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Man appealing his Hall DUI conviction to Ga. Supreme Court

A man is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to rule that an earlier agreement he made to plead guilty to a DUI in Hall County should not have been admitted at trial when he later changed his plea.

A Georgia State Patrol trooper smelled alcohol and saw Gregory Claude Adams’ eyes were bloodshot when he encountered him July 2, 2016, according to the Georgia Supreme Court’s summary of the case. Adams’ car had hit an embankment after he swerved to avoid another car that had stopped to turn left.

The trooper arrested Adams for DUI and read him the Georgia implied consent notice about submitting to a chemical test for inebriation. Adams signed an agreement to plead guilty in exchange for not having his license suspended.

“Adams also refused to take the state-administered blood test. The arresting trooper then initiated an administrative suspension of Adams’s license but agreed to suspend the administrative proceeding and allow Adams to keep his license based on Adams’s formal written ‘stipulation’ that he would enter a guilty plea to the DUI charge,” according to the court’s summary of the case.

Adams later decided to plead not guilty and go to trial, but his previous stipulation about entering a guilty plea was admitted into evidence. 

Adams was convicted in Hall County State Court in May 2017 on charges of DUI, following too closely and failure to maintain lane. He was acquitted on a charge of not having proof of insurance.

The case was appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals, which upheld the ruling.

Adams will be represented Monday, Dec. 10 by Samuel Sliger. 

According to the court summary, Sliger also disagreed with the Court of Appeals’ ruling that he could not challenge the evidence on appeal as being more prejudicial against his client rather than probative. Probative evidence is that which is meant to prove something at trial. 

The justices will hear the case during the 10 a.m. session Monday, Dec. 10.