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Youthful offenders (17-23), HYTA

Youthful Offenders Can Earn Dismissal of Crimes

HYTA applies to eligible offenders age 17 but before age 24

Criminal Conviction Averted, Case Dismissed, Record Sealed with HYTA

At age 17, a person is considered an adult in the Michigan court system for his or her criminal conduct. This may seem unfair when other laws mandate that a person under age 18 be treated as a minor. For example, a person under age 18 is not of legal age and authority to enter into binding contracts. However, Michigan’s penal code is not in accord and beginning at age 17, criminal penalties apply and convictions stick as adult offenses.

Fortunately, Michigan has a unique law known as the Michigan Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (commonly abbreviated and called HYTA). HYTA is an exceptional provision of law which applies to youthful offenders charged with crimes that occur when the offender is age 17 but before age 24. Upon being assigned to HYTA status, the youthful offender gets special sentencing treatment which results in avoiding a criminal conviction, dismissal of criminal charges and getting the record sealed.

HYTA is available in all of our Macomb County Courts, as well as every district and circuit court in Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne counties. Most criminal misdemeanor and felony offenses are eligible for HYTA status, including:

  • Drug crimes (including delivery)
  • Retail Fraud
  • Malicious destruction of property
  • Assault crimes, assault with dangerous weapon
  • Larceny, home invasion, fraud crimes
  • Computer crimes
  • Alcohol crimes not involving a motor vehicle
  • Fleeing the police, resisting and obstruction
  • Disorderly conduct, indecent exposure
Legal Analysis of HYTA

The major benefit of HYTA is that a conviction, or judgment of guilt, is not entered with the court and the proceedings are deferred. While the proceedings are deferred, an individual is placed on probation and the court may impose conditions while the person is on probation. The probation conditions which may be imposed may include house arrest, random drug testing and attendance of counseling. The court can also require a person assigned to HYTA status to seek or maintain education and employment. Upon compliance with the terms of probation, the case is dismissed and a non-public record of proceedings is maintained by the Michigan State Police.

The HYTA statute is found at MCL 762.11. Again, an individual between ages 17 but under age 24 that commits a criminal offense may be assigned to the status of youthful trainee or HYTA for eligible offenses.

Over age 23, possible delayed sentence to get dismissal: HYTA is not available for offenders that are age 24 or older. When an offender is not eligible for HYTA because of age barriers, we have obtained dismissals by utilizing other forgiving provisions of law. One such provision which can be used for offenders that are not eligible for HYTA is referred to as a “delayed sentence” and is found at MCL 771.1. A delayed sentence requires the consent of the prosecutor and the judge. When a delayed sentence is granted, a dismissal or other leniency may be obtained after a period of probation. However, the record is not sealed as is the case with a HYTA disposition.

A word about non-public records: Upon successful completion of HYTA probation, the court and Michigan State Police seal the record. A sealed record means that it cannot be obtained or viewed by the public and most business entities. However, various sensitive organizations, government agencies, law enforcement, courts and all branches of the military remain able to obtain records which have been sealed. The Michigan State Police has a website (ICHAT) where public criminal records can be obtained.

We have successfully utilized HYTA and the delayed sentence option in district and circuit court cases involving serious felony and misdemeanor cases.

Some Facts About HYTA
  • HYTA does not apply to juvenile delinquency cases, age 16 or younger.
  • HYTA cannot be granted for any traffic offenses or drunk driving.
  • HYTA does not apply to major drug crimes, sex crimes or life offenses.
  • HYTA may be requested more than once for eligible offenders.
  • Multiple crimes by a single person may be eligible for HYTA.
  • HYTA may include a period of incarceration followed by probation.
  • A person can utilize both HYTA and MCL 333.7411 for drug crimes.
  • HYTA can be revoked when a person fails to comply with probation.
  • Age 21 but before age 24? Prosecutor’s consent is required to get HYTA.
Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings Apply When the Offender is Under Age 17

Offenses committed by offenders that are 16 or younger are handled as juvenile delinquency cases. HYTA does not apply to juvenile cases. However, avoiding a conviction and a criminal record can be achieved when we can get the prosecutor and juvenile court judge or referee to grant “juvenile diversion” or “consent calendar” status.

Youthful Offenders: Social Media, texting, Inappropriate Content

Our firm is always on the lookout for trends which are relevant to our clients and our cases. One such trend involves the possibility that a person charged with a crime will be monitored by interested parties within law enforcement and the court system. Monitoring or surveillance may consist of viewing on-line internet content and photographs posted on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This content, including text messages, may be utilized in various scenarios while a criminal case is pending. Youthful offenders are particularly vulnerable to post photos which may depict indiscretions, alcohol consumption or inappropriate behavior. Our firm assumes that this information can be obtained by the police, prosecutor and probation department. Therefore, we advise our clients to remove any inappropriate content from social media sites and consider shutting down the sites while a case is pending. It goes without saying that text messages may also be the source of incriminating evidence and texting should be limited as well.

We Can Petition for HYTA Status in Every Michigan Court

Recent Case Result: Our firm aggressively advocated to obtain HYTA status in the Macomb County Circuit Court for a 19 year old charged with 4 felony counts of home invasion. No jail was imposed and our client will get 4 felonies dismissed upon completion of probation.

The ABDO LAW FIRM will examine every case to determine if a legal defense can negate criminal charges. Legal defenses may include illegal searches and seizures, coerced confessions, self-defense, misidentification or inappropriate police conduct. When a viable legal defense cannot be asserted, we look for other means or provisions of law to get a case under control. Fortunately, HYTA is an excellent option which we have obtained for countless clients that otherwise would face the hardship of a criminal conviction. We have utilized HYTA to get criminal charges dismissed for numerous clients in every court including the following courts where we regularly practice:

And all of the Grosse Pointe Municipal Courts

The ABDO LAW FIRM believes that your rights matter! Let our firm help protect you!

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Call the ABDO LAW FIRM 24 Hours Phone: 586-412-5555
Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

Client Reviews
The level of service exceeded my expectations, your devotion to my refusal to settle for a lessor misdemeanor was reassuring and inspired, and the team's creative interpretation of the law in finding a comparable civil infraction was legendary. It was a five-star experience. Thank you for refusing to settle when I was innocent of my accused crime. Satisfied Client, Assault Charge DISMISSED
Matt and his staff...turned a terrible situation in my life into a positive life learning experience. Not many court cases end up being a positive in life, but Abdo Law delivered just that. Going with their firm was the best decision I could have made and I owe them everything for turning my bad decision into a extremely manageable situation. Thank you Abdo law!!!! Bill L., Satisfied Client
The Abdo Law Firm represented myself during one of my biggest times of need in my life. They handled my cases with ease and met my expectations far beyond what I anticipated. Not only did they got one, but two domestic violence charges completely dropped. I would have been lost without this five-star Law Firm. Satisfied Client, 2 Separate Assault Charges DISMISSED
Abdo law FOUGHT and got my DUI kicked out of court when my job was on line. Five Stars! Satisfied Client, OWI DISMISSED