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Flavor Flav may face jail time in vehicular case arrest on Long Island

William Drayton, Jr. know as the rapper Flavor

William Drayton, Jr. know as the rapper Flavor Flav appears at the Nassau County courthouse on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Rapper Flavor Flav could be looking at jail time in New York in connection with a 2014 vehicular case following his recent arrest in Las Vegas.

The Roosevelt native, whose real name is William Drayton, appeared Tuesday in Nassau County Court.

State Police pulled Drayton over in January 2014 on the Meadowbrook State Parkway, charging him with offenses including speeding, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and marijuana possession. He told police he was on his way to his mother's funeral and they released him on a desk appearance ticket.

A Nassau grand jury later indicted Drayton, now 56, on charges of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license -- a felony -- along with misdemeanors and speeding.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Bushwack told a judge Tuesday that Drayton's May 21 arrest in Las Vegas on charges including driving while intoxicated, speeding and marijuana possession prompted prosecutors to seek jail time. He asked Judge Terence Murphy to set bail at $10,000 and said prosecutors revoked any prior plea offer.

Murphy ordered Drayton to return for a July 28 hearing on statements he made to police during the traffic stop. The judge told Drayton -- whom he reallowed to remain free without bail -- that he'd review his status if he was arrested again.

"So take that as fair warning,"the judge said.

Drayton declined to comment when asked about the prosecution's decision to seek jail time.

"I'm just a little disappointed because I thought this was gonna go away today," he said leaving the courthouse. "But it's OK. I just gotta come back."

Defense attorney Michael DerGarabedian said the case was adjourned so the defense could figure out if a plea in the New York case could affect the ability of Drayton, who lives in Nevada, to go on tour. He said they also had to find out if the state of Nevada would accept monitoring Flav's probation if the New York judge decided to put him on probation.

"I think that he thinks the district attorney is going extra hard on him because he's [got] celebrity status," the Rockville Centre lawyer also said.

Drayton, as a founding member of the Roosevelt rap group Public Enemy, is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Shams Tarek, a spokesman for the Nassau district attorney's office, said the defendant "is being treated the same way any defendant with a history of aggravated unlicensed operation convictions and a new arrest for driving while impaired by drugs would be."

Tarek added that every delay in the case has been because of a request from the defense.

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