Hall to appeal DUI case to circuit court
Hartselle Mayor Don Hall pleaded guilty in Limestone County District Court Wednesday for the purpose of appealing his driving under the influence case to circuit court.
Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones said Hall and his attorney, Dan Totten, have 14 days to file the necessary paperwork to appeal the case to circuit court. Once the paperwork has been filed, a circuit court case number will be assigned, and it will be assigned a circuit judge and new court date.
Jones said that there are only four court dates each year that are scheduled for appealed cases from district court – two dates for each circuit judge.
Jones said that Hall could request a jury trial.
“This is pretty common in DUI cases,” Jones said. “They will plead guilty with the stipulation that they’re going to use the automatic appeal to circuit court.”
The district court judge sentenced Hall to a 60-day suspended sentence and two years of probation plus fines, court costs and community service, which Jones said is a standard first-time offender sentence for a DUI.
Jones said Hall would not have to serve that sentence if the case is appealed to circuit court. However, Jones said the circuit judge would have the right to sentence Hall to the maximum for a Class A misdemeanor, which is up to one year in jail and a $6,000 fine.
“When you appeal it to circuit court, you lose our plea deal for first-time offenders,” Jones said. “The judge could issue more or less of a sentence if he is convicted, unless a plea deal is reached in circuit court.”
Hall was arrested on I-65 in Limestone County Sept. 5 and charged with driving under the influence after a state trooper noticed that he was driving erratically. His driver’s license was suspended in October since he refused to take a breathalyzer test.
His license has since been re-instated.