With another album heading down the pike, a hit movie in theaters and a new bride on his arm , T.I.’s post-jail future was looking very bright. However, in the wake of his Wednesday night arrest for suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, the MC’s lawyers said they are not sure whether the ATL rapper will head back to prison.
“T.I. is going to be back on his way to Atlanta in the next 24 hours,” Don Samuel, one of T.I.’s lawyers, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday (September 2). “It’s almost certain he’ll end up appearing before the court here. But without knowing all the facts, it’s premature to speculate what the court is likely to do.”
Another member of T.I.’s legal team, Dwight Thomas, echoed Samuel’s assertions and told The Associated Press that, “We don’t have a full grasp of the facts, circumstances. We don’t know the violation.” Thomas added, “I will remain optimistic until this matter is favorably resolved.”
“We’re not making any observations at this time,” said T.I.’s defense attorney Ed Garland. “This is an unfortunate occurrence, and we do not know what the outcome will be.”
T.I. and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, were arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles after the Grammy-winning MC made an illegal U-turn. Officers searched the car and its passengers after smelling marijuana emanating from the vehicle. An unspecified number of pills “resembling ecstasy” were found and the couple were taken into custody. They were released early Thursday morning after posting $10,000 bail each.
At press time, it was not clear whether the incident is a violation of T.I.’s (born Clifford Harris Jr.) three-year probation. The rapper has remained under supervised release after wrapping a prison stint for felony gun charges he picked up in 2007.
U.S. Attorney Sally Yates told the AP that officials were still reviewing the situation. “The probation office is in the process of determining what happened and will make a recommendation regarding Mr. Harris when they have all the facts,” she said.
A former United Nations Ambassador and high-profile T.I. advocate, Andrew Young, expressed concern upon hearing of the rapper’s latest brush with the law. “I assume that you’re innocent until you’re proven guilty,” Young told the AP. “If he was driving and smoking marijuana, that is absolutely stupid. But why was he pulled over in the first place? Because he had a Maybach? Because he was black? Because they know who he is and resent his success?”
Young was one of many supporters present in Atlanta when T.I. was sentenced to one year and one day in 2009 for felony weapons charges. The length of the sentence was part of an exceptional plea deal that would have allowed the rapper the possibility to be released earlier for good behavior. T.I. ended up serving seven months before being transferred to a halfway house to ride out the remainder of his sentence . After entering the halfway house in December, Tip had his full-term release this past March.
The star is also obligated to complete approximately 400 hours of community service, meet with a probation officer regularly and obtain permission to travel. DNA testing, drug counseling and the agreement to submit to reasonable searches are also conditions of his probation.