Suspended Sentence legal file

What Is a Suspended Sentence?

Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III Nov. 27, 2023

If you’re facing a criminal investigation or being charged with a crime, your whole life can change in an instant. With a criminal record, your options in employment, professional licensing, housing and even public benefits can go up in smoke.  

From the moment you’re taken in for questioning, you must be on the offensive in the sense of defending your rights. First of all, you have a right under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remain silent, and under the Sixth Amendment, you have a right to legal counsel before answering any questions. Invoke those rights. Your future is at stake. 

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference in the world. Your attorney can meet with prosecutors, explain your side of the story, and then negotiate for a lesser charge—or even an outright dismissal.  

A plea bargain is also possible, and part of a plea bargain can be a suspended sentence. In other words, if the crime you’re charged with calls for jail or prison time, that can be put aside while you undergo the conditions of a suspended sentence, which might include community service or rehabilitative services. 

If you go to trial, your attorney can also make a case with the judge for a suspended sentence so you can avoid any time behind bars and still be active in your family and community life while you fulfill the requirements of the judge’s ruling. 

Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you know you need help. At the Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III, you’ll receive strong advocacy coupled with compassionate counsel. Attorney Tom Cox will work toward the best result possible, including a suspended sentence. His firm also provides bond services to post bail so you can get out of jail while awaiting disposition of the case against you.  

The firm proudly serves clients not only in Dallas but also in the neighboring areas of Irving, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, University Park, and throughout Dallas County. 

What Is a Suspended Sentence?

In Texas, a suspended sentence is also referred to as community supervision, which means that the defendant can remain in society while fulfilling certain requirements set by the judge in the case, or even negotiated through a plea bargain and approved by a judge. The terms of the suspension can vary. Some will preclude any jail or prison time, but other suspensions might commence with some imprisonment before other conditions are put in place. 

Typically, you will have to report to a community supervision officer on a regular basis, hold a steady job, pay fines and restitution, and allow regular inspections of your home. There are two types of suspended sentences.  

  • One is referred to as suspension of imposition (SIS), which means that the judge will delay any sentencing while the terms of the suspension are being observed.

  • The other is suspended execution of sentence (SES), which means the judge has ordered jail or prison time but suspended it while the defendant is on probation and fulfilling requirements set by the court.

If either type of suspension and its requirements are not honored by the defendant, then sentencing under SIS or imprisonment under SES will commence. 

The length of a suspended sentence varies by the degree of the crime. A misdemeanor can result in a two-year suspension, and a felony in a ten-year suspension. Any crimes or other aberrations from the court order during that time can revoke the suspension. If you meet all the conditions, you may be eligible to apply for early release from probation after serving at least one-third of the term. 

Fierce Legal Representation

If you're facing a criminal investigation or charge, you have to fight aggressively to defend your rights and seek the most favorable outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you pursue all your legal options. Tom Cox is a former Dallas County prosecutor who knows how both sides of the aisle operate. He can present your side of the story to prosecutors and work tirelessly to pursue the best possible result. Reach out to the Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III to start moving forward.