When a verdict is reached in a criminal case, the defendant is either free to go or sentenced depending on the type of conviction. “Sentence” is the term used to refer to the penalty the court orders a defendant to serve and it might include one or more of the following penalties:
- A suspended sentence
- A fine
- Community service
- Participation in a halfway house or another residential facility.
- Participation in a training or educational program in addition to imprisonment at night or on the weekends.
- Revocation of a license.
- Forfeiture of, or removal from, office.
- A civil penalty.
[Source: N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2(b) to (d)].
While most defendants who are convicted of any criminal offense are subject to serve the penalties the crime carries immediately following the court ruling, there are instances where an individual may be granted a suspended sentence. What is a suspended sentence and how can a person increase their chances of being granted one? Read on below as we are addressing this and more.
What is a suspended sentence?
A suspended sentence is “a legal arrangement in which a person who has been found guilty of a crime is not sentenced to jail but may be sentenced for that crime at a future time if he or she commits another crime during a specified period.” Rather than being forced to serve the penalties the crime carries with it right away, a defendant will likely be required to abide by certain conditions stipulated in the suspended sentence to avoid facing the penalties they would otherwise have to serve.
Important Things You Should Know When It Comes to Suspended Sentences
- J.S.2C:45-2 states that when the court has suspended a sentence or “has sentenced a defendant to be placed on probation, the period of the suspension shall be fixed by the court at not to exceed the maximum term which could have been imposed or more than five years, whichever is lesser.”
- The period of suspension or probation may be reduced by the court when the defendant has complied with the conditions outlined in the suspension.
- During the time a defendant is serving a suspended sentence, the court may either “modify the requirements imposed on the defendant or add further requirements authorized by N.J.S.2C:45-1.”
- In the event a requirement included in the suspended sentence “imposes an unreasonable burden on the defendant,” the court will eliminate that requirement.
- J.S.2C:45-3 says that “the court, if satisfied that the defendant has inexcusably failed to comply with a substantial requirement imposed as a condition of the order or if he has been convicted of another offense, may revoke the suspension or probation and sentence or resentence the defendant.”
What can a defendant do to increase their chances of being granted a suspended sentence?
Hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Jersey City, NJ and are convicted on these charges, you significantly increase your chances of being granted a suspended sentence when you have a legal expert working beside you defending your rights. Jersey City, NJ criminal defense lawyer Eric M. Mark has extensive experience in handling various types of criminal cases and possesses the skill and knowledge needed to help you obtain a successful outcome. If you would like to learn more about our office and how we can help you through this tough and confusing time, contact us now at 201-713-2227.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is located at:
Jersey City Office
121 Newark Avenue, Suite 515
Jersey City, NJ 07302