LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Jonathan Andrew Paul | May 16, 2013

Michigan HYTA Eligibility

Am I eligible for the Holmes Youth Trainee Act (HYTA) for my Michigan criminal case?

If you've been charged with a crime in Michigan, and it was alleged to have occurred before your 21st birthday, you are eligible for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which is commonly referred to as HYTA. This provision allows a person under 21 years old to be convicted of a crime, but keep the offense of their record.

This is different than "7411", which pertains to first time drug offenses, which is discussed in the 7411 Guide. An experienced Michigan defense attorney will evaluate your case, and determine your eligibility for the various deferral programs offered by the state.

Michigan HYTA applies to most crimes (both misdemeanors and felonies), including drug offenses, but not crimes with life imprisonment, major drug crimes and traffic offenses. This provision was enacted into law to protect young adults from ruining the rest of their life, because of one case of bad judgement. It's not uncommon for someone under 21 years old to be caught in a bad situation or to be hanging around the wrong crowd.

Michigan HYTA allows you to plead guilty to the offense charged, be placed on probation by the court for a set period of time and places the burden on you to comply with probation. Once this period is over, the court will evaluate your performance, and if you've been in compliance, will dismiss your case. This decision is ultimately up to the judge in your case, and not the prosecutor, but it's recommended that the prosecutor is on board with this deferral in the chance that you do not comply with probation and your case is not dismissed.

If you do not comply with your probation, which could mean failing a drug test, picking up new charges or a number of other issues, you will appear before the judge for a probation violation. The judge could add additional demands for your probation or could outright revoke your Michigan HYTA status, which means the deal is off, and there is no longer a chance to have your case dismissed.

It's important you have an experienced Michigan defense attorney on your side that will work with the prosecutor and the court in securing HYTA, and assist in tailoring a probationary period that will give you the best chance to succeed. While the probation period and requirements are ultimately up to the court, it's common practice for a defense attorney to work with the court on setting the parameters on your probation.

This could involve the time and location of drug tests and the costs of various programs. If you are deemed in violation of your probation, you need an experienced attorney who will be able to provide your side of the story for this violation, and/or work with the court on securing a second chance to succeed

Some judges and courts may or may not grant Michigan HYTA more once. If you've already plead guilty in the past under HYTA, ask your attorney whether the court and prosecutor will consider a second chance.

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