US v. Alvin Hall, No. 14-4190 (4th Cir. 2014)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 14-4190 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. ALVIN DEWAYNE HALL, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Richmond. Henry E. Hudson, District Judge. (3:13-cr-00125-HEH-1) Submitted: November 21, 2014 Decided: December 17, 2014 Before MOTZ and FLOYD, Circuit Judges, and DAVIS, Senior Circuit Judge. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Jeremy Gordon, Mansfield, Texas, for Appellant. Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney, Olivia L. Norman, Assistant United States Attorney, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Alvin distribute Dewayne pled possess and Hall guilty with intent to to conspiracy distribute to marijuana (Count 2) and bribery of a public official (Count 5), for his role in supplying contraband while a federal sentenced to 96 months of imprisonment. inmate and was On appeal, Hall raises one issue: whether the district court abused its discretion by denying, without proper inquiry, his request for a continuance in order to obtain substitute counsel. For the reasons that follow, we affirm. At his sentencing hearing, Hall was represented by appointed counsel but sought a continuance so that he could hire another attorney to advise him regarding questions he had about sentencing. Hall specifically told the court that he was not seeking to withdraw his plea and made no statements regarding unhappiness denied with the his motion appointed for a counsel. continuance The district finding that court Hall’s appointed counsel was very experienced, had done “superb job,” there were no complicated issues involved in the sentencing which would require additional research, no serious issues that that were objected to, and that the advisory Guidelines were clearly and properly computed. The determination of whether a Sentencing (J.A. 54-55). continuance is justified is left to the sound discretion of the trial court, 2 Morris v. Slappy, 461 U.S. 1, 11-12 (1983), which we review for an abuse of discretion. 1297 (4th Cir. 1985). United States v. Lorick, 753 F.2d 1295, We have held that a district court need not grant a continuance for purposes of securing new counsel where the request for it plausibly can be viewed as simply a delaying tactic or as otherwise unreasonable. States v. Gallop, 838 F.2d 105, See, e.g., United 107-09 (4th Cir. 1988); Sampley v. Attorney Gen. N.C., 786 F.2d 610, 613–14 (4th Cir. 1986). In particular, a defendant’s right to choose his own counsel is limited so as not to deprive a court of its “inherent power to control the administration of justice.” Gallop, 838 F.2d at 108 (citation omitted); see United States v. Gonzalez– Lopez, 548 U.S. 140, 152 (2006) (finding that a trial court has wide latitude against the calendar). in needs balancing of the fairness right and to counsel against of demands choice of its Thus, we find no abuse of discretion. Accordingly, we affirm Hall’s conviction and sentence. We dispense contentions with are oral argument adequately because presented in the facts and the materials legal before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 3