Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA)
03/04/2015 08:52 AM EST
Being charged with a felony in Michigan is life changing. The significance is compounded when someone receives felony charges when they are relatively young. The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act or HYTA can minimize the collateral consequences of a felony charge if the criminal defendant successfully completes their probation in Michigan.
Any criminal defense law firm and any top Michigan criminal defense attorney understands the HYTA statute and the benefits their client will receive if they qualify for HYTA. To be eligible for HYTA the defendant must not be charged with a life offense, any traffic offense, a major controlled substance offense, a number of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) offenses or an assault with intent to commit those offenses. If, the defendant has not been charged with any of the crimes listed above, they still may qualify for HYTA.
The type of charge is not the only requirement that a criminal defendant must meet to be eligible for HYTA. After all, the statute itself is designed to help the “youth” so, the next requirement is the criminal defendant must be “age eligible”. To be eligible for HYTA, the criminal defendant must have committed an offense on or after his or her 17th birthday and before his or her 21st birthday. Because the critical time is the age of the criminal defendant when he committed the offense and NOT when he or she was charged with the offense, it is important that any criminal defense attorney in Michigan look at the date the offense took place and the age of the criminal defendant at the time the crime was committed.
The number of crimes is not relevant. Once a criminal defendant meets the requirements for age, and the type of offense, there is no requirement that the defendant be given HYTA on only 1 charge. In fact, a criminal defendant in Michigan can receive HYTA on multiple offenses and, can seek HYTA on multiple occasions. The Judge, however, is not required to grant the defendant HYTA. Similarly, there is no requirement that the prosecutor’s office consent to a criminal defendant’s assignment to HYTA, that decision lies in the Court’s sole discretion.