criminal-defense , criminal-law

Will Getting Arrested Ruin Your Life?

Getting arrested at a young age can feel like your life is over before it’s begun. Fortunately, with Michigan’s Holmes Youthful Trainee Act young offenders may have a second chance. 

Keep reading to learn a few things about the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act and whether you are eligible.

What is the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act?

The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) is a Michigan statute that allows youthful adult offenders to keep criminal offenses off their record.

If your offense is dismissed, the record is sealed by the court and Michigan state police. You are not required to disclose the crime on job or school applications unless the application asks for the history of cases that have been dismissed or sealed.

Anyone who seeks HYTA is required to formally plead guilty, but once the court permits HYTA and you successfully complete the court-ordered program, record of the incident will not be available for public view.

Which offenses are eligible for HYTA?

Most misdemeanors and felonies are eligible for HYTA. However, the following offenses aren’t eligible:

  • A felony for which the maximum penalty is life in prison
  • A major controlled substance offense
  • Traffic offenses, including Operating While Intoxicated
  • Most criminal sexual conduct offenses

Who is eligible for HYTA?

Section 11 of the HYTA statute states:

(2) Beginning October 1, 2021, except as provided in subsections (3) and (4), 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. If a defendant is charged with an offense listed under subsection (3) and the defendant pleads guilty to any other offense or will be eligible for the status of youthful trainee under subsection (4), the prosecutor shall consult with the victim regarding the applicability of this section.

HYTA applies to adult offenders that commit an eligible crime after age 17 but before their 26th birthday.

Even if you are eligible, HYTA status isn’t guaranteed, and it is up to the judge’s discretion. This is why hiring an experienced defense attorney who can effectively negotiate this outcome with the prosecutor and judge is essential.

How many times can you get HYTA in Michigan?

You can get HYTA more than once, and there is no limit on the number of cases placed on HYTA status. However, that doesn’t mean repeated offenses won’t affect the judge’s decisions regarding your HYTA request.

Talk to the Criminal Defense Lawyers at JAD Law

If you get arrested at a young age, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to advocate for you. JAD Law is here to help. Contact JAD Law today to schedule an appointment.

JAD Law serves several counties across Metro Detroit, Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties.