In Michigan, there is a statute called the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act also known as HYTA . This statute can act as a second chance for those who qualify. In other words it is like a first offender type program. The way it works is that the person using HYTA much be at least 17 but younger than 24 years old. In most cases, the person requesting HYTA doesn’t have any prior offenses, but that doesn’t disqualify them from using it again. HYTA can’t be used for all crimes.
So what do you do if you already used HYTA before?
This can be complicated because the biggest factor is the judge. Some places like Ann Arbor or Lansing might have judges who are more understanding. Other places might have judges who don’t believe in granting HYTA more than once. It can even vary between different judges in the same court. Fortunately, there are many judges that will allow a second or even third HYTA depending on the circumstances. That is why it is important to hire a lawyer who practices regularly in front of the judge you are ordered to appear before. It will be the attorney’s job to explain and convince the judge that you deserve another shot at HYTA.
How to use HYTA?
To use HYTA, you must first plead guilty under the program. The judge will then decide if they want to grant you HYTA status. This is where it is important to have a zealous advocate. If you are over 21 but not 24, then you must also get permission from the prosecutor. If the prosecutor agrees, that can help even if you are under 21 where you don’t need the prosecutor’s permission.
After the judge decides, they will set a sentencing at a later date where you will learn what your sentence will be.
For the actual law see the Michigan Legislature website by clicking here.
If you are under 24 and have been charged with a crime in Ann Arbor, Saline, Ypsilanti, Dexter, Chelsea, Brighton, Howell, Fowlerville, or around the Washtenaw, Jackson, Livingston County areas, call me so that I can help you understand your options. I’ve successfully obtained second and even third repeat HYTA pleas for clients on many occasions. If you are not eligible, I will zealously fight for you at trial.