Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA)
What is HYTA?
HYTA (MCL 762.11 through 762.16) provides judges with a means of ordering rehabilitative treatment and/or confinement for up to three years for youthful offenders without proceeding to an adjudication of guilt and a criminal conviction.
What are the age requirements for consideration under HYTA?
Youths who commit offenses on or after their 17th and before their 24th birthday, and juveniles over 14 who have been waived from juvenile court, are eligible for HYTA status if their crime is eligible for assignment under HYTA. Some crimes are excluded.
Must the defendant consent to the use of HYTA?
Yes. Both the defendant and his or her guardian must consent.
Must the prosecutor consent to the use of HYTA?
No. The statute does not require it.
Can HYTA status be terminated or revoked?
Yes. HYTA status may be terminated or revoked at any time at the discretion of the judge.
What happens at the end of the HYTA period, if successfully completed?
The case is dismissed and a conviction is never entered on the individual’s record. All proceedings relative to the disposition of the criminal charge and to the assignment to HYTA status are to be closed to public inspection.
Do youths assigned to HYTA for a registerable offense have to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act?
Youths assigned under HYTA prior to October 1, 204 are required to register, although some may qualify to petition the court to be released from registration requirements.
Those assigned to HYTA after October 1, 2004 never have to register as long as they successfully complete their assignment under HYTA.
What are the consequences of terminating or revoking HYTA status?
The criminal case against the youth shall be reinstated at the point where the youth’s consideration as a youthful trainee had commenced and a conviction will be entered. The youth will also be required to register as a sex offender if their conviction was for a registerable offense.
Who can qualify for HYTA?
If the defendant is at least 17 and no older than 23, they should ask their attorney to determine whether or not they would qualify for assignment to HYTA.
Can character reference letters, on my behalf, help my case?
Yes. This can help the judge determine the kind of person you are and whether or not you are worthy of a “second chance”.
Letters can also help the probation officer, who files the pre-sentencing report (PSI), determine what sentence would be best in your case.
Who should I ask to write a character reference for me?
Ask family members, clergy, teachers, principals, friends of the family, employers, etc. Ask anyone who knows you well and has known you for some time.