Criminal charges have been filed against one of Mercer County's top dogs in law enforcement. 

County District Attorney Miles Karson is facing 17 misdemeanor charges, including obstruction of government functions, officially oppressing an arrest or search warrant, and hindering prosecution. 

Criminal defense attorney Matt Mangino says all of the charges are low-grade misdemeanors.

"They would be considered misdemeanor two's in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, we have three levels of felonies and three levels of misdemeanors so we're looking at a lower end criminal charge," said Mangino.

According to a criminal complaint filed on Thursday in Mercer County Magisterial Court, 72-year-old Karson allegedly committed the offenses in April of 2016. 

Earlier this year 21 News reported on an on-going investigation into D.A. Karson by the Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania State Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office. 

It is unclear at this time if the charges filed on Thursday are related to that investigation. 

"The interesting thing is, none of these charges if he were convicted of them would disqualify him from continuing to be the District Attorney," said Mangino.

Mangino says in the court of public opinion though, Karson's reputation will take a hit.

"If you're a prosecutor and your the chief law enforcement officer in the community and your out there trying to resolve cases, trying to try cases, credibility becomes an issue and whether or not, it's certainly not going to be brought up in a trial that the D.A. has been convicted or has been charged with 17 criminal charges but the community knows and it's going to have an impact," said Mangino.

21 News reached out to the office of the Attorney General, as well as Pennsylvania State Police, and D.A. Karson's attorney, but were unable to get a response after hours. 

Karson was issued a summons on the charges and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in December. 

This is a developing story. Stay with 21 News for more information as it becomes available.