The police pulled over a car that fit the description of a car used in a robbery. The police ordered the four occupants out of the car. Upon searching the vehicle, the police found a box of rifle shells in the glove compartment and a sawed-off rifle under the front passenger seat. Rakas (defendant) and another man in the car were arrested. Neither Rakas nor the other man had been driving the car, neither owned the car, and neither claimed he owned the shells or the rifle. Rakas moved to have the rifle and shells suppressed at trial, but the trial court denied the motion to suppress. Rakas and the other man were convicted of armed robbery. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's denial of the motion to suppress, holding that Rakas did not have standing to challenge the search of the car because he was simply a passenger in the car and did not have a "proprietary or other similar interest" in the vehicle. The state supreme court denied leave to appeal. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.