In New York State, for the purpose of Youthful Offender Status, “Youth” is defined as a person charged with a crime which is alleged to have been committed when the suspect was at least sixteen years old and less than nineteen years old. Accordingly, if you committed the crime when you were nineteen years old, then you would not be eligible for youthful offender status. If, on the other hand, you were arrested at age nineteen, but you actually committed the crime when you were eighteen, then you would be eligible for the program.
To provide a little bit of context, Youthful Offender status is granted at the sentencing phase of the proceedings and is based on the interest of justice. The intent is to relieve the eligible youth from the burden of having a criminal record.