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LegalEagle1, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Practicing attorney licensed for over 23 years.
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My 17 year old daughter was arrested for shop lifting in the

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My 17 year old daughter was arrested for shop lifting in the Rivertown mall in Grandville Michigan. She was with 3 other girls and they were brought to jail finger printed the whole nine yards. I was told she had to show up in court on Monday May 6th but i have not received a summons in the mail yet . This is her first offense of any kind. She is a bright girl with a good future she plans on going to college and wants to work in the criminal justice system as a forensic psychologist . How long would this remain on her Record ?

And is she going to be called in front of the judge alone or in the group of three who were arrested with her ? In michigan we have something called the holmes youthful training act, if she is to qualify for this diversion program does she need a lawyer to do this and does this need to be done before she pleads ? what is your advice ? thanks
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. I would like to assist you with your question today. I am a criminal attorney licensed in Michigan.

Your daughter most likely is eligible to take advantage of the Holmes Youth Training Act (HYTA). Under this diversion program, the court will sentence an offender to period of probation. If the terms of probation are successfully completed, the original charge is dismissed. An added benefit of being sentenced under HYTA is that any arrest and fingerprint records are also hidden from public view unlike 769.4a, 7411 or a deferred sentenced.

Under MCL 771.1 a defendant may be eligible to avoid a conviction through a process involving a deferred sentence. With the prosecutor’s approval, the court will impose certain conditions on the defendant at the plea hearing, and if the defendant satisfactorily complies with the required conditions during the period of deferral, the charge will be dismissed.

The court also has the authority to hold a defendant’s plea under advisement under MCR 6.302(C)(3)(d), (F). Some judges will take pleas under advisement, set conditions, and dismiss if the client complies with the conditions.

In most cases proceeding under the HYTA is the best option if available. It is probably best that your daughter seek the services of an experienced criminal attorney to advise her as to her options. The attorney will also be able to best tell her what her specific court's policies are with respect to each program. I would recommend consulting with an attorney prior to the initial appearance. If you're not able to, your daughter can request to have the matter continued a few weeks to give her an opportunity to consult with one.

As far as appearing with the other defendants at the same time, in many cases the court tries to keep co defendants on the same docket, unless there is a reason to separate the cases. The prosecutor and court will consider your daughter's case and disposition/sentence on an individual basis though. So if perhaps one of the other defendant's has a horrible record and is not eligible for one of the diversion programs that would not prevent the court from allowing your daughter from benefiting from it.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

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