*An Aug. 18 trial date has been set in Manhattan for Ja Rule in his 3-year-old gun possession case.

The rapper, born Jeffrey Atkins, was in a chauffeured sports car when cops pulled it over in 2007 on suspicion of speeding, having a suspended registration and no insurance. A search of the vehicle allegedly turned up a semi-automatic gun hidden in the rear driver’s side door. He has pleaded not guilty to weapon possession.

Ja Rule’s lawyer, Stacey Richman, lost a bid to have the weapons count thrown out in January, arguing the police stop which led to his arrest was unjustified.

Today, Richman requested another hearing to discuss issues surrounding the prosecution’s DNA evidence, but her motion was dismissed and a trial date was set for Aug. 18. If convicted, Ja faces up to four years behind bars.

Ja Rule was allowed to skip Tuesday’s court date for a movie shoot out of town.