What is a Suspended Sentence in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts Suspended Sentence

Q: What is a Suspended Sentence in Massachusetts?

A:
If you are convicted of a Massachusetts criminal offense and receive a suspended sentence, then the judge is ordering that you serve a specific sentence if you violate any terms of your probation.  A violation of probation will not automatically trigger jail time, but if jail time is warranted, then the sentencing judge HAS to sentence you to the amount of time that was suspended at the time of your original sentence.

Example: You plead guilty to an offense and are sentenced to 2 years in the house of corrections, suspended for 3 years.  That means that you will be placed on probation for 3 years. If during that 3 year period you commit any violation that warrants jail time, you will serve 2 years in the house of corrections. The judge may decide to allow you another chance to continue with probation, but if he does sentence you on the violation, he cannot do so for any less than the 2 years in the house of correction that you have hanging over your head.  Usually, only a minor violation such as a missed court payment or showing up late to an appointment with your probation officer will lead the judge to re-probate you.  Any significant violation, such as a new criminal charge, will likely lead to your suspended sentence being imposed, sending you to the house of corrections for that duration of time.