A suspended sentence is a custodial (imprisonment) sentence, but with the custodial (prison) element suspended (delayed), on condition the defendant remains out of trouble and abides by any requirements that the judge may choose to attach.
Suspended sentences can be imposed by a Magistrates Court or a Crown court, following a conviction for a criminal offence. When determining the sentence for a criminal offence, the court may determine that only a custodial (imprisonment) is appropriate. The court may however, be persuaded to suspend the imprisonment for a period of time.
This means that the convicted person does not go to prison straightaway, but that during the period of the suspension they will be subject to conditions which, if breached, will mean that the sentence is activated and the person would have to go to prison. For more information contact us or come and see us in East Ham or Barnet. Specialist criminal solicitors london.
Following a conviction for a criminal offence, the court must determine the appropriate sentence. Where the court determines that only a custodial sentence is appropriate (where the ‘custody threshold test’ has been passed), the court will determine the appropriate length.
Where the court imposes a prison sentence of between 14 days and two years, it has the power to suspend the sentence for up to two years. suspended sentences avoid immediate custody. Specialist representation is essential and SJ Law criminal solicitors london and East Ham can help.
Where a court imposes a suspended sentence, they may impose a series of conditions or requirements that must be complied with during the of suspension. These could include :
Yes, provided the total sentence does not exceed 2 years in the Crown Court or 6 months in the Magistrates Court.
The operational period is the period of the suspension. A court can suspend a sentence for anything between 6 months to 2 years.
Where the conditions of the suspended sentence order are breached, there is a presumption that the suspended prison term will be activated in full or in part, UNLESS the court can be persuaded that it would be unjust to do so.
Where the court determines not to activate the suspended sentence, it may:
This is considered to be a breach of the terms of the suspended sentence and will usually result in the activation of the suspended sentence, unless the court can be persuaded that it would be unjust to do so.
Where an offence is committed during the operational period of the suspension, the relevant date is the date of commission of the offence and not the date of conviction. However, the date of conviction could be relevant for the purposes of arguing that it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence.
Normally, the Crown Court will deal with a breaches of a suspended sentence.
The Magistrates Court can only deal with a breach of a suspended sentence order if the original sentence was passed in the Magistrates’ Court. However, it can commit the case to the Crown Court if its powers to deal with the defendant are considered inadequate.
When a suspended sentence becomes ‘spent’ depends on the length of what would have been the original custodial sentence. Convictions are spent:
Depending on the level of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, a suspended sentence may not show. DBS checks have three levels of checking - Basic, Standard and Enhanced. The basic disclosure will not show spent convictions, and the standard and enhanced disclosures showing sentences even after they are spent.