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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A suspended sentence is a legal term for a judge's delaying of a defendant's serving of a sentence after they have been found guilty, in order to allow the defendant to perform a period of probation. If the defendant does not break the law during that period, and fulfils the particular conditions of the probation, the judge usually throws out the sentence.[1]

The difference between a suspended sentence and deferred sentence is that a suspended sentence will more often than not stay on the defendant's record.



In Australia, suspended sentences are commonly imposed in order to alleviate the strain on overcrowded prisons. For example, an individual may be sentenced to a six months' jail, wholly suspended for one year. If they commit any other offence during that year, the original jail term is immediately applied.

United States

In the United States, it is common practice for judges to hand down suspended sentences to first-time offenders who have committed a minor crime, and for prosecutors to recommend suspended sentences as part of a plea bargain. They are often given to mitigate the effect of penalties.[2]

In some jurisdictions the criminal record of the guilty party will still carry the offence, even after probation is adequately served.[3]

In the federal system, judges' authority to suspend sentences has been abolished.[4]

See also

Deferred sentence




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