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Judge rules search of a rapper's car unconstitutional

Hip-hop fans in Texas may be aware that the 27-year-old rapper Jeffery Lamar Williams, who is better known by his stage name Young Thug, was charged with narcotics and weapons offenses on Oct. 17 following a routine traffic stop. Police in Georgia say that they discovered a large amount of cash, two firearms and drugs including Xanax, marijuana, ecstasy and codeine in the controversial rapper's Mercedes-Benz Maybach sedan.

Attorneys representing Williams won a major victory on March 21 when the judge presiding over the case ruled that the initial traffic stop in DeKalb County violated the rapper's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. According to media reports, three police officers appeared in court and told the judge that the car was initially pulled over because its window tint appeared to be darker than the 32 percent allowed under Georgia's motor vehicle code. However, they were unable to produce any evidence to support their claims. Williams also alleges that police failed to provide him with a Miranda warning when they took him into custody.

However, the charges against Williams were not dismissed, and the courtroom victory does not put an end to the case. Experts say that prosecutors may still choose to go to trial with the evidence they have. If convicted on all charges, Williams could be sentenced to up to five years in jail.

Cases involving serious drug crimes sometimes hinge on the admissibility of narcotics seized during searches without a warrant. When police officers are unable to establish credible probable cause for a search or traffic stop, experienced criminal defense attorneys may argue that their behavior was unconstitutional, so any evidence arising from it should be suppressed.

Source: Hot New Hip-Hop, Young Thug Gets Key Evidence Tossed In Drug Case: Report, Aron A, March 22, 2019Source: KTLA News 5, Rapper Young Thug Arrested on Drug, Firearm Charges in Georgia After Police Pull Him Over for Having Tinted Windows, CNN wire report, Oct. 7, 2017

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