Criminal Defense Lawyers in Erie, Pennsylvania

Experienced Erie, PA Criminal Defense Attorneys Will Help You Avoid Prison and Fines

Charged with a crime, or about to be charged with a crime, in Pennsylvania? Don’t know what to expect? Scared about the possibility that you will go to prison? Worried about losing your job? You used to take your freedom for granted. Now, it’s all you can think about. At the Erie law firm of Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., we defend freedom, one person at a time, one case at a time.

The PA Criminal Cases We Defend & The People We Help

We defend freedom and pursue justice for people facing a variety of criminal charges, including:

  • DUI – We understand what’s at stake for you and your family. You may fear the loss of your job, your driver’s license, and your freedom. Additionally, we understand that you might feel embarrassment. That’s why we will work with you to make this the last DUI you ever face.
  • Theft Offenses – Don’t let a moment of poor judgement or a case of mistaken identity result in a conviction that derails your educational or career plans. Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. will defend you against allegations of burglary, robbery, forgery, theft, or receiving stolen property.
  • Sex Crimes – The mere allegation of a sex offense can ruin your reputation, while a conviction could have sweeping consequences for the rest of your life. We fight to protect you from false or exaggerated accusations. We have successfully defended charges of rape, IDSI, sexual assault, indecent assault, and corruption of minors.
  • Violent Crimes – Homicide, manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, harassment, robbery, trespassing, and other violent crimes are serious offenses in Pennsylvania. We will protect your rights and your freedom — and we will work to get the best results possible for you.
  • Drug Offenses – Possession of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other controlled substances, or possessing any of these drugs with the intent to deliver, can cost you your freedom, harm your reputation, and result in collateral consequences like driver’s license suspension, ineligibility for federal student loans, and prohibitions against voting or owning firearms.

To learn more about criminal charges in Pennsylvania, view our Criminal Defense FAQ page.

What Our Clients Say About Us

The first step on your road to justice is choosing the right lawyer. This can be difficult in a time of so much meaningless lawyer advertising. Learning about the experiences of others can help you make that decision. It may not be the only factor, but it is certainly a good place to start. Here are some examples of what our clients have had to say about us:

  • “I had the unfortunate need for an attorney. The task was daunting at best. But Tim made the the whole ordeal much more manageable and I am truly thankful to have worked with him. The staff there is great as well. Very professional and courteous and private. If I ever need an attorney again I will call Tim and his firm.” – Janet, November 4, 2016
  • “It is my sincere hope to never have to [be involved with] the criminal justice system again, but if I did, my only call would be to Tim George.” – Anita, December 2015
  • “Tim was informative, responsive, and compassionate. He also understood the sensitive nature of my case. I am thankful that I had him on my side!” – Matt, July 2013

Our Criminal Defense Case Results in Pennsylvania

No one can promise results. Every case unfolds based on its own unique facts. In fact, it is unethical for lawyers to guarantee a particular outcome. However, knowing what other cases a lawyer has handled – and handled well – is another big factor for you to consider when choosing the right lawyer for you and your case. View our criminal case results to learn about the criminal cases previously defended by Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. and to help you decide whether we are the right Erie, PA criminal defense attorneys for you.

Why Hire Us as Your Criminal Defense Lawyers in Erie, PA?

The lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. enjoy favorable ratings by other lawyers and organizations that evaluate lawyers and law firms:

  • Listed as Pennsylvania Super Lawyer – Criminal Defense in 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019, as compiled by an independent service using a patented selection process designed to identify outstanding lawyers in particular practice areas.
  • Rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell for highest ethics and legal ability, based upon reviews by judges and other lawyers.
  • Rated 10.0-Superb by Avvo.com, based upon our experience and endorsements by other lawyers.
  • Awarded Client’s Choice Award for Criminal Defense by Avvo.com, based upon the number of favorable reviews by other lawyers and clients.
  • Awarded Client’s Choice Award for DUI Defense by Avvo.com, based upon the number of favorable reviews by other lawyers and clients.
  • Named Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers.
  • Named Member of National College for DUI Defense.
  • Named Member of American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys.

Let’s Get Started – Call Us Today to Start Your Defense Against Erie Criminal Charges

Contact us today to get started. Call (814) 580-5017, complete our quick contact form, or use the “live chat” service. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions about criminal charges and defending your rights.

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense in Erie, PA

When facing any type of criminal charge in Western Pennsylvania, your first priority should be to make sure your legal rights are protected.  The best way to learn about your rights is to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our dedicated criminal defense lawyers can help you understand what to expect through every step of the criminal process.  We are here to vigorously advocate to defend your rights. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about criminal defense in Erie, PA. For more individualized information, call us today to discuss your case.

FAQ: What Mistakes Can Ruin a Criminal Defense?

FAQ: How do I know whether I need a lawyer if I have been arrested?

It is always important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side if you have been arrested. In fact, you should call a lawyer even if you suspect you are being investigated for a crime. A lawyer is the best way to ensure that the prosecution and law enforcement are respecting your legal rights. A strong legal team is also your best chance at a strong and effective criminal defense strategy.

FAQ: Should I talk to the police if they ask to question me about a criminal matter?

You should always speak with a criminal defense lawyer before answering any questions. Your lawyer should be present at questioning to ensure you do not answer any questions that may incriminate you. While you should be polite to law enforcement, it is your legal right to speak to a lawyer—and it is not considered uncooperative to ask for a lawyer.

FAQ: What happens if my loved one was arrested and taken to jail?

Usually, your loved one will be fingerprinted and photographed. After a period of time has passed, an initial determination of whether to release him or her on their own recognizance or to schedule a bail hearing will be made. The decision usually depends upon his or her prior criminal record and the type of crime alleged. If a bail hearing is set, our lawyers can help advocate for fair bail.

FAQ: Do I need a lawyer even if I intend to plead guilty to a crime?

Yes. You should speak with a lawyer before accepting any plea. Further, even if you intend to plead guilty, a lawyer can make sure that the sentencing phase proceeds appropriately. We may even be able to negotiate reduced charges or probation in lieu of jail time before you accept a plea. Practically speaking, the judge may be more inclined to sentence more harshly if you do not have a lawyer who understands criminal procedure representing you during sentencing.

FAQ: Should I accept a plea bargain?

Not without speaking to a lawyer. Whether a plea bargain is advantageous will depend upon the specific facts of your case and the strength of the prosecution’s evidence. Sometimes, the prosecution will offer a plea because they do not believe they have a strong case. We may even be able to evaluate their evidence and negotiate to have the charges against you reduced or even dropped entirely.

FAQ: What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

Felony crimes are more serious crimes than misdemeanors and carry more significant penalties and jail time. In Pennsylvania, two additional categories are crime exist—homicide and summary offenses (which are less serious criminal offenses that carry a maximum 90-day jail term and $300 fine).

FAQ: What is the difference between probation and parole?

While very similar, the primary difference between probation and parole is that probation is offered instead of jail time and parole governs the period of time after someone is released from jail. Both probation and parole impose conditions upon the defendant. Those conditions may include:

– Regular reports to a probation officer or parole officer,
– Maintaining gainful employment or attending school or vocational training,
– Refraining from drug and alcohol use,
– Remaining in the same location unless permission to move has been granted,
– Refraining from committing any further criminal acts.

Violation of the terms of either probation or parole will usually result in the defendant being sent to jail or prison.

FAQ: I was arrested and the police did not read me my Miranda rights. Can my case be thrown out?

No. Usually, when law enforcement fails to read Miranda rights, the only remedy is that anything you say cannot be used. So, for example, if you confessed to the crime without being read your rights, that confession could not be used against you. If you continue to answer questions without asking for a lawyer, those answers cannot be used against you.

FAQ: What if the prosecution’s only evidence against me is something that someone else says. Can they prosecute me without some type of hard evidence?

Yes. In some cases, prosecution and even conviction can be based solely upon witness testimony. That is one reason why it is crucial that you retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to argue on your behalf. We can challenge the credibility of the witness and his or her statements to expose these weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you.

FAQ: What is a preliminary hearing? Why is it an important phase in the criminal process?

A preliminary hearing is a hearing where it is determined whether it is more likely than not that the defendant committed a crime. It is not a trial and the standard for proceeding is much lower. However, it can be a critical stage of the process. It is at the preliminary hearing that we may be able to have certain evidence suppressed (or thrown out). We may also be able to lay the groundwork for our future challenges to a witness’ credibility. It is even possible to have the charges dismissed or reduced at this stage.

FAQ: Why do I need a lawyer if I was accused of a crime but am innocent?

Unfortunately, innocent people are accused of committing crimes all the time. In some cases, it may be a mere mistake. In every case, knowledgeable lawyers are important to make sure the prosecution is held to the duty of proving every crime beyond a reasonable doubt. While you are presumed innocent, sometimes the evidence can make you look guilty. We are here to help make sure your legal rights are protected.

FAQ: Where can I find more information about criminal defense?

Please check out our Criminal Defense FAQ page for more information.

Speak with Our Trusted Criminal Defense Lawyers Today if You Have Been Arrested in Erie, PA

If you or a loved one have been accused of committing a crime in Erie or elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania, call our lawyers for a confidential case evaluation today.  A strong and skilled criminal defense can be key to getting a favorable outcome in your case—even if you believe the prosecution has strong evidence against you.

Criminal Defense Case Results

Charges Dropped

Aggravated Assault

An Erie man faced a maximum sentence of 27 years in prison after he stabbed another man with a butcher knife in an altercation. The wounds required the man to be admitted to a local hospital.


Criminal Mischief

A man claimed that a woman kicked his car repeatedly, resulting in damage. It was successfully argued that the evidence presented at the hearing was not sufficient to hold the case for trial.

Charges Dropped

DUI, Lane violation & Careless driving

Late at night, a driver turned right at a stop light and crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic. His BAC was over the legal limit. He was charged with DUI, a lane violation and careless driving.

Not Guilty

Sex Offense

An instructor at a local high school was accused by a student of indecent assault on the last day of school. After four days of trial, the jury acquitted the instructor of all charges.

Criminal Defense Client Reviews

  • "I contacted Tim during a difficult time in my life. I was pulled over and charged with a DUI (thankfully no collisions, property damage or the like). I started researching lawyers in the area, and it became clear that there was a gold standard: Purchase Murphey and George. Tim personally consulted with me over the phone, sending my comprehensive packages of material to read up on what exactly I was being charged with, and what my options were. I live outside of Pennsylvania, but Tim and his office acted as an essential liaison between the police/court system and myself. We didn't miss a beat, and the process moved smoothly."

  • "I chose Atty. George based on his stellar reputation and record in helping with criminal defense. My situation was handled just as I had hoped. Tim was very responsive to my needs, was very clear with my options and very specific about what would happen next. Tim and his staff were very very responsive and that is something you do not see these days. They took every question I raised and answered them quickly and thoroughly and I was never once wondering when I would hear back from either Atty. George or his staff. I would highly recommend Atty. Tim George and I would definitely use his services again in the future."

  • "I hired Tim as my attorney to get my criminal record expunged of two charges (harassment and assault) from 2007. He did a great job explaining the process and what was required of me. His support staff was also extremely helpful and responded to all my concerns promptly. I was so happy and relieved when I found out my petition was granted! Tim did an excellent job and I would recommend his services to anyone in a similar situation."

View More Client Reviews

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Mr. George and his entire office staff were very kind and helping me through my first ever experience with the law. He was able to get me exactly what he said he would in the outcome of my trial. The entire staff was very informative and kept me up to date on everything. Very pleased with my experience and would most definately recommend him to others.

Allison, July 8, 2017