In the State of Missouri when a defendant pleads guilty to or is convicted of a criminal offense the Court can choose to place the defendant on probation.
This article is not meant to explain all the information involved with probation in Missouri, but rather answer a very specific question I receive from clients. What is the difference between SIS and SES probation?
When a defendant is placed on probation by the Court he will either be placed on SIS probation or SES probation.
Suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) means that no sentence is pronounced, and the court will retain the jurisdiction to impose any sentence within the full statutory range of punishment in case of revocation. What does that mean in common language you ask? As an example, if a defendant is charged with one count of a class C felony for possession of drugs the most amount of time he can spend in prison is 7 years. So if this same defendant decides to plead guilty to the class C felony for possession of drugs and the Court places him on SIS probation what the court is doing is not imposing any sentence on the defendant but placing him on probation for a set amount of time and telling the defendant, "if you violate probation the Court can still sentence you for up to 7 years in prison."
However, in the same fact pattern above the Court could have decided to place the defendant on probation and suspend execution of his sentence (SES). The Court utilizes SES probation when it determines that it is preferable to have a definite term of imprisonment "backing up" the probation. Simply put, in the same fact pattern above, where the defendant is charged with a class C felony for possession of drugs, the Court could decide that they want the defendant to serve 4 years in prison for his crime, however they want to give him the opportunity to be placed on probation and not have to serve his 4 years in prison. However, if the defendant is placed on SES probation and he violates the probation the Court can order him to serve the 4 years in prison that was "backing up" his probation.
So why would a person want SIS probation or SES probation? A first offender will ordinarily seek an SIS because an SIS becomes closed record, under the Sunshine law in Missouri, upon successful completion of probation, and is not considered a conviction for purposes other than subsequent criminal prosecutions. The defendant may also be entitled to deny any prior convictions on applications for employment if he successfully completed his SIS probation. However, the SES is a criminal conviction for all purposes because the defendant has been found guilty and actually sentenced.
For More Information Contact a St. Louis Probation lawyerat our law firm today.