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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » Tennessee Mother Becomes First to Be Charged Under New Law Against Prenatal Drug Use

Tennessee Mother Becomes First to Be Charged Under New Law Against Prenatal Drug Use

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The bond for an East Tennessee mother has just been set at $2,000 after being charged with assault when she and her newborn baby both tested positive for meth.

Mallory Loyola, age 26 of Madisonville, gave birth to a baby girl on Sunday, July 6, but was then arrested two days later and charged with simple assault.

Loyola and her newborn daughter, officials say, both tested positive for amphetamine, and that Loyola admitted to smoking meth three to four days before giving birth.

The law only took effect July 1, six days before Loyola gave birth, making Tennessee the first state in the country to explicitly allow prosecutors the ability to charge mothers who use drugs while pregnant with criminal charges, specifically for assault. Most other states consider it to be a child welfare offense rather than a full criminal offense.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has issued a call for plaintiffs to challenge the new law following Loyola’s arrest. They claim that the law is dangerous, singling out new mothers who are struggling with addiction, and that it would be devastating to poor communities.
Loyola has a history of methamphetamine possession and violation of probation, and has also been imprisoned in the past.

A court date has been set for later this month.

According to the Department of Children’s Services, the newborn girl is not yet in state custody, but they are continuing to investigate the matter.

If you or a loved one has recently become the target of criminal charges, don’t try to face the court alone. Call us today to speak with an experienced attorney and see how having a strong ally can greatly benefit your case.

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