STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, TENTH DIVISION [NO.
60JV-16-945] HONORABLE JOYCE WILLIAMS WARREN, JUDGE.
Everett O. Martindale, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Jason Michael Johnson,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
L.J. was adjudicated a delinquent after the trial court found
that she had committed the crimes of possession of controlled
substances (methamphetamine and benzodiazepines) with intent
to deliver and two counts of possession of drug
paraphernalia. For her sole argument on appeal, L.J. argues
that the trial court's decision was not supported by
substantial evidence. We affirm.
reviewing a juvenile-delinquency case, we look at the record
in the light most favorable to the State to determine whether
there is substantial evidence to support the adjudication.
J.R. v. State, 73 Ark.App. 194, 195, 40 S.W.3d 342,
342 (2001). Substantial evidence is that which is of
sufficient force and character that it will, with reasonable
certainty, compel a conclusion one way or the other, without
mere speculation or conjecture. Id.
Stephanie Cloos with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office
testified on behalf of the State. She stated that she was on
patrol duty with a field-training officer on July 27, 2016,
when she had to take evasive measures to avoid a collision
with the car driven by seventeen-year-old L.J. She pulled the
vehicle over. There were two men in the car along with L.J.
As Deputy Cloos was speaking with L.J., L.J. spontaneously
admitted that she had been smoking marijuana. Deputy Cloos
testified that L.J. appeared so disoriented and "out of
it" that she did not know where she was and could hardly
speak. Deputy Cloos placed L.J. under arrest for driving
under the influence.
passengers were also searched. One had paraphernalia on him
and another had drugs. They were both arrested. After the
arrests, Deputy Cloos and the other officer conducted an
inventory of the vehicle. In the console, they found a used
syringe, "a glass pipe with crystalline burnt substance
in it, " and multiple containers of pills. The pills
were all later identified through the state crime lab as
alprazolam (Xanax) and the crystalline residue was identified
reversal, L.J. argues that substantial evidence did not
support the trial court's finding that she constructively
possessed controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.
State argues that L.J.'s challenge to the sufficiency of
the evidence is not preserved for review because she failed
to move for dismissal at the close of the evidence pursuant
to Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 33.1(b). We agree.
Rule 33.1(b) provides:
In a nonjury trial, if a motion for dismissal is to be made,
it shall be made at the close of all of the evidence. The
motion for dismissal shall state the specific grounds
therefor. If the defendant moved for dismissal at the
conclusion of the prosecution's evidence, then the motion
must be renewed at the close of all of the evidence.
to Rule 33.1(c), a defendant's failure to make a timely
motion for dismissal constitutes a waiver of any question
pertaining to the sufficiency of the evidence. The rules of
criminal procedure are applicable in juvenile-delinquency
proceedings. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-325 (Repl. 2015);
Trammell v. State, 70 Ark.App. 210, 16 S.W.3d 564
L.J. made a motion for dismissal following the close of the
State's evidence but failed to renew that motion after
the close of her own evidence. Further, while her closing
arguments did reiterate many of the same claims she made in
her motion to dismiss, even if she had renewed the motion at
that time, it still would have been too late. See,
e.g., J.R. v. State, 73 Ark.App. at 196-97, 40
S.W.3d at 343-44 (holding that a motion to dismiss made as a
part of and during closing argument after the State had given
its closing argument was untimely made). L.J.'s failure
to make a timely motion for dismissal precludes our review of
her sufficiency argument on appeal.
that even if L.J.'s sufficiency argument had been
properly preserved for review, it would have been of no
avail. L.J. argues that the State never proved that she had
knowledge of the controlled substances and paraphernalia.
However, a defendant's control over, and knowledge of,
the contraband can be inferred from the circumstances, such
as the proximity of the contraband to the accused, the
ownership of the property where the contraband is found, and
the accused's behavior. Block v. State, 2015
Ark.App. 83, at 6, 455 S.W.3d 336, 340. Here, L.J. was the
owner and driver of the vehicle, admitted to using ...