US v. Darryl Luster

Filing 920090504

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 08-4793 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. DARRYL T. LUSTER, a/k/a Darryl Tyrone Luster, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Richmond. Richard L. Williams, Senior District Judge. (3:08-cr-00085-RLW-1) Submitted: March 26, 2009 Decided: May 4, 2009 Before NIEMEYER, KING, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Michael S. Nachmanoff, Federal Public Defender, Frances H. Pratt, Valencia Roberts-Brower, Assistant Federal Public Defenders, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellant. Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney, John D. Adams, Assistant United States Attorney, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Darryl firearm by a T. Luster pled guilty in to possession of to 18 of a convicted but felon, reserved violation right U.S.C. the 922(g)(1) (2006), his appeal district court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence found in a search of a rental car Luster was driving. Luster argues on appeal that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the rental car because his wife was the authorized user and gave him permission to drive it. Luster also contends that the district court erred in finding the police officer properly conducted the search pursuant to the impoundment and inventory exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement. Finding no reversible error, we affirm. We review legal conclusions underlying the denial of a motion to suppress de novo, and review factual findings for clear error. Cir. 2006). to United States v. Moreland, 437 F.3d 424, 429 (4th The the evidence government, is as construed the in the light party most favorable prevailing below. United States v. Seidman, 156 F.3d 542, 547 (4th Cir. 1998). A search can violate an individual's Fourth Amendment rights only when the individual has "a legitimate expectation of privacy" in the place searched. United States v. Wellons, 32 F.3d 117, 119 (4th Cir. 1994) (citing Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 143 (1978)). An expectation of privacy is legitimate 2 if the individual has a subjective expectation of privacy in the area searched, and that subjective expectation of privacy is objectively reasonable based on "concepts of real or personal property law" or "understandings that are recognized and permitted by society." An Rakas, 439 U.S. at 143 n.12. driver of a rented car has "no unauthorized legitimate privacy interest in the car" and, therefore, a search of the car "cannot have violated his Fourth Amendment rights." Wellons, 32 F.3d at 119. This conclusion is not altered where the authorized lessee allows the unauthorized driver to drive the rental vehicle, as an unauthorized driver still does not have permission of the rental company, the owner of the vehicle. Id. at 119 n.2. This principle is of particular applicability here as Luster did not possess a valid driver's license, and thus could not have have reasonably authorized believed him to that the the rental vehicle, agreement would operate regardless of his wife's consent. Therefore, the district court correctly concluded that as an unauthorized driver, Luster did not have a legitimate privacy interest in the car and thus the search of the car did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights. Alternatively, Luster urges this court to reconsider Wellons. A review of the applicable case law reveals no persuasive reason to overturn or alter the Wellons holding in this instance. See United States v. Ruhe, 191 F.3d 376, 388 3 (4th Cir. 1999) (stating that a panel of this court is "bound by prior precedent from other panels in this circuit absent contrary law from an en banc or Supreme Court decision"). Because Luster had no legitimate expectation of privacy in the rental vehicle, we do not reach Luster's second argument regarding the propriety of the inventory search. We legal Accordingly, we affirm Luster's conviction and sentence. dispense with oral argument because the facts and contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4

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