US v. Rufus Hopkins
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. RUFUS HOPKINS, a/k/a Rock, Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Columbia. Joseph F. Anderson, Jr., District Judge. (3:07-cr-00153-JFA-1)
September 10, 2009
October 8, 2009
Before MOTZ and Circuit Judge.
Affirmed in part; dismissed in part by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Andrew Mackenzie, BARRETT-MACKENZIE, LLC, Greenville, South Carolina, for Appellant. Mark C. Moore, Assistant United States Attorney, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
PER CURIAM: Rufus conspiracy conspiracy, attorney to as Hopkins distribute well an as appeals cocaine his from and his a convictions related for
financial His are no of the
Anders * for in his
brief, appeal plea
questions of whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Hopkins's motion to withdraw his plea or whether the district court clearly erred in determining that Hopkins was not entitled to an acceptance of responsibility adjustment. Hopkins
filed a pro se supplemental brief, alleging that his prosecution violated the statute of limitations for conspiracy. The
Government moved to dismiss the appeal based upon the waiver. We affirm in part and dismiss in part. A defendant may waive the right to appeal if that
waiver is knowing and intelligent. F.3d 162, 169 (4th Cir. 2005).
United States v. Blick, 408
Generally, if the district court
fully questions a defendant regarding the waiver of his right to appeal during the Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 colloquy, the waiver is both valid and enforceable. See United States v. Johnson, 410
F.3d 137, 151 (4th Cir. 2005); United States v. Wessells, 936
Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967).
F.2d 165, 167-68 (4th Cir. 1991).
The question of whether a
defendant validly waived his right to appeal is a question of law that this court reviews de novo. Blick, 408 F.3d at 168.
Waiver of appeal of a sentence does not bar the appeal of a sentence imposed in excess of the statutory maximum or a challenge to the validity of a guilty plea. United States v.
General, 278 F.3d 389, 399 n.4 (4th Cir. 2002); United States v. Marin, 961 F.2d 493, 496 (4th Cir. 1992). does not waive the right to appeal a Further, a defendant sentence based on a
constitutionally impermissible factor such as race, Marin, 961 F.2d at 496, or proceedings conducted in violation of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel following the entry of the guilty plea. 1994). The district court informed Hopkins of the waiver at the Rule 11 hearing, and Hopkins stated that he understood. United States v. Attar, 38 F.3d 727, 732-33 (4th Cir.
Moreover, at sentencing, the district court rejected Hopkins's assertions that his plea was coerced and unknowing; we will
generally not review a district court's credibility decision. See United States v. Lowe, 65 F.3d 1137, 1142 (4th Cir. 1995). Therefore, we find that Hopkins knowingly and intelligently
waived the right to appeal his conviction and sentence. Thus, given the scope of his waiver, Hopkins has
waived review of his claims that the district court improperly 3
denied him an acceptance of responsibility adjustment and that his conviction violated the statute of limitations. These
claims involved neither the validity of the guilty plea nor the legality of the sentence. district court improperly However, Hopkins's assertion that the denied his motion to withdraw his
guilty plea does implicate the validity of the plea and is, thus, unwaived. to dismiss in Accordingly, we grant the Government's motion part and dismiss the challenges to Hopkins's
sentence and the statute of limitations claim.
We deny the
motion with regard to Hopkins's challenge to his conviction. Turning to this latter challenge -the denial of
Hopkins's motion to withdraw his guilty plea -- we have reviewed the Anders brief and the record, and we find no reversible
Accordingly, we conclude, for the reasons stated by the (See E.R.
district court, that the motion was properly denied. at 368-76.)
In addition, in accordance with Anders, we have
examined the entire record for unwaived error and found none. Thus, we affirm Hopkins's convictions. This court requires that counsel inform his client, in writing, of his right to petition the Supreme Court of the
United States for further review.
If the client requests that a
petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move in this court for leave to withdraw from representation. 4 Counsel's motion must
state that a copy thereof was served on the client.
with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and
argument would not aid the decisional process.
AFFIRMED IN PART; DISMISSED IN PART
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