Crimes and Offenses

Hopkins Law Erie – Crimes and Offenses in Northwestern PA

Felony | Misdemeanor | Ungraded Misdemeanor | Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) | ICC

Erie Criminal Law Attorney

Since 1995, Attorney Hopkins has specialized in the area of criminal law. Attorney Hopkins has handled every kind of criminal case from First Degree Death Penalty Homicides to Summary Traffic Offenses. In Pennsylvania, all criminal offenses are categorized as either a Felony(1,2,3), Misdemeanor(1,2,3), or a Summary in Northwestern PA. As a criminal lawyer, Damon C. Hopkins can help you defend against any criminal offense no matter how severe or how minor it may seem. The maximum sentence for each level of offense is as follows:

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Felony Charges

Felony 1


Including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, distribution of high quantities of drugs, robbery, burglary, rape, and other serious offenses, most of these offenses carry a maximum term of 20 years incarceration.


  • Murder (1st, 2nd, 3rd Degree)

  • Manslaughter

  • Aggravated Assault

  • Kidnapping

  • Rape

  • IDSI

  • Arson

  • Robbery Felony 1

  • Robbery of a Motor Vehicle

  • Delivery of Narcotics

  • PWID

  • Causing a Catastrophe

  • Burglary Felony 1

Felony 2


Including certain burglaries, certain robberies, sexual assaults, some arsons, and other serious offenses, these offenses carry a maximum term of 10 years incarceration.


  • Aggravated Assault by Prisoner

  • Interference with Custody

  • Statutory Sexual Assault

  • Aggravated Indecent Assault

  • Arson Felony 2

  • Recklessly Causing a Catastrophe

  • Burglary Felony 2

  • Criminal Trespass

  • Robbery Felony 2

  • Forgery Felony 2

  • Incest

  • Contraband

Felony 3


Including certain firearm, theft, and many drug offenses, etc., these offenses carry a maximum term of seven years incarceration, throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including the City of Erie, Northeast, Girard etc.


  • Theft

  • Stalking

  • Criminal Trespass

  • Receiving Stolen Property

  • Forgery Felony 3

  • Unlawful Use of Computer

  • Bad Checks

  • Credit Card Fraud

  • Escape

  • Hindering Apprehension

  • Intimidating Witness

  • Riot

  • Avoiding Apprehension

  • Firearms without License

  • Obscene Materials

  • Possession of Firearms by Minor

Misdemeanor Charges

Misdemeanor 1


Including thefts, terroristic threats, corruption of minors, etc., these offenses carry a maximum term of five years incarceration throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including the City of Erie, Corry, Harborcreek, etc.


  • Possessing Instruments of Crime

  • Prohibited Offensive Weapons

  • Weapons on School

  • Involuntary Manslaughter

  • Terroristic Threats

  • Stalking

  • Unlawful Restraint

  • Theft ($200-$2000)

  • Receiving Stolen Property ($200-$2000)

  • Retail Theft (over $150)

  • Unlawful Use of Computer

  • Bad Checks (over $1000)

  • Insurance Fraud

  • False Alarms

  • Contraband by Prisoner

  • Gambling Devices

  • Obscene Materials

  • Firearms by Minor

  • Corruption of Minors

Misdemeanor 2


Including simple assault, certain retail thefts, bad checks, and many other offenses, these offenses carry a maximum term of two years incarceration.


  • Simple Assault

  • Recklessly Endangering

  • False Imprisonment

  • Interference with Custody

  • Indecent Assault

  • Criminal Mischief (over $1,000)

  • Vandalism

  • Theft ($50 - $200)

  • Retail Theft (2nd offense)

  • Bigamy

  • False Swearing

  • Resisting Arrest

  • Unsworn Falsifications

  • False Reports to Police

  • Tapering with Evidence

  • Intimidation of a Witness

  • Obstructing Justice

  • Hindering

  • Apprehension

  • Escape

  • Avoiding Apprehension

  • Abuse of Corpse

Misdemeanor 3


Including small thefts, possession of drug paraphernalia, false reports, serious disorderly conducts, some criminal mischiefs etc., these offenses carry a maximum term of one year incarceration.


  • Simple Assault

  • Criminal Mischief ($500 - $999)

  • Defiant Trespass

  • Theft (under $50)

  • Bad Checks ($200 - $499)

  • Loitering & Prowling

  • Open Lewdness

  • Prostitution

  • Patronizing Prostitute

  • Tattooing a Minor

  • Scalping Tickets

  • Drug Paraphernalia

  • Disorderly Conduct

Ungraded Misdemeanor Charges Throughout Northwestern PA


Ungraded misdemeanors includes the new DUI, DAI (Drunk Driving) offenses, and possession of various types of illegal narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, etc. These offenses can carry maximums of 30 days, six months, and 1-year incarceration, depending on the number of drugs possessed or the amount of alcohol in your blood. As a misdemeanor attorney, Damon C. Hopkins can help you with any criminal offense you are facing.

Summary Offense Charges


This category includes crimes such as harassment, minor disorderly conduct, some retail thefts, underage drinking, illegal dumping, and numerous other small offenses. Summary offenses are punishable by up to 90 days incarceration and $300 in fines. However, do not be fooled by the term minor offense, too many small offenses on your record can cause you to end up serving a lengthy prison term in the future.

Protection from Abuse Order(PFA):


PFA stands for a Protection From Abuse order. While it is not classified as a misdemeanor or felony, a PFA is still very serious. Typically when a spouse or loved one feels threatened or abused by another person they may seek the assistance of the courts by asking for a PFA, which is a restraining order preventing a person from having any contact whatsoever with the “abused individual.” Most times people seek PFA’s for legitimate reasons. However, there are times when a PFA is sought as a means to directly cause harm to the other person. Once a PFA is entered against you, you will not be able to talk to, go to, see, be with, call, text, email, or have any contact with that person for three years. If you do, you will be in violation of the PFA and will face up to 6 months in jail for each violation. If you are located throughout the state of Pennsylvania, Attorney Hopkins can help.

A PFA can be very dangerous to you; the court will give the abused individual an attorney for free. Don’t try to handle this matter on your own, talk to Attorney Hopkins before it’s too late.

Indirect Criminal Contempt(ICC):


ICC stands for Indirect Criminal Contempt. If you have a PFA against you and have been accused of violating it, the police will charge you with an ICC. For each ICC charge brought against you, you face up to 6 months in jail. ICC’s are not a typical type of case, and you need experienced legal counsel. The Erie County Court’s are very harsh with individuals who are found guilty of violating PFA’s. Typically a first offense may be able to get six months probation, but a second or subsequent violation usually means significant jail time.

If you have been charged with violating a PFA order, call my office immediately to discuss the best way for you to proceed.