Criminal convictions can result in lifelong harm to a person’s rights, reputation, job prospects, and relationships. In some instances, the impact of a youthful mistake in judgment can last a lifetime. Thanks to a new law in Michigan, however, some people under a certain age may be able to avoid obtaining a criminal record, allowing them to move forward with their lives. If you are charged with a crime and you are 26 or younger, it is in your best interest to speak to a Michigan criminal defense lawyer regarding your options,
The Youthful Trainee Law
Michigan recently passed a law that would allow most people under the age of 26 who are charged with a crime to avoid obtaining a permanent criminal record. The law states that if a person pleads guilty to a crime committed between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, a court may assign the person to the status of youthful trainee. The individual charged with the crime, the prosecution, and in some instances the victim must be obtained in certain circumstances.
Eligibility for Youthful Trainee Status
Pursuant to the law, the defendant enters a guilty plea, but no conviction is entered. As long as court ruling over the case does not rescind the youthful trainee status, the case will be dropped and the person will have no criminal record when the matter is resolved. Further, the law expressly states that an individual’s assignment as a youthful trainee protects them from incurring any civil penalties or the loss of any right or privilege.
Not everyone under the age of 26 will be eligible for youthful trainee status consideration. For example, people charged with certain offenses are disqualified, like those accused of crimes punishable by life in prison, and most sex crimes, Further, people charged with traffic crimes, including any type of drunk driving violation, are ineligible for youthful trainee status consideration.
Youthful Trainee Status Conditions
A person with the status of a young trainee may be forced to complete a probationary period that includes requirements such as obtaining a GED, maintaining employment, or attending college or trade school. They may also have to comply with other conditions. The failure to comply with these terms and restrictions can result in the individual’s youthful trainee status being revoked. They will then have a criminal record. They may face additional penalties as well, such as jail.
Being assigned to youthful trainee status does not exempt a person from punishment. In other words, people placed on youthful trainee status, and that is not the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act’s stated intent or purpose. A person can be may be sentenced to probation or prison.
Contact a Capable Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are 26 or younger and are charged with a crime, you may be eligible for youthful trainee status, and you should contact an attorney. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a capable Michigan criminal defense lawyer who can advise you of your rights and help you to seek a favorable outcome. You can contact Mr. Bernstein through the form online or by calling (734) 883-9584 to set up a consultation.