In Pennsylvania, stalking and harassment are listed under violent crimes or crimes against the person. Stalking is ordinarily a misdemeanor of the first degree, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. If, however, the stalking occurs in violation of a protection from abuse (P.F.A. order) the grading changes to a felony of the third degree, which carries of a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.
Currently, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has proposed legislation which would have the same enhancing effect on the crime of harassment. harassment is currently graded as a summary offense, which carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in prison. If the legislation passes, harassment, which occurs in violation of a protection from abuse order, would enhance the grading to a misdemeanor of the third degree and carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison.
It is important you have an experienced and aggressive attorney who is aware of his client’s potential exposure of imprisonment for any crime charged. If you or a loved one has been charged with stalking, harassment, other violent offenses, or is a named defendant in a PFA, call the Kelly Law Firm for a free consultation.