Phoenix Detective Arrested For DUI - Update

Posted by Craig Penrod | Oct 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

Phoenix Detective Arrested For DUI - Update

The Arizona Republic reported in early September that a Phoenix Police Department Detective, Lori Demski was recently arrested and charged with an Extreme DUI.  An Extreme DUI in Arizona is charged when the suspect's Blood Alcohol Content is above .15, but below .20.

Though the breath test taken at the scene of the stop and investigation indicated Demski had a BAC over .20, prosecutors chose to wait to determine final charges until after they had received the results of her blood test.  A recent review of court records indicates that Ms. Demski was additionally charged with a Super Extreme DUI, which indicates that she had a Blood Alcohol Content above a .20.

She is currently facing four DUI charges.   After she was stopped by police officers they presumably conducted a DUI investigation.  After they finished administering field sobriety tests, she would have been charged with the DUI charge, or Driving Under the Influence, which means she was driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol to the slightest degree.  This charge does not involve the use of any kind of reliable testing device, but mainly relies on the field sobriety tests which we discussed in previous articles.

Once placed under arrest, Ms. Demski would have been given a blood or breath test, or in her case, both. The breath test apparently indicated that she had a Blood Alcohol Content over the legal limit, as she was additionally charged with the "BAC above .08" and the Extreme DUI charge (with a BAC over a .15).

As I just mentioned, I reviewed the court records for an update on this case and it seems that Ms. Demski's blood test also returned a Blood Alcohol Content result above .20, as she has recently been charged with the Super Extreme DUI, as well.

What prompted the initial investigation was a report from one of Ms. Demski's neighbors that she was seen leaving her house at around 11 pm on the night of August 11th, 2013 and that she appeared to be intoxicated, according to the neighbor.

Police responded to her address just as Ms. Demski was returning home, stopped her and conducted their investigation.   The news report stated that she is a 9 year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, on an assignment with the department's Family Investigation Bureau.  She was placed on administrative leave after the charges were filed in August.

If convicted of the Super Extreme DUI charge, Ms. Demski could be facing a minimum of 45 days in jail, along with nearly $6,000 in fines and fees, not to mention attorney's fees.  She will also be placed on probation and suffer a 90 day license suspension.  Once her driving privileges are reinstated she will have to install an ignition interlock device on her vehicle for at least 18 months.

As in most DUI cases, you will note that there are multiple charges for essentially the same thing.  Many people feel that in these cases the State OVERCHARGES, and that they should be required to file one charge and proceed on that alone.

Let's use Ms. Demski's case as an example.  She was charged with the following offenses:

  • DUI - Driving while Impaired to the Slightest Degree
  • BAC - Driving with a BAC over .08
  • Extreme DUI - Driving with a BAC over .15
  • Super Extreme DUI - Driving with a BAC over .20

Ms. Demski basically has two options, take a plea and accept the State's offer, or fight the charges.

Generally, in these types of cases, the prosecutor will offer a plea agreement to something less than the most serious charge.  They may offer to allow her to plead guilty to the Extreme or the regular DUI charge in exchange for dismissing the Super Extreme.  Oftentimes, the penalty will be the same as if she were only convicted of the lesser charge, though some prosecutors do ask for additional penalties as a consequence of receiving the dismissal of the more serious charges.  They may ask for additional days in jail, or longer probation.

If the case proceeds to trial and Ms. Demski faces the worst case scenario, she will be convicted of all of the charges.  The judge will sentence her according to the most serious charge, however.  Any penalties that would arise under other, lesser charges will run concurrently to the sentence she faces for the most serious.

For example, Ms. Demski faces a minimum of ten days in jail for the simple DUI charge.  If she is also convicted of the Extreme DUI charge, she faces a minimum of 30 days in jail.  Both of those sentences would run concurrently, that is at the same time, so she would, in effect, be doing 30 days in jail and getting credit for 10 of those days against the lesser charge.

The law on this matter is relatively clear.  Since all of Ms. Demski's charges arose out of the same incident (i.e. the same set of facts) her sentence for any charges she is convicted of run together, at the same time, or concurrently.

Because of this fact, the State is free to technically overcharge and see what sticks, with the understanding that Ms. Demski will not face additional penalties for multiple charges.If you would like more information on DUIs and DUI penalties in Arizona, Craig Penrod has included a wealth of information on this website through his blog entries that provide additional insight and guidance.

Craig Penrod has been included on the Maricopa County list of Super Lawyers for the last five years.  He is the only defense attorney in Arizona to hold that distinction.  The list of Super Lawyers is complied each year and rates the outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas.  All of the attorneys on the list have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Craig W. Penrod has been practicing nothing but DUI defense for over 20 years, and is one of the most well respected DUI defense lawyers in the State of Arizona.  If you have been charged with a DUI in Metro Phoenix or anywhere in Maricopa County contact the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod to schedule a free consultation immediately.

Once you've received your DUI charges, the clock begins to count down.  You need to hire effective and experienced legal representation as soon as possible so we can begin compiling your defense.We will begin collecting police reports, interviewing officers and other witnesses and potentially locating expert witnesses to testify on your behalf right away.  A good defense takes time to prepare, so don't wait until just before your court date to begin your search for a DUI defense attorney.

Contact our office today at (480) 753-4888 or use the contact link on this website to schedule your free consultation.

About the Author

Craig Penrod

Craig W. Penrod was born and raised in Arizona and has practiced criminal defense for over 30 years. Mr. Penrod is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, State of Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


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