HYTA Status: A Chance to Start Over

Former EMU Football Player sentenced under Holmes Youthful Trainee Act

A 21-year-old former Eastern Michigan University football player recently took a plea and was sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) to one year of probation. Upon successful completion, Kirkland Bryant’s record will be expunged.

Bryant was originally charged with four counts of possessing Child Sexually Abusive Material (CSAM). The arrest came after a team conducting an energy survey noticed a large amount of marijuana on the table of Bryant’s home at the Cornell Court Apartments in Ypsilanti. Police were called and executed a search warrant, which lead them to conduct a forensic sweep of Bryant’s laptop. The forensic sweep revealed many images that police alleged were child pornography. His attorney said Bryant did not know how the images got on his computer, and the child pornography charges were later dropped.

When police officers execute a search warrant, it can be easy for them to find evidence of other crimes. As in Bryant’s case, the original reason for the search was a suspicion of marijuana, which turned into being charged with the even more serious crime of CSAM. Fortunately for Bryant, his attorney was aware of the potential of HYTA, which gives young offenders the opportunity to start over with a clean record. This is why an attorney should always be consulted when there are criminal accusations.

The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act does come with some restrictions. It is only for youth, age 17 to 20 (Bryant was 20 at the time of the offense) and does not apply to youth who are charged with a major controlled substance (drug) offense, a traffic offense or for a felony where the maximum punishment is life imprisonment. The program protects the privacy of the offender while on trainee status. If the youth successfully completes the program, there is no criminal record. Imprisonment or probation under this program cannot exceed three years.

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