HYTA – HOLMES YOUTHFUL TRAINEE ACT
The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan is a big believer in working hard to get our clients a second chance. We know that science has shown that a person’s brain isn’t fully developed until the late 20’s. The part of the brain that isn’t fully developed relates to impulse controls. Michigan law, M.C.L., § 762.11, gives young people a second chance. This law is known as the “Holmes Youthful Trainee Act” and is referred to as often referred to simply as an HYTA. Getting HYTA isn’t a given, but if you hire a good attorney like Shawn Haff to fight for you, he can guide you through the steps you need to take in order to qualify for this diversion program. This program will allow a person to keep the charge off their record if they can complete probation.
The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act provides:
(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3), 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 on or after the individual’s twenty-first birthday but before his or her twenty-fourth birthday, the individual shall not be assigned to youthful trainee status without the consent of the prosecuting attorney.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any of the following:
(a) A felony for which the maximum penalty is imprisonment for life.
(b) A major controlled substance offense.
(c) A traffic offense.
(d) A violation, attempted violation, or conspiracy to violate section 520b, 520c, 520d, or 520e of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520b, 750.520c, 750.520d, and 750.520e, other than section 520d(1)(a) or 520e(1)(a) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520d and 750.520e.
(e) A violation, attempted violation, or conspiracy to violate section 520g of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520g, with the intent to commit a violation of section 520b, 520c, 520d, or 520e of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520b, 750.520c, 750.520d, and 750.520e, other than section 520d(1)(a) or 520e(1)(a) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520d and 750.520e.
(3) The court shall not assign an individual to the status of youthful trainee if any of the following apply:
(a) The individual was previously convicted of or adjudicated for a listed offense for which registration is required under the sex offenders registration act, 1994 PA 295, MCL 28.721 to 28.732.
(b) If the individual is charged with a listed offense for which registration is required under the sex offenders registration act, 1994 PA 295, MCL 28.721 to 28.732, the individual fails to carry the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is not likely to engage in further listed offenses.
(c) The court determines that the offense involved any of the following:
(i) A factor set forth in section 520b(1)(a) to (h) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520b.
(ii) A factor set forth in section 520c(1)(a) to (l) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520c.
(iii) A factor set forth in section 520d(1)(b) to (e) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520d.
(iv) A factor set forth in section 520e(1)(b) to (f) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520e.
(4) As used in this section:
(a) “Listed offense” means that term as defined in section 2 of the sex offenders registration act, 1994 PA 295, MCL 28.722.
(b) “Traffic offense” means a violation of the Michigan vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.1 to 257.923, or a violation of a local ordinance substantially corresponding to that act, that involves the operation of a vehicle and, at the time of the violation, is a felony or a misdemeanor.
Definition of HYTA
This law is Michigan’s attempt to give a second chance to young offenders. It gives a defendant a chance to show their behavior is not going to happen again and that this behavior was not normal for their character. A person who is between 17 and younger than 24 can qualify for HYTA. If the defendant is now 24, but engaged in the criminal behavior when they were 23 they can still qualify for HYTA. A person charged with a crime must also plead guilty in order to get HYTA.
This diversion program is an option for most crimes in the state of Michigan. The exceptions are felony charges that carry a maximum sentence of lie in prison, major controlled substance offenses and traffic offenses. A defendant can still get HYTA if they have prior offenses and have used 7411 before. Of course, a court will consider that when it sentences someone and it may not grant HYTA.
The Michigan Court of Appeals and the state’s top court have both written opinions that say HYTA should be given out liberally. Of course, your attorney still needs to present evidence to show the judge a person is worthy of HYTA. Attorney Shawn Haff knows the local judges and what they want to see in order to be granted HYTA. Call him today at 616-438-6719 and let him go to work for you!
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in West Michigan Proudly Serve: Kent County, Ottawa County, Allegan County, Ionia County, Barry County, Berrien County, Mason County, Manistee County, Mecosta County, Oceana County, Muskegon County, Montcalm County, Newaygo County, Kalamazoo County, Lake County, Van Buren County, and the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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