Damon C. Hopkins, Attorney and Counselor at Law

Crime & Offenses

Erie Criminal Law Attorney 

Since 1995, Attorney Hopkins has concentrated his practice 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, Misdemeanor, or Summary. Attorney Hopkins can help you defend against any type of criminal offense no matter how serious or how minor it may seem. The maximum sentence for each level of offense is as follows:

Felony 1:

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

  • Murder (1st, 2nd, 3rd Degree)
  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • IDSI
  • Arson
  • Causing
  • Robbery Felony 1
  • Robbery of Motor
  • Vehicle
  • Delivery of Narcotics
  • PWID
  • 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 Assault by Prisoner
  • Interference with Custody
  • Statutory Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Indecent Assault
  • Arson Felony 2
  • Recklessly Cause 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.

  • 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 1:

Including thefts, terroristic threats, corruption of minors, etc., these offenses carry a maximum term of five years incarceration.

  • 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 Another Person
  • 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 Falsification to Authorities
  • False Reports to Police
  • Tapering with Evidence
  • Intimidation of a Witness
  • Obstructing Justice
  • Hindering
  • Apprehension
  • Escape
  • Avoiding Apprehension
  • Abuse of Corpse
  • Cruelty to Animals

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 Paraphanelia
  • Disorderly Conduct

Ungraded Misdemeanor:

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, 6 months, and 1 year incarceration, depending on the amount of drugs possessed or the amount of alcohol in your blood.

Summary Offenses:

This category includes crimes such as Harassment, minor Disorderly Conduct, some Retail Thefts, Underage Drinking, Illegal Dumping, and numerous other minor offenses. Summary offenses are punishable by up to 90 days incarceration and/or $300 in fines. However, do notbe fooled by the term minor offense, too many minor offenses on your record can cause you to end up serving a long prison term in the future! (Also see our section  on Traffic Violations).

Protection From Abuse Order (PFA):

PFA stands for a Protection From Abuse order. 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 essentially 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 simply cause harm to the other person. Once a PFA is granted against you, you will not be able to talk to, go to, see, be with, call, or have any contact with that person for 18 months. There are no exceptions! If you do, you will be in violation of the PFA and will face up to 6 months in jail for each violation. Even if the person who asked for the PFA decides that she/he wants to see or talk to you and says it's ok, don't do it! If you do, you are violating the Order and face jail time. A PFA can be very dangerous to you, the Court will give the abused individual an attorney for free, DO NOT try to handle this matter on your own, talk to my office before it's too late for you!

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. This is not an easy type of case, you are really in trouble if you have been charged with this, 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 6 months probation, but a second or subsequent violation usually means significant jail time! The Court's will appoint an attorney to represent the other person, so Do Not try to handle this matter on your own! If you have been charged with violating a PFA order, call my office immediately so we can discuss the best way for you to proceed.

Contact an Erie Criminal Defense Lawyer

At our firm, we understand that good people make bad choices. You will be treated with the respect you deserve in combination with the representation you need. Contact us by calling 814-455-3100 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

Damon C. Hopkins, Attorney and Counselor at Law
333 State Street, Suite 203
Erie, PA 16507
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Telephone: 814-455-3100 | Fax: 814-459-8996
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At the Northwestern Pennsylvania law offices of Damon C. Hopkins, Attorney and Counselor at Law, we provide experienced legal representation to clients in communities throughout Erie county including: Erie, Edinboro, Meadville, Warren, North East,  Waterford, Girard, Fairview, Harbor Creek, Millcreek, Albion and Corry. We also serve the following Lake Erie area counties: Erie County, Warren County, Crawford County and Venango County.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright © 2017 by Damon C. Hopkins, Attorney and Counselor at Law. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.