Whenever a teen is involved in a crime, complicated issues arise. Families and their teens may worry about the impact a conviction could have on a child’s future and whether a youthful mistake may continue to effect an individual’s life far into the future, costing him or her potential job, educational and financial opportunities.
Michigan law recognizes young adults do make mistakes that shouldn't destroy their future ability to be productive members of society. Under Michigan law the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), MCL Section 762.11, recognizes that an individual can greatly benefit from a “second chance.” Having an aggressive criminal defense attorney well versed in the intricacies of the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act can ensure that your child's freedom and future are fully protected.
Under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Statute an individual seeking sentencing under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act must be between the ages of seventeen and twenty four when they committed the crime. The Holmes Youthful Trainee statute provides:
“If an individual pleads guilty to a criminal offense, committed on or after the individual's seventeenth birthday but before his or her twenty-fourth 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 between the ages of twenty one and twenty four, consent of the prosecuting attorney is required for HYTA sentencing.
Thus, individuals aged between seventeen and twenty four at the time they commit a criminal offense can be given the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and complete the youthful trainee probationary term successfully. If the youth completes the probationary term a criminal conviction will not be entered on the individual's record. To take advantage of Holmes "status" an individual must plead guilty to the charge.
For certain crimes, such as those where the penalty is imprisonment for life (such as murder and kidnapping), major controlled substance offenses, traffic offenses and sex crimes (with some exceptions), participation in the HYTA is not available.
As stated previously, most sex offenses are not eligible for Youthful Trainee Status, but one major exception exists when a young adult is charged with statutory rape, or criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree. This frequently occurs in situations where high school students enter into a sexual relationship and one of the participants is less than sixteen years of age. In many instances the person over sixteen gets criminally charged with criminal sexual conduct in the 3rd degree, more popularly known as statutory rape.
A young adult in this predicament can seek Holmes Youthful Trainee Status, keep their record completely clean and avoid sex offender registration under the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA.) The key to obtaining Holmes Youthful Trainee Status (HYTA) is convincing the presiding judge to grant the request. Presenting a favorable adolescent sex offender assessment from a respected expert along with an aggressive presentation to the judge and prosecutor can ensure your child has the best opportunity to achieve HYTA status.
At Grabel & Associates our lawyers have an outstanding track record of securing Holmes Youthful Trainee Status for young adults throughout the entire state of Michigan in sex offenses. Our lawyers have also obtained HYTA in a variety of other offenses including drug, theft, and assaultive crimes. Our attorneys tailor their approach to the specific judge in each and every case our Firm handles. Judges are people like everyone else, and knowing what experts to utilize and what factors are important to a specific judge gives our team of dedicated attorneys the best opportunity to achieve Holmes Youthful Trainee Status for our younger clients.
Our attorneys can advise you or your child if HYTA is available and beneficial in your particular situation.
If a young adult is granted HYTA status, and successfully completes the HYTA probation, felony and misdemeanors will not show up on his or her permanent record. This means a youthful mistake will not show up when a future employer or other official searches your criminal record.
For most teens HYTA provides a rare legal opportunity for getting a clean slate. Successful completion means that the court will dismiss all charges and you will no longer have to fear a mistake from your past hindering your future. All evidence, such as your arrest record and your fingers prints, will be kept off the public record. Because of this great benefit, finding a Michigan criminal defense law firm that understands the importance of HYTA and what it means for your future is crucial.
However, participation in the HYTA is not good fit in every situation. Individuals placed on Holmes Youthful Trainee Status must complete various terms of probation and comply with specific court demands.
Additionally, courts may be hesitant to grant HYTA status if the crime is a felony, the teen has been granted HYTA status before, or has a prior conviction.
At the Michigan criminal defense firm of Grabel & Associates we have years of experience advocating for youthful offenders. We are committed to giving your teen the best opportunity for a bright future and have a proven track record of successfully obtaining HYTA status for many teens throughout Michigan. We understand when fighting to obtain HYTA status will benefit our client's best interest, and when a different criminal defense strategy may be more beneficial.
If you or your teen has charged with a criminal offense, speaking to an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer is important so that you can review your options – such as the availability of the HYTA for your child – and begin preparing a vigorous defense.
Wherever you are in Michigan, call us toll free, 24 hours a day at 1-800-342-7896 or contact our office by e-mail to arrange a free consultation with trial attorney Scott Grabel today. Our aggressive attorneys are ready to provide you crucial advice concerning the HYTA and will aggressively fight to keep criminal charges off your child’s permanent record.