If you or a loved one is charged with a crime and the alleged offense was committed on or before the individual’s 24th birthday, there may be an opportunity to have a second chance.

Advisement and Dismissal for Youthful Offenders

In Michigan, it may be possible for a person charged with certain criminal charges to plead guilty and have their criminal conviction taken under advisement and ultimately dismissed. It is hard to believe that a young person (prior to age 24), can be guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony and still walk away with a clean record but it is possible. Under a Michigan law called the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), you may be able to avoid having a criminal conviction on your record, as long as you and your case meet certain requirements. Having an experienced, aggressive, and passionate criminal defense lawyer who knows the details and subtleties of the Michigan Holmes Youthful Trainee Act and Michigan judges can give you the best possible chance of walking away from a criminal charge with a clean record.

Under HYTA, a youthful person can ask a judge to take their case under advisement following a plea.  If accepted, the case will disappear from any public records and a conviction will never be entered in his or her criminal history so long as a term of probation is completed successfully.  For persons who were between 17 and 21-years-old at the time of the offense, the judge can grant HYTA status over the objection of the prosecutor.  For those defendants who were at least 21-years-old but younger than 24, the defense lawyer will have to persuade the prosecution to agree to HTYA status.

Good HYTA Lawyers Can Make the Difference

If a judge rules that a criminal offense is truly an “isolated incident” in a person’s life, then a criminal conviction may be too harsh a penalty in that case. The HYTA allows a judge to grant a defendant a “deferred judgment” and ultimately a dismissal. This is different and much better than a “delayed sentence.” A “deferred judgment” or “under advisement” offense is not reported as a conviction and stays out of the public record.

Getting HYTA is far from automatic and careful preparation, thought and planning are critical. There are many important characteristics and requirements for having a case accepted under the HYTA statute. A very careful analysis of you and your case will help LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. determine whether this is a viable opportunity in your case.

Although a defendant is not eligible for HYTA if he or she is convicted of a felony for which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment, a major controlled substance offense or a traffic offense, there may still be hope if you work with an experienced lawyer. If such a charge is reduced or changed to an HYTA eligible offense, the assignment as a “youthful trainee” may still be possible.

Complete Dismissal without Public Record

If you are granted HYTA status and the court finds that you have stayed out of further trouble, there will be a finding that you’ve completed probation successfully. At the end a successful probationary period, the court will dismiss the case and never enter a conviction. Essentially, there is no so public record and the entire case is only maintained on a law enforcement nonpublic record system.

A Great Lawyer Can Save a Person’s Future

In order for a defendant to be granted HYTA, an experienced, knowledgeable defense lawyer must convince the court that the individual is deserving of that extraordinary outcome. A great defense lawyer must stay on top of the recent changes in the laws related to the Holmes Youthful Training Act.

HYTA and Sex Offenses

A recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision found that the purpose of the Sex Offender Registration Act “is not served by requiring an otherwise law-abiding adult to forever be branded as a sex offender because of a juvenile transgression involving consensual sex during a Romeo and Juliet relationship [where one participant is under the age of consent but no more than four years younger than the other participant].” A guilty plea under HYTA now may possible result in a defendant in a criminal sexual conduct case from having to register as a sex offender under certain circumstances.

Free Consultation – HYTA Defense Experts

HYTA is complicated and is given only in cases where certain qualifications are deemed to have been met. If you would like a free consultation and evaluation of your case and your eligibility for treatment under HYTA from an experienced retained Michigan criminal lawyer, please call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or fill out a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you. We will find a way to help you and, most importantly, we are not afraid to win!

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