When reviewing whether a search was justified by consent, a district court examines several issues. First, the government must show that the defendant consented based on the totality of the circumstances. United States v. Freeman, 482 F.3d 829, 831-32 (5th Cir. 2007). Next, the government must show that this consent was voluntary, also based on the totality of the circumstances. Id. at 832 (citing Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 222, 93 S. Ct. 2041, 36 L. Ed. 2d 854 (1973)).
District courts focus on six factors to determine voluntariness:
(1) the voluntariness of the defendant's custodial status; (2) the presence of coercive police procedures; (3) the extent and level of the defendant's cooperation with the police; (4) the defendant's awareness of his right to refuse consent; (5) the defendant's education and intelligence; and (6) the defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will be found. All six factors are relevant, but no single one is dispositive or controlling. Id. (quoting United States v. Kelley, 981 F.2d 1464, 1470 (5th Cir. 1993)).
Third, the government must show that the search was within the scope of the consent. Id. (internal citations omitted). Scope of consent is governed by objective reasonableness: "what would the typical reasonable person have understood by the exchange between the officer and the suspect?" Florida v. Jimeno, 500 U.S. 248, 251, 111 S. Ct. 1801, 114 L. Ed. 2d 297 (1991). The question of objective reasonableness is a question of law that we review de novo, although factual findings explicit in a district court's reasonableness decision are reviewed for clear error. United States v. Ibarra, 965 F.2d 1354, 1356-57, 1360 (5th Cir. 1992) (en banc); see also United States v. Harrison, 918 F.2d 469, 473 (5th Cir. 1990), and United States v. Tedford, 875 F.2d 446, 448-49 (5th Cir. 1989).
“Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who kept their swords.” -Benjamin Franklin