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Postponement of punishment is the legal term for postponing the execution of a sentence to a later date.

If the enforcement of a legally binding custodial sentence has not yet started, the public prosecutor's office or the juvenile judge as chief enforcement officer can grant the convicted person a postponement for important reasons. After the start of enforcement, so-called punishment interruptions can be granted under similar conditions .

Postponement of sentence must be granted, for example, if the convicted person is incapable of imprisonment, for example lapses into mental illness, in the case of other illnesses only if enforcement would likely be associated with mortal danger.

Enforcement can also be postponed if, due to the physical condition of the convicted person, immediate enforcement would not be compatible with the prison facilities (e.g. necessary medical treatment is not possible there, Section 455 StPO ), as well as for reasons of the prison organization ( Section 455a StPO). According to Section 456 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a temporary stay of sentence is also possible for other reasons at the request of the convicted person, if the immediate execution would cause him or his family considerable disadvantages that lie outside the purpose of the punishment . However, such a delay is limited to a maximum of 4 months.

It is possible to raise objections under Section 458 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to the court of first instance ( Section 462a, Paragraph of the Code of Criminal Procedure) against negative decisions on postponement of sentence by the enforcement authorities . Although this legal remedy does not initially have an enforcement-inhibiting effect, the court can of course order such a postponement according to Section 458 (3) StPO. The check is carried out here to ensure that the enforcement authority has exercised its discretion correctly. There is a legal remedy of an immediate appeal to the next instance against a decision of the court seised.