The Michigan Holmes Youthful Trainee Act


Has your child been charged with a crime?

A criminal record can permanently alter your life. It can become especially devastating when the persons’ whose life is being altered is a young adult. A criminal record can prevent you from getting a job, from getting into school, and even keep you on the registry for sex offenders.

Plenty of people make mistakes during their young adult years. The State of Michigan recognizes that those mistakes do not have to alter a young adult’s life forever.

The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) allows a young adult to get their criminal record wiped clean. The HYTA gives a young adult a second chance.

This program is meant to aid those young adults who have isolated incidents.

While the young adult is involved with the Holmes Youthful trainee program, their privacy will be protected. The case becomes a nonpublic record. Nonpublic records are only available to the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services, prosecuting attorneys, and law enforcement. When the young adult completes the program they will walk away without a criminal record.

Holmes Youthful Trainee Act Requirements

  • The young adult must have committed the crime while they were 17 – 20 years of age.
  • The young adult must plead guilty to the crime.

Certain crimes are not available for participation in the HYTA. Here is a list of those crimes according to MLC Section 762.11:

  • A felony with the maximum sentence is imprisonment for life, such as kidnapping or murder.
  • A major controlled substance offense
  • Traffic offense
  • Most sex crimes. *please note that there are some exceptions.

Terms of the Michigan Holmes Youthful Trainee Act

If a judge can be convinced to give the young adult the status of HYTA, the judge will place the young adult on probation. This probation could last up to three years.

The specific terms of the probation will be specific to the case. However, most probation includes, but are not limited to:

  • Drug or alcohol testing,
  • Community service,
  • Rehabilitation programs like NA or AA,
  • Refraining from criminal activity,
  • Time in prison.

Sex Crime Exceptions

As stated above, most sex crimes exempt a young adult from participation in the HYTA. However, if the young adult has been charged with statutory rape or criminal sexual conduct in the 3rd degree, they may still qualify.

Under Michigan law, engaging in a sexual act with an individual under the age of 16 is illegal and a felony.

This charge has penalties that include registering on the Michigan Sex Offenders Registry.

If a young adult has been charged with statutory rape or criminal sexual conduct in the 3rd degree, they may find it advantageous to pursue the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act Status.

Take Away

Please make sure that when pursuing this option that you enlist an experienced criminal defense attorney. Recently, I published an article about a young adult who met a girl on a dating app. He was 19 at the time and she told him she was 17. They met in person and engaged in sex.

It turned out that the girl was only 14.

Zachery Anderson, along with his defense attorney pursued the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act only to be denied, was required to spend 90 days in jail, and registered for the sex offenders list for the next 25 years.

Read the story at Elkhart Teen Challenges Sex Offender Sentence for more details.

If you or someone you love could benefit from the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, there is hope. Please give my office a call.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000


This article is meant to provide helpful information. It is not meant as legal advice. Every case is different. If you have specific questions about your case, please contact my office.