Some criminal matters arise out of youthful mistakes. In Michigan, you will be charged as an adult for crimes committed at age 17 and older. Michigan’s legislature recognizes the underdeveloped youthful brain and has offered an approach to help young offenders avoid having a criminal record through the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA).
HYTA only applies to youthful offenders age 17 to 23. However, it also only applies to certain offenses and it is not guaranteed just because you or your loved one is young. Offenses that carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, traffic offenses, major controlled substances offenses, most criminal sexual conduct offenses, and driving under the influence offenses cannot be protected by HYTA. Generally, HYTA is subject to the judge’s discretion. If you are 21 or over, the prosecutor must also consent to the designation of HYTA status. All HYTA designations can be rejected by a judge.
While HYTA helps you escape a criminal record, it does not always help you escape jail or prison time or an admission of guilt. You must plead guilty to benefit from HYTA. HYTA designees can still be subject to jail, prison, counseling, restitution, and probation, including but not limited to electronic monitoring. However, once you successfully complete your sentence, there is no conviction on your record.
If you receive a HYTA designation and successfully complete your sentence, you will not have a criminal conviction on your record. The benefits of HYTA include employment, student aid, and avoiding the stigma of a conviction. If you are young, you need an aggressive attorney to negotiate the best deal for you with a HYTA designation. Contact the Law Office of John Freeman.