Skip to Content Top

How to Argue for Leniency in a DUI Case?


Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in the state of Idaho. The penalties are harsh and can often be a life-changing experience. For the 1st DUI offense, the penalties include jail time of up to 6 months, fine of up to $1,000 and a license suspension of up to 7 months. If your blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0.20% or greater, you may face jail time of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $2,000. In addition to these penalties, you may also face license suspension and higher auto insurance rates in the wake of a DUI. This is why it makes every sense to fight a DUI charge and try to have the penalties mitigated as much as possible. When you hire an Idaho DUI attorney, your attorney will cite various arguments to plead the court’s leniency in your case. Some of the common factors used to argue for leniency are mentioned below.

Previous Record

Your previous record is immensely important when arguing a DUI case in the court. If you don’t have a previous criminal record, it is easy for a lawyer to show you as a law-abiding citizen. No criminal record means that you shouldn’t have a previous DUI citation on your past record either. If your record is clean, your attorney can argue that the current DUI was a one-off incident which should be regarded as a forgivable mistake.


Your behavior is usually considered an indicator of your personality. If you act respectfully towards the officer that arrested you, the officer may take a lenient view of your case. Similarly, if you are respectful towards the court, the judge and the jury, this can be an argument in your favor. A lawyer can also cite your behavior between the arrest and hearing to show that you are respectful of the laws and mindful of your moral obligations.

No Accident or Injury

Whether or not an accident and injury has occurred while you were DUI plays an important role in a DUI case. If an accident has occurred while you were DUI, this shows that you are reckless and heedless of your or others’ safety. If a DUI accident results in great bodily harm or a permanent disfigurement or disability, it is classified as aggravated DUI as per Idaho Statutes 18-8006. The penalties for aggravated DUI are harsher than a standard DUI citation.

If you were cited for DUI without any accident or injury involved in your case, the court may take a more lenient view. Your lawyer can argue that although drunk, you were still cognizant of the safety of others on the road. It can also be shown to demonstrate that you handle alcohol well and were not a road risk at the time of your DUI arrest.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Level

Idaho has a standard BAC limit of 0.08% for drivers over the age of 21. If you are above 21 and have a BAC above 0.08% while driving a non-commercial vehicle, you are held guilty of DUI. However, there are many levels of being drunk. On average, the BAC level for DUI cases is between 0.12% and 0.14%.

If your BAC results show that you at a lower level, say 0.10%, your lawyer may use this in your favor. It can be argued that your BAC was barely above the legal limit, which may sway the court to a more lenient punishment.

Substance Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation

In most DUI cases, a court will ask you to enroll in a drug abuse treatment or rehabilitation program for a specific period. This will typically be mandated in the hearing of your DUI case. You can impress the judge by enrolling in a mandated program before the hearing. On the day of the hearing, the lawyer can then argue that you regret your DUI error. Your enrollment in a rehabilitation program can be shown as a proof that you wish to make amends.

How Can a Boise DUI Attorney Help You?

A DUI case hinges on a variety of factors. It is only with the help of a qualified DUI attorney that you can assess these factors and build an effective defense against the DUI charge. A good attorney will look at all the factors, identify gaps and then use them to argue for leniency on your behalf. Hiring a qualified attorney can be all the difference between a standard punishment and a significantly reduced punishment in your DUI case.

Hiring a Boise DUI Lawyer to Argue for Leniency

Here at the Trilogy Law Group, we specialize in handling DUI cases. Our Idaho lawyers are well acquainted with the legal landscape of DUI laws in Idaho. We help you seek minimum penalties after getting a DUI citation. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our DUI attorneys and get the ball rolling on your case.