Plea bargain lets smoking mom avoid jail

/ Source: The Associated Press

A Virginia woman has pleaded guilty to smoking — after being ordered by a judge not to light up around her children — but a plea agreement allowed her to avoid jail time.

A domestic court judge had earlier sentenced Tamara Silvius to 10 days in jail for contempt. She was jailed for four hours in August 2004 before posting a $500 bond.

Silvius, who agreed to the plea bargain on Tuesday, shares custody of her two children, ages 8 and 10, with her ex-husband. The smoking ban was imposed as a condition of visitation rights, after the children’s father, Steven Silvius, argued that her habit was endangering their health. She was also told not to drink alcohol around the children.

Tamara Silvius, 44, calls the smoking ban a violation of her rights. She has appealed to the Virginia Court of Appeals, which will hear arguments in the case next month.