A sentence of imprisonment for at most two years may be imposed conditionally, unless the seriousness of the offence, the criminal history of the sentenced person or other circumstances require that unconditional imprisonment be imposed. First-time offenders are, as a rule, sentenced to conditional imprisonment. The court decides on the length of the sentence and sets a probationary period, the length of which is one to three years. If the sentenced person does not commit any new offences during the probationary period, he or she is not imprisoned and the sentence lapses. If the sentenced person commits another offence punishable by unconditional imprisonment during the probationary period, the original sentence of conditional imprisonment can be enforced by imposing a joint sentence of unconditional imprisonment to cover both this sentence and the sentence for the new offence committed during the probationary period.
A fine is often imposed in addition to conditional imprisonment. Such an ancillary fine must be paid in any case and it will not be reimbursed even if the sentence of conditional imprisonment is later ordered to be served in prison. If the length of a sentence of conditional imprisonment is 8 months or more, an ancillary community service order may also be imposed.