T.I. Starts Community Service, Lawyer Explains Plea

It took rapper T.I. less than 24 hours to fall into compliance with the terms of his plea agreement, AllHipHop.com has learned.

According to attorney Dwight Thomas, who was part of T.I.‘s defense team, the rapper started fulfilling his court mandated 1500 hours of community service on Friday (March 28), just one day after his much publicized court appearance in Atlanta.

While Thomas could not offer details on the amount or type of community service the artist performed, he was able to shed some light on how his surprising plea deal came about.

"We've been doing some good faith negotiations for some time," Thomas told AllHipHop.com. "This didn't happen over a couple of days. We've been involved in some lengthy discussions, both the attorneys for the state and the defense attorneys. This was a reasonable outcome and it was in his best interest. He's expressed remorse for what he's done and accepted responsibility.

"He's committed, he's sincere, he has a passion about helping others," Thomas said of T.I. "That was one of the factors even at his bond hearing: the fact that he's such a charitable person. So I think it's gonna work out for him."

As part of his plea agreement, T.I. is to complete 1000 of the assigned community service hours, prior to his sentencing date on March 27, 2009.

During that time, the rapper, born Clifford Harris, will experience much more freedom than he has since his October 2007 arrest.

"While he is awaiting sentencing, he is under modified restrictions outside of work and religion," explained Thomas. "He's still able to perform, he's able to go to church, he's able to pursue any type of work related to his industry."

Under these modified restrictions, T.I. must obey a curfew that requires him to be at home between the hours of 11pm and 6am, unless he is working, in which case the hours are adjusted to 1am to 8am.

Once T.I. appears in court next year, he is expected to be sentenced to 365 days in federal prison, as per the terms of the plea deal.

The hours logged under curfew will be counted as time served towards the rapper's sentence.

And, Thomas explained, other factors may affect the actual sentence handed down.

"Anytime you're released, do negative things, break the law again, of course there's the possibility that you'll do more time," he says. "But then again, if you do exemplarily well, and go beyond the things you're supposed to do, you might do less time than expected."