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What's the difference between a "imposition of sentence suspended vs "execution of sentence suspended"

Aliso Viejo, CA |

And do judges usually grant imposition or execution of sentences in most felony cases?? Also a felony prbation violation, is that an automatic state prsion sentence??

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Attorney answers 2


Imposition of sentence suspended (ISS) is different than execution of sentence suspended (prison suspended) in that, in the event of a probation violation, ISS gives the judge the discretion to fashion any sentence wihtin the statutory maximums. Whereas, prison suspended suggests that the judge has no discretion upon a violation but to send the defendant to prison. While there may be a way around the strict application of the latter part of the rule, sentencing to prison upon a violation woudl be the presumption. You will need to talk to your lawyer for a full understanding.

However, there is a serious consequence for being sentenced to prison suspended. If a person is on probation with ISS and the case is a wobbler, it can be reduced to a misdemeanor upon the successful completion of probation - you cannot get this relief if prison is suspended.

To answer your last question, on an ISS, the court can revoke and reinstate the probation or take any other action within the scope of the statute. On prison suspended, if the defendnat violates probation, it is presumed that the judge will send her or him to prison for whatever term was selected. Nevertheless, it is possible for the judge to simply revoke probation and reinstate it without requiring prison.

So,talk to a lawyer bring in all the paperwork and good luck!

This is not legal advice. In order to get legal advice, you need to retain a lawyer and establish an attorney client relationship. So, talk to your lawyer!


I will just add a word to Mr. Sanger's excellent answer. Many judges do not like ESS probations because in the event of the most minor violation the DA will demand that the full sentence be imposed. Thus if your probation is 5 years ESS that means the judge has predetermined that in the event of a violation the probationer will go to state prison for 5 years.

When a judge does impose an ESS probation and the case comes back to him on a violation in some instances the judge refuses to apply the law and fashions some other penalty. This should not happen, but in many cases the violation is minor and the judge is unwilling to give anyone 5 years state prison for it. For this reason it is hard to find a judge who will impose an ESS probation because most know in the event of a violation they will be unlikely to impose their own sentence.