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Michigan’s HYTA Statute Excerpt - Section 762.11
Beginning October 1, 2021, if an individual pleads guilty to a criminal offense, committed on or after the individual's eighteenth birthday but before his or her twenty-sixth birthday, the court of record having jurisdiction of the criminal offense may, without entering a judgment of conviction and with the consent of that individual, consider and assign that individual to the status of youthful trainee. If the offense was committed on or after the individual's twenty-first birthday but before his or her twenty-sixth birthday, the individual must not be assigned to youthful trainee status without the consent of the prosecuting attorney.
HYTA is a Privilege, Not a Right
The judge makes the final decision on whether the defendant deserves the privilege of HYTA. In deciding whether to grant HYTA status, the judge must consider many factors such as the protection of society, punishment of the offender, deterrence from further criminality by the offender, and rehabilitation. The analysis is complex, and it is vital that a youthful offender has experienced legal representation to convince the judge that he/she is a good candidate for the program and should be allowed to participate.
in order to convince the prosecutor and judge that a defendant is deserving of HYTA, a criminal defense attorney should compile details about their client that supports the granting of HYTA. Such information includes details about the client’s education, home life, mental health, history of drug/alcohol abuse, work history, religious affiliations, and activities, and record of community service and volunteerism. The information should be gathered before asking the court (judge) to award HYTA and asking the prosecutor for their concurrence on granting HYTA..
What are the HYTA Qualification Requirements?
*If you are charged with an ineligible offense, talk to an attorney about the possibility of negotiating a plea deal for a lower offense that qualifies for HYTA status.
Factors that make it harder to get get HYTA
A HYTA Sentence is Referred to as Probation
If HYTA is granted, the defendant is sentenced to serve a term of probation. The terms and conditions of a HYTA probation may be the same as probation ordered for defendants without youthful offender status.
The court may require the individual to maintain employment or attend school, undergo drug/alcohol testing and therapy, obtain mental health counseling, perform community service, and more. If the individual is not employed or attending school, the individual may be required to actively seek employment or register for school. The judge may also order electronic monitoring (tether).
If the offender completes their probationary sentence under HYTA, they will not have a public conviction or criminal record.
Having an aggressive criminal defense attorney well versed in the intricacies of the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act can ensure that the freedom and future of young people are fully protected.
More About HYTA
Young adults can have poor impulse control that leads them to make mistakes that have the potential to destroy their lives. With HYTA, young adults who committed crimes are given a second chance to become productive members of society.
A conviction can make it hard to find gainful employment. Employers are generally permitted to use criminal records in hiring decisions. A criminal conviction results in a lifetime ban on gun ownership. A convicted felon cannot own a business that sells and serves liquor. Working in a casino that has a gaming license is also on the list of things not allowed for felons.
If a person is convicted and imprisoned, their future becomes more challenging than that of a person who was convicted and placed on probation. When people are imprisoned, they often leave prison with no money, no job and no place to live. As a result, approximately two-thirds of felons released from prison will commit crimes and return to prison.
HYTA is not guaranteed and may be rejected by the court. Hiring an attorney that is well versed in the intricacies of the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act and has excellent skills dealing with local judges, police and prosecutors is vital for those that want the best outcome the legal system provides.
About Carl Jordan
Attorney Carl Jordan who serves Metro Detroit is experienced in successfully securing HYTA status. His experience can mean the difference between getting HYTA or winding up with a conviction. He will carefully evaluate your circumstances and recommend the next steps you should take. Call him at 248 358-6647 for a free consultation.