Summary Offenses

Summary Offenses

Don’t Underestimate a Summary Offense

The Pennsylvania Crimes Codes divides criminal charges by three separate grading levels: (1) Felony, (2) Misdemeanor, and (3) Summary.

While the Summary offense is the least serious of the gradings it is important to remember that a Summary offense is still a criminal offense which carries with it the chance for criminal penalties.
A Summary offense typically starts off with police contact which results in a Summary Citation; this is also called a Summary Non-Traffic Citation. The Summary Citation looks a lot like your typical traffic ticket, and this may lull some into a false sense of security resulting in an apathetic response or even a guilty plea. A Summary offense carries with it criminal penalties to include fines, costs, as well as the potential for jail time. A person can look at a jail sentence of up to 90 days and face a fine of up to $300; the fine for some Summary offenses can reach as high as $1000 or more.

Summary offense include:

  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Public Drunkenness
  • Underage Drinking
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Retail Theft
  • Harassment
  • Criminal Mischief


  • It is important to understand the importance of hiring the right attorneys to aid you in your time of Summary crisis. You may have a valid legal defense to the Summary charge filed against you and it is important for us to review the facts of your case at the earliest possible moment to vet your case for potential defenses.
    It is also important to understand that a Summary conviction results in a criminal record. It is possible to expunge a Summary offense from your criminal record if you have been free of arrest or prosecution for five years following the conviction for the Summary offense. 18 Pa.C.S.A § 9122(b)(3).