Texas Prosecutor Arrested For DWI In Texas

57af89762450b.imageKristen Parker, 27, has achieved the type of national notoriety that every prosecutor dreads.  The assistant McLennan County district attorney who prosecutes DWI cases was arrested over the weekend for . . . you guessed it, DWI.


These types of arrests raise an issue that we discussed previously on how to handle lawyers guilty of offenses like DWI.  Parker was an undergraduate of Vanderbilt in 2010 and a 2014 law graduate of Baylor University.  Courts tend to be harsh with lawyers who break the law. However, this is only a misdemeanor offense. Assuming that Parker is convicted, should there be a suspension or disbarment as a result?

I think that disbarment is clearly too harsh and I think that there is little need for a punitive suspension beyond the period of the misdemeanor.  Parker will already face considerable professional costs for her arrest and possible conviction.

What do you think?

37 thoughts on “Texas Prosecutor Arrested For DWI In Texas”

  1. I can only hope that this experience makes her more compassionate and merciful toward her fellow defendants, although I agree with others who have noted that such a shift would come at a cost to her career. That said, a prosecutor can e exercise discretion when it comes to making charging decisions, which wouldn’t be counted in their conviction rate. Or they could -gasp!- not overcharge a case, as is common practice, and instead seek convictions that fit the ‘crime.’

  2. A DUI years ago before revenue mattered, the cops might just give you a ride home. And it hasn’t been all that long ago the breathalyzer limit was .1, now the limit has been lowered to .08. So was everyone really drunk at .1 years ago?
    Or is this just a reaction from a political push?
    Seems really arbitrary, especially since commercial license limits are .04…so if you have a commercial license your drunk at .07, but someone with a regular license is not? Because that’s what we’re talking about, right? When someone is impaired to where they are a danger to others.
    (Except that anyone under 21 has a zero tolerance limit. (NO over the counter cough medicine for you! (Only prescriptions are exceptions, and alcohol as part of a religious ceremony)))
    I should also add that a pilots license limit is .02, so if he was at the commercial drivers limit, he would be considered drunk or impaired. (Do the limits seem arbitrary yet?)

    And yet as arbitrary as the law is the Illinois laws are harsh, lose your license automatically! How do you expect someone to get rehabilitated if they can’t get to work or to drive to counseling and pay off fines?

  3. No one was hurt, no property was damaged. No reason to arrest her…except that it does benefit a few special interests — hardly sufficient reason to arrest her – or anyone else.

  4. So many of you are protecting one of your own. Personally, I believe in second or third chances. But prosecutors rarely if ever do. For the non-elite without the benefit of an elite college or post graduate degree, there is no recourse or alternative. Pardon me but I do see hypocrisy. We over prosecute and apply an unattainable standard for real life.

  5. @Paul Schulte: “And I taught a couple of courses of those, to the detriment of the students.”

    To paraphrase my mom, every year despite the best efforts of teachers, students still manage to learn.

    1. bigfatmike – I told them not to have me teach math or science, but they were in a bind. I did the best I could and some did learn despite my best efforts. 🙂

  6. I understand that appearance may affect her job.

    But assuming this is an isolated incident and not an indication of substance abuse I see no reason this should affect her license to practice.

    Further, if you believe the disease model is a useful approach for understanding alcoholism, then even a serious problem should not affect her license providing she gets treatment, makes progress, and assures her problem does not interfere with her practice.

  7. She is not likely to be prosecuting DUI cases again, as the appearance of impropriety will long remain. If such be the case, there is no reasonable reason she should suffer a punishment any greater than any other citizen. Impartiality is the rule. She should be treated neither more nor less harshly than you or I.

    1. Autumn – I taught everything except math and science. And I taught a couple of courses of those, to the detriment of the students.

  8. IF the probation report is used here, and the ADA has a positive report, then wrecking her career achieves nothing, except a train wreck. BUT if this violation is somewhat less than a gross drunkard, perhaps some intervention is warranted that would not wreck her life, and her ability to contribute to society.
    Oh, BTW, I hate gross DUI repeat offenders. They should be in prison.

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