Prison time may be the most frightening aspect of criminal punishment. But did you know that many criminal offenses may not require time in jail following conviction? There are non-incarceration options that let people return to their families and careers, limiting the long-term consequences of imprisonment. One of these options is a Phoenix suspended sentence. For example, postponing or avoiding time in jail altogether and serving probation instead is a possible benefit of a suspended sentence.
The possibility of time in jail or prison can be scary. The guidance of seasoned and tenacious Phoenix criminal defense attorneys is invaluable. Get help right away. Your future can be ruined and your freedom taken away. Establish an attorney client relationship with the attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group today at 602-910-4040. We excel at getting our clients the second chance they need by getting charges reduced or even dropped, and if convicted, punishments lowered or suspended.
With a suspended sentence Arizona, a court gives a defendant a prison or jail sentence but postpones the punishment so the defendant serves time on probation instead. If the accused follows all of the rules of probation, the case is usually dismissed without the defendant serving time behind bars. However, if the defendant violates probation, the judge can apply the original penalty, which was suspended (which may include jail or prison time).
Keep in mind that suspended punishment and probation are not the same things. A suspended sentence Phoenix is imposed by a court for a crime. On the other hand, probation allows a defendant to remain in the community to complete his or her sentence while under the supervision of a court or a probation officer.
The conviction usually stays on the person’s criminal record when a sentence is postponed. A deferred sentence, or one that does not result in a guilty conviction, such as a no contest result, has a different outcome.
What Is a Suspended Prison Sentence?
A judge has the option of suspending all or part of your sentence and placing you on probation (supervised or unsupervised) if you are found guilty or plead guilty to a crime that has a jail term. A postponed sentence is a great way to avoid spending a long time incarcerated. This is commonly employed in cases involving minor offenses or first-time offenders.
You will not have to serve any time in prison or jail if the judge delays all of your punishment. If the judge decides to suspend part of your jail or prison term, you will have to serve some time in prison, but the rest of your sentence is served on probation. The court considers the debt for the offense served when you successfully complete your probation period.
Depending on the state’s statutes, a sentencing judge postpones sentences before the imposition of a sentence or after implementation.
Prior to Imposition
When a court suspends punishment, it is basically choosing not to impose a penalty but retains the option to do so in the future. Most criminal courts have the inherent power to suspend a sentence before it is imposed, as long as the suspension is for a set period of time and is reasonable.
When a judge suspends the imposition of punishment, he has essentially declined to hand down a penalty but reserved the right to do so in the future. As long as the suspension is for a specific period of time and is reasonable, most criminal courts have can suspend a sentence before its imposition.
The suspension of a sentence can be conditional or unconditional. The term “unconditional sentence” refers to a suspension that is not subject to any conditions or prohibitions. The conviction remains in effect, but the punishment is suspended. The accused must meet specific obligations with conditional suspended sentences. A defendant, for example, could be required to complete a rehabilitation program. Other requirements may include maintaining a clean criminal record and not committing crimes for a specified amount of time. If any conditions are violated by the offender, the judge can impose the sentence that was previously suspended.
Prior to Execution
Judges can delay sentences before they are carried out, in addition to declining to apply a penalty at all. This means that, even though a sentence is handed down, the offender is not required to serve it immediately, if ever.
Just as a judge suspends sentences prior to their enforcement, they can also stop sentences before they are handed down. However, not every jurisdiction acknowledges the inherent power of a court to do so. There may be situations when legislation is needed to allow judges to postpone the execution of a sentence. Some state statutes require judges to immediately suspend sentences after they are announced.
When Is a Suspended Sentence an Option?
Phoenix suspended sentence is available at the discretion of the judge. This sentencing option is available, but not guaranteed, to any defendant. The judge cannot defer the punishment if the state’s mandatory sentencing law applies.
If the offender has a modest criminal history or there are mitigating circumstances, prosecutors typically include this option in a plea deal for a minor offense. The judge’s approval is needed. If a defendant is found guilty at trial, the defense can ask the judge to impose a delayed punishment. The prosecutor is less likely to agree to and the court is less likely to impose a suspended sentence Phoenix if the offender is convicted or pleads guilty to a very violent crime or has a lengthy criminal history.
What Happens When a Sentence Is Suspended?
A suspended sentence is usually dismissed by the court after a defendant successfully completes probation. If offenders break a probation condition, their probation may be withdrawn, and their original sentence imposed.
Criminal courts examine the following factors when determining whether to delay a sentence:
- Criminal history and record of the defendant
- The seriousness of the allegations
- Is the defendant a flight risk or a threat to community safety?
However, in cases involving a major crime like murder, this is usually not an option.
A defendant should speak with a criminal defense attorney or law firm immediately if they receive a postponed penalty. Phoenix attorneys Ybarra Maldonado Law Group give legal guidance to ensure our clients complete their probation and do not end up incarcerated.
Your consultation with us is private due to the attorney-client relationship. As a result, potentially embarrassing information stays out of the public eye.
Is a Suspended Sentence the Same As Probation?
No, a postponed punishment is not the same as probation. Instead, it is a postponed court-ordered penalty while the accused completes probation.
Probation is an alternative to incarceration in which the defendant spends part or all of their sentence in the community rather than behind bars.
During the probation period, the probationer must follow various rules and conditions. Additionally, regular meetings with a judge or probation officer may be required to report on his or her progress.
Some examples of probation restrictions include:
- Community service requirements
- Attendance at a DUI class
- Observing a curfew
- Finding and keeping a job
- Prohibited from breaking any laws or committing new crimes
Requirements for a Defendant Serving a Suspended Sentence
Often, the judge sets extra terms on a defendant with a delayed sentence and unsupervised probation. Examples of the terms include no additional arrests, following all laws, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and remaining in the state or county. This even applies to offenders who don’t report to a probation officer. This is typical for misdemeanor cases.
The rules of supervised probation are stricter and often include reporting to a probation officer, following a curfew, random drug testing, not being arrested, keeping a job, having no weapons, staying away from known criminals or felons, and possibly even therapy.
If you are the primary caretaker of your children, you may have to take action in order to get your CPS case dismissed afterward.
Can a Suspended Sentence Be Revoked?
The court can revoke probation and order that an offender serve the rest of their delayed punishment in jail if they violate the terms of their probation. For a minor infraction, such as missing a counseling appointment, the prosecutor or court may impose a short sentence and then reinstate the suspended sentence.
If the offense is more serious, the offender usually serves some or all of the remaining time on their sentence. This typically happens for violations like an arrest for a major crime or failing multiple drug tests.
Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers Who Can Help With Suspended Sentences
If you have been accused or charged with a crime in Phoenix, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group. With the help of our professional Arizona suspended sentence attorneys, you can protect your future, finances, and freedom.
In criminal law, suspended sentencing differs based on the type of the suspended sentence. The court handing out the punishment plays a role as well. If you need assistance with these issues, contact a criminal defense attorney at Ybarra Maldonado Group to learn more about your options. We also handle violent crimes in Arizona, as well as white collar crime defense. To schedule a free attorney client consultation, call 602-910-4040 today.