30 Mar SIS vs. SES in Missouri
SIS vs SES. What’s the difference between and SIS and an SES and what does it mean to you?
Historically, there were three options in a criminal case that was settled: (1) A guilty plea and jail, (2) A guilty plea and probation, and (3) a diversion. A diversion is a program whereby a case is put on hold for X amount of time. If the defendant successfully completes the terms of the diversion, then the case is dismissed without conviction.
Missouri categorizes #2 and #3 as an SIS and an SES. SIS stands for Suspended Imposition of Sentence. SES stands for Suspended Execution of Sentence. In my opinion, the SIS is truer to the original diversionary spirit. With an SIS, jail time is neither negotiated nor laid out in the pleading process. The case is essentially continued while the defendant completes the terms of probation. An SIS is the lowest form of punishment in this situation. It is reserved for minor felonies and defendants with clean records. With an SES, a specific sentence is pled to by the defendant, and the execution (performance) of that sentence is suspended pending completion of probation.
The real difference comes into play when probation is not completed. If you have an SIS, you will be brought back into Court to determine if you violated the terms of the agreement. If the Court finds that you did, then next up is for your attorney to negotiate the sentence or a sentencing hearing to be held to determine the sentence. In other words, there is still room to work on reducing your possible punishment.
If you have an SES and the Court finds that you violated the terms of probation, then your previously-agreed to sentence is then enforced. So hypothetically, lets say you had an SES with 3 years on the shelf. If you violate your probation, then 3 years is what it is. There is very little room to maneuver.
In summary, an SES is stricter than an SIS. Violating an SES results in the sentence being carried out. Violating an SIS returns the parties to the negotiating table on coming up with a new sentence.