United States v. Freeman, 111008 FED4, 07-5097

Docket Nº:07-5097
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. DERRICK LOUIS FREEMAN, II, a/k/a Derrick Louis Freeman, Jr., Defendant- Appellant.
Case Date:November 10, 2008
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,


DERRICK LOUIS FREEMAN, II, a/k/a Derrick Louis Freeman, Jr., Defendant- Appellant.

No. 07-5097

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

November 10, 2008


Submitted: October 16, 2008

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Asheville. Martin K. Reidinger, District Judge. (1:07-cr-00031-MR-1)

Andrew B. Banzhoff, DEVEREUX & BANZHOFF, P.L.L.C., Asheville, North Carolina, for Appellant.

Gretchen C. F. Shappert, United States Attorney, Charlotte, North Carolina; Amy E. Ray, Assistant United States Attorney, Asheville, North Carolina, for Appellee.

Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.

Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

Before WILKINSON, KING, and GREGORY, Circuit Judges.


After a conditional plea of guilty, Derrick Louis Freeman, II, was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (2000), and sentenced to forty months in prison. The conviction arose out of a routine traffic stop; Freeman was stopped by Officer Hogue because he was operating a moped in excess of the thirty miles per hour permitted for such a vehicle.1 During the stop, Hogue observed that Freeman lacked not only a license plate but a driver's license, registration, and insurance. Freeman consented to a pat-down, during which a firearm fell out of Freeman's pants onto the concrete. The district court denied Freeman's motion to suppress.

On appeal. Freeman contends that the district court erred in denying the motion to suppress the firearm.2 He argues that because the arresting officer had neither articulable facts nor probable cause for the stop, the stop violated the Fourth Amendment.

Legal conclusions underlying the denial of a motion to suppress are reviewed de novo and factual findings for clear error. United States v. Branch, 537 F.3d 328, 337 (4th Cir. 2008). "Observing a traffic violation provides sufficient justification for a police officer to detain the offending vehicle for as long as it takes to perform the traditional incidents of a routine traffic stop." Id. at 335. In the course of a routine traffic stop, an officer can ask for driver's license and registration and perform a computer check on these before issuing a citation...

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