hunter through the data base. The hunter who is posing with his trophy does not have a hunting license. Within minutes, a search warrant is written and the game warden along with a few deputies from the sheriff’s depart- ment are headed to the deer camp. In real cases similar to this, hunt- ers have faced fines, had rifles and ammunition seized, meat was confis- cated, and that set of antlers that was destined to be a shoulder mount on the wall become the property of the State of Texas. This is assuming the hunter was not in violation of trespass laws or other hunting violations. When people learn that I am a criminal defense attorney, the typi- cal response is, “I hope I never need you.” I generally answer, “I hope you never need me too.” When someone reaches out to me by phone, email, or even a sheepish text message, that person is needing help. It means the person, or someone they know and love, has had a very bad day. Often that bad day is based solely on poor decisions of someone who is now a potential client. See the hunt- ers above. They were hunting without a license. Other examples include deciding to drive home after having too much to drink, being in posses- sion of marijuana or other narcotics and illegal drugs, or not doing what the court instructs them to do during a probation. Sometimes the bad day arises out of poor timing and being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Examples of the bad day arising out of poor timing include: the client who was arrested with a friend at Wal-Mart because the friend was shop lifting, another client was arrest- ed for public intoxication when the designated driver was arrested on a warrant during a traffic stop, or when a young man was falsely accused of assault at a party. Regardless of why you call a defense attorney, you have likely experienced one of the worst or most embarrassing days of your life. I see it as my job and duty to do everything in my power to help my clients. First, I insure that law enforcement and the prosecutors do their jobs properly. Second, I will defend you and your constitution al rights with all that I can legally muster. Finally, for many clients, my main job is to make sure that your worst moment is not the only moment a judge, a prosecutor, or a jury sees. No one deserves to be judged only by their worst day or their biggest mistake.