Costes v. State, No. CA CR 08-55.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Arkansas
Writing for the CourtJohn B. Robbins
Citation103 Ark. App. 171,287 S.W.3d 639
Decision Date24 September 2008
Docket NumberNo. CA CR 08-55.
PartiesCharleen Elaine COSTES, Appellant, v. STATE of Arkansas, Appellee.
287 S.W.3d 639
103 Ark. App. 171
Charleen Elaine COSTES, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Arkansas, Appellee.
No. CA CR 08-55.
Court of Appeals of Arkansas.
September 24, 2008.

[287 S.W.3d 641]

Charles E. Smith, Fort Smith, for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by Leaann J. Irvin, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

JOHN B. ROBBINS, Judge.


Appellant Charleen Elaine Costes was on a suspended sentence for several drug-related offenses dating back to 2002 when she was accused of violating the terms of her suspension in 2007 by possessing a small amount of methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia. The contraband was found subsequent to a stop of the van she was driving and a search of the contents of the van, including her purse. After a revocation hearing conducted in October 2007, the trial judge in Sebastian County Circuit Court revoked her suspension on the basis that she possessed methamphetamine, sentencing her accordingly.

On appeal, appellant first contends that the search and seizure of drugs from a container in her purse violated her rights to be free from unreasonable searches. Specifically, appellant contends that the State failed to demonstrate that the consent she gave the officer was voluntary, and even if it was, the search exceeded the scope of her consent because she allowed him to search her vehicle, not her purse sitting in the vehicle. As her second point on appeal, appellant argues that the State failed to ensure that her conditions of suspension were entered into evidence, such that no revocation could be considered. Finally, appellant challenges the sufficiency of the State's proof that she possessed a "usable" amount of drugs in her purse or that she possessed drug paraphernalia. We hold that only the sufficiency-of-the-evidence issue is preserved for review, but that the trial court's decision to revoke is supported by a preponderance of the evidence. Therefore, we affirm.

Following our supreme court's ruling in Barbee v. State, 346 Ark. 185, 56 S.W.3d 370 (2001), the requirements of Rule 33.1 of the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure regarding motions for dismissal and directed verdicts were no longer applicable to revocation hearings. As a result, an appellant need not move for dismissal of a revocation petition in order to challenge the sufficiency issue on appeal. Barbee v. State, 346 Ark. 185, 56 S.W.3d 370 (2001); Brown v. State, 85 Ark.App. 382, 155 S.W.3d 22 (2004).

Probation may be revoked upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant has inexcusably failed to comply with a condition of the probation. Wade v. State, 64 Ark.App. 108, 983 S.W.2d 147 (1998). The trial court's findings will be upheld unless they are clearly against the preponderance of the evidence. Lamb v. State, 74 Ark.App. 245, 45 S.W.3d 869 (2001). The State need only prove one violation in order to support revocation. Cheshire v. State, 80 Ark. App. 327, 95 S.W.3d 820 (2003). In a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the State. See Gamble v. State, 351 Ark. 541, 95 S.W.3d 755 (2003). Because the burdens are different, evidence insufficient for a conviction may be sufficient to support a revocation. See

287 S.W.3d 642

Jones v. State, 355 Ark. 630, 144 S.W.3d 254 (2004).

Here, the allegation was that appellant possessed a small amount of drugs, which she contends is not a "usable" amount. There is no provision in our Controlled Substances Act, codified at Ark. Code Ann. § 5-64-101 et seq., mandating that one must possess a usable amount of methamphetamine to support a conviction for possession. Nevertheless, our supreme court adopted a usable-amount criteria in Harbison v. State, 302 Ark. 315, 790 S.W.2d 146 (1990). Possession of a trace amount or residue which cannot be used and which the accused may not even know is on his person or within his control does not suffice. Harbison v. State, 302 Ark. 315, 322, 790 S.W.2d 146, 151 (1990) (cited with approval in Porter v. State, 99 Ark.App. 137, 257 S.W.3d 919 (2007)). Here, the State Crime Laboratory chemist weighed and tested the drug, determining it to weigh 4.3 milligrams. While not much, it was usable and, obviously, was measurable. See also Sinks v. State, 44 Ark.App. 1, 864 S.W.2d 879 (1993) (holding that 0.024 grams of cocaine was usable because the cocaine was capable of quantitative analysis, could be seen with a naked eye, was tangible and could be picked up, and was a clearly measurable amount that satisfied the requirements of Harbison). This is sufficient to support revocation.

Appellant also argues that there was insufficient evidence to revoke on the possession-of-paraphernalia allegation, which apparently related to the cotton found inside the container holding the methamphetamine. The arresting officer testified that cotton is commonly used as a filtering device by intravenous drug users. The trial court did not base the revocation on the State's allegation of possession of drug paraphernalia, but rather possession of methamphetamine, rendering this argument moot.

Appellant attempts on appeal to challenge the search and seizure of the contraband from her purse. The testimony on this issue showed that after appellant's vehicle was pulled over, she freely gave consent to search it and at no time limited the scope of her consent. Inside, she left her purse, which contained the small amount of methamphetamine and cotton. Any argument about this search, or the scope of it, is not preserved for appellate review. There was never a motion to suppress; there was never an objection on the scope of the consent received; there was never an objection to the admission into...

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24 practice notes
  • Vail v. Ark. Dep't of Human Servs., No. CV–15–854
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • 9 Marzo 2016
    ...obligation to acquire stable transportation did not necessarily require ownership of a car.Strickland, 103 Ark. App. at 200, 287 S.W.3d at 639.Samanthia argues that her primary issues, as articulated by DHS's caseworker, were related to income, unstable relationships, and visitation concern......
  • Workman v. State, CR-21-309
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • 16 Febrero 2022
    ...drug treatment." As noted above, the State need only prove one violation of probation to sustain a revocation. Costes v. State, 103 Ark.App. 171, 287 S.W.3d 639 (2008). Here, the court found that the State had proved ten out of the twelve allegations set forth in the revocation petition. On......
  • Workman v. State, CR-21-309
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • 16 Febrero 2022
    ...drug treatment." As noted above, the State need only prove one violation of probation to sustain a revocation. Costes v. State , 103 Ark. App. 171, 287 S.W.3d 639 (2008). Here, the court found that the State had proved ten out of the twelve allegations set forth in the revocation petition. ......
  • Vangilder v. State, No. CR-17-824
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • 29 Agosto 2018
    ...App. 117, at 3, 2013 WL 625735, we will not address a procedural challenge unless it was adequately preserved below. Costes v. State , 103 Ark. App. 171, 175, 287 S.W.3d 639, 643 (2008). "[A]n argument that the State failed to introduce a copy of the terms and conditions of a [probation] is......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Vail v. Ark. Dep't of Human Servs., No. CV–15–854
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • 9 Marzo 2016
    ...obligation to acquire stable transportation did not necessarily require ownership of a car.Strickland, 103 Ark. App. at 200, 287 S.W.3d at 639.Samanthia argues that her primary issues, as articulated by DHS's caseworker, were related to income, unstable relationships, and visitation concern......
  • Workman v. State, CR-21-309
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • 16 Febrero 2022
    ...drug treatment." As noted above, the State need only prove one violation of probation to sustain a revocation. Costes v. State, 103 Ark.App. 171, 287 S.W.3d 639 (2008). Here, the court found that the State had proved ten out of the twelve allegations set forth in the revocation petition. On......
  • Workman v. State, CR-21-309
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • 16 Febrero 2022
    ...drug treatment." As noted above, the State need only prove one violation of probation to sustain a revocation. Costes v. State , 103 Ark. App. 171, 287 S.W.3d 639 (2008). Here, the court found that the State had proved ten out of the twelve allegations set forth in the revocation petition. ......
  • Vangilder v. State, No. CR-17-824
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • 29 Agosto 2018
    ...App. 117, at 3, 2013 WL 625735, we will not address a procedural challenge unless it was adequately preserved below. Costes v. State , 103 Ark. App. 171, 175, 287 S.W.3d 639, 643 (2008). "[A]n argument that the State failed to introduce a copy of the terms and conditions of a [probation] is......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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