Practice Areas

Defending You Against Criminal Charges

Criminal Defense is a highly specialized field. Our firm concentrates on criminal defense and provides you with experience and knowledge of this field. When making decisions that may impact your life and liberty, it is imperative to have all of the information necessary to make an intelligent choice. Our practice is assuring clients that they have all of the facts, in addition to risk factors, potential outcomes, and an overview of possible collateral consequences.

As a former prosecutor in Philadelphia, Carina Laguzzi understands criminal law from both sides and can provide clients realistic expectations. Her experience includes all major felonies including homicide, rape, attempted murder, possession with intent to deliver narcotics, robbery, burglary, and gun possession. Ms. Laguzzi also handles misdemeanor cases including drug possession, DUI, and theft. Ms. Laguzzi's practice covers both state and federal cases.

When charged with such serious crimes as homicide, felony murder, and vehicular manslaughter, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. This fact is often forgotten by the public and even by law enforcement, but we never forget it. We know every client is entitled to an effective, aggressive defense.

We immediately begin our own investigation, with experienced private investigators into the murder charges immediately. The investigation includes interviewing the client extensively and talking to family members and potential witnesses about the crime and why the client was arrested. Investigators take pictures of the crime scene, examine the forensic evidence, and talk to witnesses. The lawyers look for answers in preparing a defense.

Megan's Law is named after Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in New Jersey in 1994. Megan's Law was passed in order to alert parents and the public about convicted sex offenders who move into their neighborhoods. It is now federal law as well, and each state requires sex offenders to notify law enforcement about changes in address. The police then make this information available to schools, daycare facilities, and the public in the area.

If you are convicted of a sex offense, you will be required to be registered with the State Police for as little as ten and possibly for the rest of your life due to the state and federal version of Megan's Law. A neighbor, potential employer, family member, or any member of the public is entitled under Megan's Law to know your detailed information, including your home address, car description, personal description, and details about your criminal history. You will be limited in where you can live and where you can work.

An accusation of a sex crime can ruin a person's reputation in the eyes of the public, but a sex crime conviction will make it impossible to move freely, live where you choose, and otherwise have typical freedom. If you do not report according to law, you can be further punished for a Megan's Law violation. Under the federal Adam Walsh Act, a failure to report or register is a felony offense.

If you have recently been convicted of a sex offense in Pennsylvania, or if you are being charged with a Megan's Law violation for not registering or failing to update your information, contact us.

Our criminal defense attorneys understand the law, and we can help protect your rights after a sex crime conviction. Our criminal defense lawyers understand how Megan's Law affects the rights of convicted and registered sex offenders. We also handle cases for people charged with sex crimes who need to know how other laws designed to protect children from sex offenders - such as the Adam Walsh Act - will affect their freedom.

To learn more about how Megan's Law will affect you if you are convicted of a sex offense, contact the office. You will need aggressive and experienced representation to protect your rights.

  • What was the victim's alleged motive?
  • Why was the client charged?
  • Who are the witnesses - and what are their motives?
  • What is the client's mental capacity?
  • What are all the circumstances of the crime?

High-profile murder cases are especially sensitive. The media reports on cases without knowing all the facts. As a result, the public often forms opinions regardless of the truth, which can affect your reputation and may pressure law enforcement to proceed with a case before having adequate evidence against you.

Our criminal homicide defense lawyers have tried serious, high-profile cases. We are well known by the prosecutors and judges. We have extensive trial experience. No matter what the charges, from bail hearings to any appeals, we protect the rights and interests of our clients throughout the criminal justice process.

If you or a family member was charged with murder or negligent homicide, assault, battery call us for help.

Execution as a form of punishment in Pennsylvania dates back to the time the first colonists arrived in the late 1600s. At that time, public hanging was capital punishment for a variety of crimes, ranging from burglary and robbery to piracy, rape, and buggery (in Pennsylvania at the time, "buggery" referred to sex with animals).

In 1972, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court ruled in Commonwealth v. Bradley that the death penalty was unconstitutional, using as precedence the earlier U.S. Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia. At the time, there were about two dozen death cases in the Pennsylvania prison system. All were removed from death row and sentenced to life. In 1974, the law was resurrected for a time, before the PA Supreme Court again declared the law to be unconstitutional in a December 1977 decision.

The state legislature quickly drafted a new version, which went into effect in September 1978, over the veto of Governor Shapp. This death penalty law, which remains in effect today, has been upheld in several recent appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. The death penalty may only be applied in Pennsylvania in cases where a defendant is found guilty of first-degree murder.

A separate hearing is held for the consideration of aggravating and mitigating circumstances. If at least one of the ten aggravating circumstances listed in the law and none of the eight mitigating factors are found to be present, the verdict must be death.

The next step is formal sentencing by the judge. Frequently, there is a delay between the sentence verdict and formal sentencing as post-trial motions are heard and considered. An automatic review of the case by the state Supreme Court follows sentencing. The court can either uphold the sentence or vacate for the imposition of a life sentence.

If the Supreme Court affirms the sentence, the case goes to the Governor's Office where it is reviewed by appropriate legal counsel and, ultimately, by the Governor himself. Only the Governor may set the execution date, which is done through the signing of a document known as the Governor's Warrant. By law, all executions are carried out at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview.

If you have been accused of child molestation in Pennsylvania, contact an experienced sexual abuse lawyer at Laguzzi Law, P.C. immediately. Child molestation charges are extremely serious, and a conviction can destroy your life. Although penalties vary, anyone convicted of the crime typically faces a lengthy prison sentence, and a repeat offender can face life in prison.

Virtually everyone who is convicted of child molestation must register as a sex offender, which can lead to shunning by society. The sexual abuse attorneys at Laguzzi Law, P.C. know and understand that many of those accused of child molestation are the victims of false accusations made because of vindictiveness or for other reasons. If you have been accused of child molestation, you must protect yourself. You need a lawyer with extraordinary legal skills and a proven track record of success.

The legal age to consent to sexual intercourse in Pennsylvania is 16. However, it is still considered unlawful to have sexual intercourse or sexual relations with a child legally defined as a minor even if he or she agrees to it. Intercourse between a child under the age of 14 and an adult who uses coercion to force the child to perform sexual acts is illegal in every state.

The penalties are enhanced for children under the age of 12. If you have been accused of unlawful sexual relations with a minor, Carina Laguzzi will provide the hard-hitting defense you need to help ensure you achieve the most favorable outcome possible for your case, and get you the positive results you deserve.

It is important to develop a strong defense strategy early in sexual abuse cases. Victims and defendants need to be interviewed as soon as possible; otherwise, valuable evidence can be lost. Our lawyers can often get charges dismissed prior to a court date if they have sufficient time to review evidence. If you have been accused of child molestation or another sex crime, contact Carina Laguzzi immediately.

Ms. Laguzzi is committed to the presumption of innocence and will aggressively defend your rights in a court of law. Our attorneys are committed to the presumption of innocence and will aggressively defend your rights in a court of law.

Due to a recent increase in media coverage with such television programs as Dateline's "To Catch a Predator," the Pennsylvania State Police Department has widened its efforts in investigating child pornography cases. These investigations usually include internet searches and chat room sting operations.

A search warrant is then obtained for computers with an arrest warrant prepared for the owner, or user, of the computer(s). In Pennsylvania, these are felony charges which can have long-standing implications for anyone convicted, including registration in accordance with "Megan's Law."

Therefore, it is imperative to have an attorney who has handled these sensitive, and serious, cases. Several options are available, with an experienced attorney who knows how to navigate the system and resolve the case in the best possible outcome for the accused. Contact the office immediately if you, or a loved one, are facing these types of charges.