706-622 Requirement of probation; exception. When a person who has been convicted of a felony is not sentenced to imprisonment, the court shall place the person on probation. Nothing in this part shall prohibit the court from suspending any sentence imposed upon persons convicted of a crime other than a felony. [L 1972, c 9, pt of 1; am L 1986, c 314, 23; gen ch 1992]




Once the decision has been made to withhold a sentence of imprisonment, some criteria must be stated for choosing between suspending sentence and sentencing the defendant to probation. The Code favors placing the defendant on probation if the defendant needs "the supervision, guidance, assistance, or direction that the probation service can provide." In the case of defendants convicted of serious crimes, probation will be the usual sentence (if imprisonment is withheld). For those defendants convicted of minor crimes (especially first offenders), a suspended sentence may suffice.



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