The HYTA Petition: A Key to Freedom

While the Holmes Youthful Training Act (HYTA) gives young people in the state of Michigan a chance to protect their future, the key to a successful HYTA argument often comes in the petition brought before the court. To explain the key to this petition, we had a chance to speak with some of the top criminal defense lawyers in the state to gain their insight.

Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and is known for successfully arguing HYTA in the most difficult of situations. When asked about the HYTA Petition, Grabel said, “Nothing is as powerful when arguing HYTA as providing support for your argument. A strong HYTA Petition is not always required by the sentencing judge, but it can make all of the difference in the world. We have to remember when we are defending someone between the ages of 17 to 24, an aggressive and character building defense is required. The proper petition can win the day.”

William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo has quickly developed a reputation as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state of Michigan. When asked about the HYTA Petition, Amadeo stated, “Not every jurisdiction requires an HYTA Petition, but from my experience, a strong petition coupled with a solid sentencing memorandum can move the court. I’ve learned from judges such as Matthew Stewart, Nick Holowka, and Cedric Simpson what it takes to write a solid petition. A young lawyer can learn a lot sitting in the gallery and seeing how a judge will view the defendant, and it can be an amazing tutorial. What I’ve learned from these judges and many others is how to write a strong HYTA Petition. This document, coupled with a solid Sentencing Memorandum, will give your client the most optimal chance to secure their freedom and protect their future.”

Ravi Gurumurthy runs “Michigan Legal North” in Cadillac, Michigan and is a top associate for Grabel and Associates. When asked about the HYTA Petition, Gurumurthy was quoted as saying, “In the Northern part of Michigan, our judges read these petitions with a fine tooth comb. If the attorney is asleep at the wheel, the young defendant will suffer the consequences. If the attorney put the proper effort into the petition, there is a great chance for a downward departure even if HYTA was denied. The petition displays the work ethic of the attorney, and that can go a long way to obtaining the best possible result.”

While HYTA is a fantastic benefit for youth in trouble in the state of Michigan, the petition makes a case for why a young defendant deserves an opportunity to keep their record clean and stay out of prison. HYTA is a privilege and not a right, and a strong petition will explore why the defendant deserves an opportunity to protect their future.

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