People who have been arrested for DUI and drug possession in North Carolina might be interested in the arrest of a popular hip hop artist in Georgia. On Dec. 10, Tyrone Griffin, Jr., was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of drug possession. Griffin, known professionally as Ty Dolla Sign, was charged with one count of cocaine possession, one felony count of THC possession and a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. Griffin could serve up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Griffin had been taken into custody in Atlanta along with six associates on Sept. 5 after police stopped and searched his van, reportedly finding drugs. The incident was captured on video, and several officers and drug dogs were present at the scene. Griffin was released from jail on $6,000 bond for the drug possession charges.
Police handcuffed and arrested Griffin and one of the other individuals traveling with him but released the other five individuals. It is not clear why police only decided to arrest Griffin and the other individual given that no drugs were found on Griffin’s person and no one claimed the drugs. Griffin’s attorney accused police of unfairly singling out his client due to his international fame.
Although the charges against Griffin are serious, there are several mitigating factors that may allow him to escape serving a maximum prison sentence. First, Griffin has no other criminal history. Second, unless police have more information on the charges than has been publicly released, it may be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs belonged to Griffin. Finally, Griffin’s celebrity may help him by creating doubts over the motives of the police in arresting him. It is the responsibility of an attorney for drunk driving charges to create a defense for their client either by looking for weakness in the evidence or by negotiating a lenient plea agreement with the prosecution.