Suspended Imposition of Sentence vs. Suspended Execution of Sentence

After someone has been arrested in California, his or her next trip will be to the police station or the sheriff’s station. Once there, their fingerprints and picture will be taken, and authorities will complete a background check. Bail will be set at the station, and they or their loved ones can contact a licensed bail bondsman to arrange for their bail so that they can be released from the jail. They will have to sign a bail application and contract, but if they can’t go to the bail bondsman, he or she will allow them to send these completed documents by fax or email.

After the bail bondsman receives payment, he or she can go to the police station and bail the accused out of jail. Fortunately, a bail bondsman can post bond at any time of the day in California. Bail bondsmen can provide this service 365 days a year. Then, the accused will be free to wait for their trial dates at home rather than in jail.

Probation or Jail Sentence

If someone commits a crime in California, he or she is subject to probation or a prison or jail sentence. When the judge decides to sentence him or her to probation, he or she must state whether it is a suspended imposition or a suspended execution of sentence.

Probation is the favorable option, and it implies a sense of leniency. Even so, if they are sentenced to probation, it doesn’t mean that they will not have to serve any time in prison or jail. This may be what happens if someone violates the terms of his or her probation.

Imposition of Sentence Suspended – Probation

With the imposition of sentence suspended, the judge will not order them to serve a sentence, but he or she will set a number of years that they will be on probation. If they violate the rules of their probation, the court will have options for further punishment for them. For example, the judge may sentence them to the following:

  • The judge may place them on probation again. They may or may not receive additional penalties, and the conditions of their probation may or may not be altered.
  • The judge also has the right to impose the sentence that they would have received if they hadn’t been placed on probation. The fact that they violated the rules of their probation will not lead to a harsher sentence in this instance.

Execution of Sentence Suspended – Probation

Execution of sentence suspended means that the judge announced a sentence for them, but it was suspended. It is also called a “joint suspension.” If someone violates his or her probation, he or she is usually sentenced to time in “the joint.” That’s why it is also called “joint suspension.” The accused may receive the same penalties as were mentioned above if they violate the terms of their probation in this case.

Under these circumstances, the judge may impose any sentence that he or she sees fit if the accused was given an imposition of sentence suspended. If they were given an execution of sentence suspended, the judge is required to impose the sentence that he or she chose to impose but suspended.

Those accused of crimes will not necessarily be given a prison sentence if they violate the conditions of their probation on an ESS. They will receive a probation violation hearing, and their attorneys will be able to represent them.

ISS or ESS without Probation


The judge may offer someone a suspended imposition of his or her sentence or a suspended execution of sentence and not directly order him or her to serve a sentence of probation. This is called the “ISS or ESS without probation,” but it will mean that the accused is on probation because the courts in California cannot order ISS or ESS without also ordering the accused to serve a sentence of probation.

Sometimes, judges deal with crime in California by “recalling” a sentence. The judge can’t change the sentence, but he or she can “recall” the state prison sentence before the accused is ever scheduled to go from his or her jail cell to his or her prison cell. Then, the judge will impose another sentence, but it cannot be more severe than the last.

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