The period the sentence is withheld is known as the operational period. The only condition imposed on the offender during the operational period is to not commit any crime punishable by imprisonment.
A sentence can be either wholly or partially suspended. An offender who has been given a partially suspended sentence serves some time in prison and then is released into the community. The remaining prison time is suspended.
The length of the prison time suspended can be less than the operational period. For example, an offender can be sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment suspended for three years. This means that if the offender reoffends during those three years, the 18 months’ prison sentence may be activated.
The maximum suspended sentence available in the Magistrates' Court is two years with a maximum operational period of two years. The maximum suspended sentence available in the County and Supreme Courts is three years with a maximum operational period of three years.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Sentencing and punishment for crimes are often harsh and can be brought against adults as well as juveniles. Being involved in the criminal or police process can be quite demanding, rigorous, and time consuming. It is often stressful on both the individual suspected of the crime, and that individual's friends and family. Hiring the right criminal defence law firm can often make a substantial difference in your case.
There is a common misconception that a criminal conviction is only recorded in major matters. This is not the case. In fact, most matters that go before the Court, including drink driving and other traffic matters, will result in a criminal conviction. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded against you and the potential impact on your future, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible, and they can advise you on your chances of obtaining a non-conviction order.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.