Suspended Execution of Sentence ("SES") in Missouri

A suspended execution of sentence (“SES”) is essentially a conviction under Missouri Law — which often shows up on most background checks. With a SES, the defendant first pleads guilty to the underlying offense. This guilty plea is basically an admission of criminal conduct. The guilty plea, however, must be made knowingly and voluntarily. It is often that case that in Missouri, particularly in municipal courts, the Judge will read the guilty plea aloud to the Defendant and explain in detail the legal ramifications of the plea.
Immediately after the guilty plea, the Judge will sentence the Defendant to jail time or some other sort of punishment (e.g., community service, attendance at a rehabilitation program, etc.). However, the Judge does not execute the sentence in that you are not then ordered to actually complete the punishment. Instead, the Judge will order you on probation, which will have a myriad of terms and conditions that need to be observed. If at a later date it is discovered you violated your probation, then there will be another hearing to determine if you did in fact violate the probation. If there is a finding that there was a probation violation, then the Court will revoke the probation and automatically execute the sentence which was previously suspended at the time of the plea.
Given the gravity of a SES, and its long-term implications, it is paramount to carefully consider all the features of you case and weigh the costs and benefits of a trial accordingly.
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