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What does it mean when a sentence is suspended?

Posted on February 24, 2022

Courts have several different sentencing options to choose from when a person is convicted of a crime. In some cases, the judge in a case might give a person a specific sentence and then note that it’s suspended. 

This doesn’t mean that the person is getting out of having to serve their sentence. Instead, it’s a chance for the person to show that they aren’t continuing on the same path that led to the charges. 

When might the court issue a suspended sentence?

Suspended sentences are typically used in conjunction with probation. This puts the person under the supervision of a community supervision officer who can ensure they’re complying with the program’s terms. 

These sentences are usually reserved for crimes that aren’t violent and are minor. The person can’t be a danger to society if they’re going to be released without having to serve their jail time. 

When a sentence is suspended, the person won’t have to serve that part of the sentence if they successfully complete the other components of the sentence. This gives the person a chance to be a productive member of society, and it helps to keep the number of incarcerated people a bit lower, which can improve overcrowding. 

Anyone who’s facing criminal charges should find out what options they have for their defense. In some cases, trying to minimize the penalties that they’re facing is the chosen avenue for a defendant. Finding out what types of sentences are possible in your case can help you evaluate your options, as can understanding more about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Make sure you have an experienced defense on your side.