A Timeline of Kodak Black's Legal Troubles

Kodak Black can't seem to stay out of law enforcement's radar.
Kodak Black can't seem to stay out of law enforcement's radar. Photo by Ryan Polo/Atlantic Records
Some music artists have a harder time staying on the right side of the law than others. In the South Florida hip-hop scene, Kodak Black is one of the more frequent offenders. His legal troubles have persisted for years, and though it’s hard to say to what degree his problems have stunted his career, they're certainly not helping.

For those trying to keep up, here’s a comprehensive list of Kodak Black’s run-ins with the law.

October 2015: Arrest for kidnapping, battery, and other charges

At 18 years old, Kodak Black was beginning to make waves in the Florida hip-hop world after his breakout hit “Skrt” debuted on Drake’s OVO Beats 1 Radio station. That's when he faced his first arrest in the spotlight. Kodak, born Dieuson Octave in Pompano Beach, was arrested for assault, robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, driving with a suspended license, and possession of marijuana after being accused of forcing several people into his car because he suspected someone broke into his Broward County home. He was released on bond soon thereafter.

December 2015: Arrest for marijuana possession

Just two months after he was charged with drug possession in addition to more severe crimes, Kodak was arrested in St. Lucie County for possession of less than two pounds of marijuana. He also was charged for having drug paraphernalia on him.

February 2016: Arrest for sexual battery

Kodak Black allegedly assaulted a young woman in Florence, South Carolina, in February 2016. The woman reportedly accompanied him to his hotel room after his show at the nightclub Treasure City. Soon after entering the room, she said, the rapper ripped off her clothes, bit her, and raped her. He was charged with criminal sexual misconduct.

April 2016: Arrest for weapons possession

Shortly after the Florence incident, Kodak was allegedly seen buying marijuana from a drug dealer; he then got in his car and drove away. When police tried to pull him over, he attempted to evade arrest and threw a gun from his car, according to the cops. After recovering a loaded .40-caliber Glock 23 pistol, they arrested Kodak for possessing a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, and a number of traffic violations.

May 2016: Arrest in Broward County

According to XXL, Kodak was arrested again in Broward County, this time in connection with open warrants related to the previous charges of false imprisonment and armed robbery.

While he was in jail for this arrest, outstanding warrants for the criminal sexual misconduct case in Florence and the marijuana possession charge from December 2015 were brought to light.

August 2016

After three months in jail, Kodak was sentenced in August to one year of house arrest and five years of probation. He was also reportedly ordered to complete community service, anger management, and community control supervision programs.

However, before he could be placed on house arrest, the open warrants for the St. Lucie County drug possession arrest halted his release. In addition to that warrant, his charge of criminal sexual misconduct in the Florence case was changed to sexual battery, which carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

September 2016

A month later, in September, he pleaded no contest to the St. Lucie possession case and was sentenced to 120 days in prison.

November 28, 2016

Kodak Black was released from a St. Lucie County jail and extradited to South Carolina to face the sexual battery charge.

December 1, 2016

As predicted by his lawyers, Kodak was freed from a South Carolina jail after posting a $100,000 bond for the sexual battery charge. He posted on Instagram that he was “happy to finally be going home to family and friends” and that he looked forward to clearing his name “in the very near future.”
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Kodak Black poked fun at his legal problems when he posed as a prisoner before his show at the Watsco Center in 2017.
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

Feb 2017: Arrest for violating house arrest, assaulting bartender

After appearing in court in Broward, Kodak was arrested for violating the terms of his house arrest related to the charges of false imprisonment in May 2016.

The decision to take him into custody was bolstered by his alleged assault of a bartender at Club Climaxx in Miami earlier in February. Charges weren’t formally filed against him, but the woman identified Kodak as the man who punched and kicked her at the club, and the police incident report was presented in court.

April/May 2017: Angry outburst, sentencing in house arrest violation

Between April 21 and May 4, Kodak was embroiled in a number of legal issues.

On April 21, he was accused of grabbing his anger management counselor by the arm after she threatened to call 911 when he refused to leave a session. She reportedly asked him to leave because he was “intentionally disrupting” the session by “burping repeatedly.”

Five days later, on April 26, he was found guilty on five counts of violating his house arrest.

On May 4, he was sentenced to 364 days in prison with the possibility of early release if he completed a life skills course. He successfully finished the course and was released in June after serving 97 days.

January 2018: Arrest for weapons and drug possession, child neglect

Despite some legal issues regarding child support for his son, Kodak steered clear of the courthouse for the remainder of 2017 after his release from jail. That changed January 18, 2018, when police were alerted to a live stream on Kodak Black’s Instagram feed. The video showed the rapper in his Broward home, surrounded by drugs and weapons with his child nearby.

He was arrested for grand theft of a firearm, two charges of possession of a weapon or ammo by a Florida delinquent adult felon, possession of cannabis over 20 grams, child neglect without great bodily harm, and two counts of parole violation, according to XXL.

A month later, his lawyers were able to get the charges of grand theft, child neglect, and possession of a weapon by a felon dropped.

April 2018: Sentencing for January arrest

Kodak Black entered a plea of not guilty and was again sentenced to 364 days in prison for the remaining charges stemming from his January arrest. He got credit for 90 days of time served in jail while awaiting trial, so he was released in August of that year.

During that stint in jail, Kodak seemed to be trying hard to turn his life around: He earned a GED, changed his legal name to Bill K. Kapri, and even tweeted about writing a book.

Shortly after his release, it was revealed he was also let off probation, truly cementing his freedom.

For a while, things quieted down for Kodak as he continued to release hit songs and collaborate with exciting artists.

However, things once again spiraled downward that spring.

April/May 2019: Arrest for weapons possession

Kodak Black and three others were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents while trying to cross into Canada from New York. He was found with a Glock 9mm pistol and marijuana and was taken to the Niagara County Jail.

He paid the $20,000 to $40,000 bond and then walked out of the jail with a fan of cash covering his face.

Then, less than a month later, he was arrested on weapons charges in Miami. Just before he was set to take the stage at the hip-hop music festival Rolling Loud, he was apprehended by U.S. marshals for state and federal firearms violations following what was described as an “extensive investigation.”

The federal charge arose from an instance in which the rapper allegedly lied about the status of his criminal cases when he filled out official paperwork for a gun purchase.

November 2019: Federal prison sentencing

Kodak pleaded guilty to the federal weapons charge, admitting he gave false information in connection with a January 2019 gun purchase. In November 2019, he was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison.

Behind bars, he had heated confrontations with guards at the high-security prison Big Sandy in Kentucky, which prompted him to file a lawsuit that accused prison staff of beating him and restraining him for hours with no access to a bathroom. (The Bureau of Prisons claimed Kodak had to be restrained because he was violent and spit at a guard.)

His third album, Bill Israel, was released in November 2020 while he was still incarcerated.
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Kodak Black performing at Rolling Loud 2021 in Miami.
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

January 2021: Trump sets Kodak Black free

Then-President Donald Trump commuted Kodak Black's prison sentence on January 20, 2021, as part of a wave of clemency grants in his last moments in the White House. The president's press team pointed to the rapper's past charitable donations as justification for ending his prison term early.

Kodak's attorney, Bradford Cohen — a vocal supporter of Trump and one-time contestant on Trump's show, The Apprentice — lauded the act of clemency and claimed Kodak's sentence had been unfairly harsh in the first place.

The rapper dropped his lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons after his sentence was commuted.

In his song "Last Day In," released shortly after he was discharged from prison, Kodak rapped: "Trump just freed me, but my favorite president is on the money."

April 2021: Sexual assault case yields probation

While Trump's grant of clemency was a welcome relief for the rapper, it did not shield him from the sexual assault charge pending against him in South Carolina state court over the alleged 2016 sexual assault.

Prosecutors in South Carolina argued Kodak had violated his bond terms and that he should be transported to the state to face the sexual assault charge once he was released from federal custody. Citing Covid-19 related court delays, the prosecutors ultimately backed off and agreed to let Kodak remain free until his next court hearing, local news outlet WPDE reported.

In April 2021, Kodak Black secured a deal with the South Carolina prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and received a suspended 10-year sentence, according to court records. He was placed on 18 months of probation and served no additional jail time for the hotel assault.

"I apologize this happened, and I’m hopeful we can all move forward,” the rapper said.

He later posted a message on social media about the resolution of the case, saying, "I ain’t have to come off no money.”

January 2022

Kodak Black was arrested on New Year's Day in Pompano Beach on a trespassing charge. The arresting officer claimed in a police report that Kodak had been at a housing complex despite having been banned from the property by the Housing Authority of Pompano Beach.

The housing authority allegedly had an active cease-and-desist order against Kodak, which arose from its claims that he had disturbed residents during a prior visit in August 2021. Kodak and his attorneys maintained that Kodak was on the property in August to donate air-conditioning units to financially struggling residents.

The trespassing charge was dropped on January 20.

February 2022 shooting

Kodak was shot in the leg in West Hollywood, California, after a fight involving members of his entourage broke out near a restaurant where pop singer Justin Bieber was having an afterparty.

Three others were injured in the shooting. According to Los Angeles police, the suspect fled the scene.

Kodak's album, Back for Everything, was released within two weeks of the shooting, debuting at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart.

July 2022: Broward arrest

On July 15, Kodak was pulled over by Florida Highway Patrol in Broward County after an officer ran the plates on Kodak's vehicle and found that its registration was expired, according to a police report.

Troopers smelled a strong odor of marijuana and decided to search the vehicle, at which point they found 31 oxycodone pills and more than $74,000 in cash, the police report states.

Kodak's attorney Bradford Cohen told TMZ the pills were prescribed to his client for pain relief related to the February shooting.

"Never judge a case based on an arrest," the lawyer said.

Cohen said he has provided Broward County state attorneys with evidence of the prescription and that he is moving to quickly resolve the charges, which include trafficking in oxycodone and illegal possession of a controlled substance.
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Izzy Kapnick is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, covering environmental law, white-collar crime, and the healthcare industry. He has worked as a legal news reporter in South Florida since 2008.
Contact: Izzy Kapnick