Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) Attorney
If you or someone you love is facing charges for a misdemeanor and is under 24 years of age but over 17 years of age, then the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act may be an opportunity to avoid having a conviction on your record. Having a criminal conviction entered on your record can preclude a young person from many opportunities including job applications, college applications, and scholarship opportunities. Consequently, the Michigan State Legislature has developed the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act as a way of recognizing that people who are over the age of 17 but under the age of 24 are still not fully matured and are susceptible to youthful indiscretions.
From the outset it is worth mentioning that acceptance into the Holmes Youthful Trainee program is not a right, but a discretionary decision by the court and if the person is 21 years or older, then acceptance into the program will require the consent of the prosecutor. Consequently, working with an experienced sex crimes attorney will not only increase the likelihood of acceptance into the program, but also will provide a higher likelihood of a more favorable probation or jail sentence.
Grabel & Associates has been working with Michigan judges and prosecutors to help protect young people’s rights in criminal defense for nearly two decades. We have the experience, knowledge, and professionalism to get it right the first time. Our HYTA attorneys are going to take a detailed look at the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, then discuss how Grabel & Associates can help you or the person you care about to prevent from having a conviction go on your record.
Holmes Youthful Trainee Act Overview
The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act is enumerated in MCL 762.11, and specifies the particular qualifications, requirements, and benefits of participation in the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). The program requires that the participant is older than 17 years of age, but younger than 24 years of age. Participation also requires that the person pleads guilty to the charges, but a conviction will not be entered, instead, the conviction will be deferred and the participant will be assigned the status of a “Youthful Trainee” until they complete the terms of their sentence. Additionally, if the person completes the terms of the sentence, then the case will be dismissed and then the records will be sealed and will not be accessible to employers and schools. The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act represents a tremendous opportunity for young people who may have made a mistake.
Who is Eligible for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act?
The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act is a very attractive program, because it allows a person to take responsibility for a criminal act without ever having a conviction entered or tarnishing their criminal record. If you or someone you care about is over the age of 17 but under the age of 24, then that person may be eligible to be assigned the designation as a youthful trainee.
However, the following offenses are expressly excluded from the statute, and therefore, if you are being charged with any of the following, then you may not be eligible for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act unless the charge is modified to an eligible offense.
- Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree
- Criminal Sexual Conduct Second Degree
- Criminal Sexual Conduct Third Degree
- Criminal Sexual Conduct Fourth Degree
Part of the conditions of the Homes Youthful Trainee Act is that the person must either maintain enrollment in an education program or employment.
Working with an experienced attorney can make a dramatic difference in the final outcome of your case. For example, let us say that you have been charged with an offense that is expressly excluded from the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, with a competent attorney it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecutor to have the charges amended as part of a plea deal to an offense that is eligible under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. Therefore, you would may still be able to receive the designation as a youthful trainee, and then have the benefits of a deferred judgement and sealed records, so that you could carry on with your life without a criminal record.
Education and Employment and The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act
One of the main benefits of being part of the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act is that you avoid having a conviction on your record. A conviction can be an obstacle or a barricade for many education, employment, and scholarship opportunities. Under the program, a judgement is deferred, so you never actually have a conviction entered on your record if you successfully complete the terms of your sentence. Consequently, on an employment application if you are asked if you have ever been convicted or found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, then you can answer “No,” because you have never been found guilty or convicted of a crime. However, it is worth noting that to successfully complete the terms of your sentence it may be necessary to maintain enrollment in school or remain actively employed, and if you are not currently enrolled in school or employed, then you may have to actively search for a job or apply to schools.
Serving the Terms of Your Sentence Under HYTA
In most cases if you are assigned the designation of a youthful trainee under HYTA, then you will have to be on probation. However, it is still possible to be sentenced to a jail or prison sentence and also receive the designation as a youthful trainee. The purpose of the act is to acknowledge that young people between the age of 17 and 24 are still not fully mature adults, and consequently, punishing them the same as adults is not in the best interest of the community.
However, the judge expects the youthful trainee to respect the opportunity they are given by being allowed in this program for deferred judgement. Therefore, if a person has a probation violation while they are in the program the judge will not hesitate to revoke their status as a youthful trainee. A probation violation can be a devastating blow, because it is possible to have a conviction for a probation violation entered as well as a conviction for the original crime that was being deferred. This is why it is so important to successfully complete the terms of your probation or sentence, so you can reap the benefits of the program and move on with your life having an untarnished record.
Grabel & Associates Approach to the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act
If you or someone you know is being charged with a sex crime as a youth, then oftentimes the uncertainty of what is going to happen is one of the most difficult aspects. Understand that the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act is just one possible outcome, and there are many other legal, factual, and evidentiary arguments available in the defense of a crime.
Grabel & Associates has been practicing criminal defense for more than 19 years, and we encourage you to review our testimonials and recent success stories to get a better idea of our track record of favorable outcomes. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-883-2138 for your free consultation to discuss your case and begin working towards your own individualized, aggressive, and comprehensive legal defense strategy.