Probation in criminal proceedings

Probation is one of the warning measures imposed by the court in criminal proceedings in our criminal legislation. Thus, a suspended sentence is not a punishment (there are two fines and imprisonment), but a milder type of criminal sanction. The aim of a suspended sentence is not to impose a prison sentence (or imprisonment and a fine together) if the perpetrator’s previous life, his conduct after the crime and during the proceedings and other circumstances, expect that the perpetrator will no longer commit crimes and that such a warning measure will have a positive effect on his future behavior.


The Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia imposes certain restrictions on the acts for which this type of criminal sanction can be imposed. First of all, a suspended sentence is by no means possible if the amount of the threatened prison sentence is eight years or more. In practice, the most common serious criminal offenses in which a suspended sentence is not possible would be, for example: unauthorized production and distribution of narcotics, aggravated theft, robbery, rape, child sexual intercourse, sexual intercourse, murder, aggravated murder etc. On the other hand, in the case of, for example: unauthorized possession of narcotics, “ordinary” theft, promiscuity, abuse of office, sexual harassment, it would be possible to impose this type of sanction, of course, fulfilling all other legal preconditions.


Also, it is important to point out that a suspended sentence cannot be pronounced if the perpetrator has been sentenced to at least two years in prison in a specific criminal procedure. Therefore, although the Code for a specific act envisages a prison sentence of less than eight years, if in a specific procedure, having in mind all the circumstances of the case, a prison sentence of two years or more is imposed, it is not possible to impose a suspended sentence.


By imposing a suspended sentence, the court practically imposes a prison sentence that the perpetrator will have to serve only if in the so-called committed a new crime at the time of the inspection. Also, the suspended sentence will be revoked, and the perpetrator will be sent to serve the prison sentence, even though the court finds out about another criminal act of the perpetrator, committed before the passing of the suspended sentence. In the latter case, the suspended sentence will be revoked if the court finds that it would not have pronounced the suspended sentence if it had known about the previously committed crime.