Mom Who Appealed Drug Sentence During Pregnancy Will Face Child Abuse Charge.

November 12, 2019 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
A scale with a portion of white powder on it, and a pile of white powder nearby, made into the shape of a skull, signifying the death that awaits addicts.
Meth is a very serious drug, and many people believe the Judge did the right thing, even if his methods were unusual…

Spoiler alert, this is a pretty sad story. It’s about a pregnant mom who battled, and successfully overturned, a prison sentence (which is very hard to do!) only to end up right back where she started – in court facing charges. Unfortunately, like so many sad stories, this story starts with drugs. Specifically, meth …

Meth use led to other bad charges for one Traverse City woman…

29-year-old Samantha Hughes had been convicted of using meth, and was ordered to complete probation, which included the use of a tether. However, she cut it off (which the court frowns on, as you can imagine) and ended up back in court facing probation violations. She was sentenced to jail, but due to specific circumstances, the Judge took an interesting approach.

Hughes was pregnant at the time, which was cause for concern for 13th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power. Hughes had a history of drug abuse, and he was worried about her baby. So he ordered her to serve 13- to 24-months in jail, which is considerably longer than she should have been behind bars, given the nature of the violation but would keep her drug free for the duration of her pregnancy.

Hughes ended up behind bars for the entirety of her pregnancy…

Hughes fought the sentence and actually won in the end, only serving 352 days of that sentence. But Judge Power got what he wanted – Hughes stayed in jail for the full duration of her pregnancy, and her baby was born healthy. “I had to balance three months of custody versus the possibility of a lifelong disability for the child,” Power explained. “For me, that wasn’t even close.”

During her resentencing to time served, Hughes told the court that she “would never jeopardize my children or baby due to any drugs.” But just a few short months after her release, Hughes was found by another adult in her home, overdosed, her baby abandoned in a pile of laundry. She was revived at the scene, but has since been charged with a single count of misdemeanor Fourth Degree Child Abuse.

Drug addiction complicates everything, including parenting

We don’t know the full story here. Did Hughes have help to address her substance abuse issues? Did she have access to counseling or some other kind of support to work through her addiction and the underlying causes? We have no idea, but what we do know is that addiction makes everything harder and more complex. And when you’re trying to parent a child and battle an addiction, your chances of success are very slim.

Here at The Kronzek Firm, our experienced child abuse defense attorneys understand that there is always more to the story than meets the eye. Being charged with child abuse is a very big deal in Michigan, and can have a lasting impact on your ability to parent your children in the future. If you’ve been accused of any kind of neglect or abuse, call 866 766 5245 today and get help from the experts.