What Is a Suspended Sentence?
A suspended sentence is a unique agreement between the City Attorney, the defendant, and the Municipal Judge. In criminal cases, a judge has the ability to suspend the sentence of a convicted person. The judge must first pronounce a penalty of a fine or jail time or both, and then suspend a portion of, or all of, the fines and/or jail time. This type of sentence withholds execution of the penalty or parts of the penalty as long as the defendant exhibits compliance with the conditions of the suspended sentence.
Often, when a sentence is suspended, this means a person convicted doesn't have to serve jail time or their time in jail has been reduced, provided that they meet other requirements set forth by the court. The defendant's criminal conviction will remain part of the public record and the appropriate departments will be notified of the conviction.
If the City Attorney believes that the defendant has failed to successfully complete the terms and conditions of a Suspended Sentence, then the defendant will be brought back to court to resolve whether or not the defendant is in violation of the terms and conditions of the Suspended Sentence.
If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of violating the terms and conditions of the Suspended Sentence, the judge may impose any part of the original sentence that was previously suspended.
Suspended Sentences are normally six or twelve months in length. The additional terms and conditions of a Suspended Sentence vary depending on the type of charge, the prior record of the defendant and any other factors the judge deems relevant.