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Where Experience Counts & Results Matter Criminal Defense & social sEcurity Disability Attorneys

At Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, we devote our practice to understanding the fine details of the law, and we strive to deliver the best possible results for our clients.

  • Fairfax Bar Association
  • Virginia CLE 2019
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • CLE Author

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Fairfax, VA Criminal Defense Attorneys

Fighting for Your Rights & Your Future 

If you have been accused of a crime, you may be feeling significant stress about what this means for your reputation, your future, and your freedom. At Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, we provide aggressive defense to those accused of all types of crimes throughout Northern Virginia. Since 1982, our firm has been trusted for our meticulous approach to case preparation and our tireless advocacy of our clients’ rights. Throughout our decades in practice, we have secured many favorable outcomes for our clients, including countless dismissals, reduced sentences, and not-guilty verdicts. 

Our Fairfax criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in Virginia’s criminal justice system and have extensive experience navigating both state and federal courts. We handle all types of serious criminal cases, including those involving felonies and misdemeanors, DWI/DUI charges, drug crimes, assault and battery, domestic violence, theft, and more. No matter how complex your case may be or the seriousness of your situation, you can trust our team to fight for you. 

We are here to protect you, your future, and your freedom. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, reach out to Lawrence, Smith & Gardner right away to learn how we can help.

What Is The 4th Amendment?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is a crucial component of the Bill of Rights and provides protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. It reads:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The Fourth Amendment serves several essential purposes:

  • Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures: The primary purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to safeguard individuals from arbitrary or unjustified intrusions by law enforcement or other government agents. It ensures that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their personal spaces and belongings.
  • Probable Cause Requirement: The Fourth Amendment establishes that before conducting a search or seizure, law enforcement officers must have probable cause. Probable cause means that they must have a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed, and the search or seizure is likely to yield evidence related to that crime.
  • Warrant Requirement: Generally, the Fourth Amendment mandates that searches and seizures should be conducted with a warrant issued by a neutral and detached magistrate. The warrant must specify the place to be searched and the items or individuals to be seized. However, there are exceptions to the warrant requirement, such as when there are exigent circumstances or when certain exceptions apply, like searches incident to arrest. 
  • Exclusionary Rule: The Fourth Amendment also gives rise to the exclusionary rule, which states that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment may be excluded from criminal proceedings. This serves as a deterrent against unlawful searches and seizures and encourages law enforcement officers to follow proper procedures.
  • Privacy Rights: The Fourth Amendment underscores the importance of privacy rights, emphasizing that individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their personal spaces, including their homes, vehicles, and personal effects.

The Fourth Amendment has been the subject of numerous court cases and legal interpretations over the years, shaping the boundaries of when and how law enforcement can conduct searches and seizures. These legal precedents help to strike a balance between protecting individual rights and allowing law enforcement to carry out its duties effectively.

Call (703) 382-5840 or contact us online using the secure request form here on our website. We offer free and confidential consultation, in person or over the phone/virtually.

Read What Our Clients Say

"Your performance in court was amazing."

- Previous Client

Also Representing Clients in Social Security Disability Matters 

In addition to our renowned criminal defense practice, we have earned a reputation for providing highly personalized and compassionate representation to those navigating the Social Security disability (SSD) process. Our firm assists clients throughout Fairfax and Prince William Counties with all types of SSD matters, including applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), seeking Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, appealing denied claims, and preparing for administrative hearings. 

Our Fairfax Social Security disability attorneys are highly knowledgeable of the SSD process and can help you with everything from filing your initial application to requesting reconsideration after receiving notice that your application has been denied. We are here to answer your questions and help you navigate the process of seeking the benefits you are owed. Our team works quickly to help you move through the process efficiently while also meeting all applicable deadlines and minimizing the risk of any mistakes that could, ultimately, prove costly to your claim.

We offer free consultations to all prospective SSD clients; call (703) 382-5840 or contact us online today to get started. 

We Are Here to Protect You With over 40 years spent serving our community, we have earned a reputation for fighting tirelessly for our clients.

Criminal Defense FAQ

If you are facing criminal charges, we know you probably have many questions. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, are prepared to answer all of them. If you don't see the answers you need here, please do not hesitate to reach out to our firm for a free, confidential consultation.

  • Why does having an experienced criminal defense lawyer make such a difference?
    Remember, it is the prosecutor’s job to convict you. You will be going through a process that is unfamiliar to most people. You will be attending hearings, undergoing questioning, and giving statements to various police investigators. At any turn, you could say or do something that can have an incriminating impact on your case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows from experience the strategies police and prosecutors will use against you. The prosecutors know which defense lawyers can be trusted when working toward a common-sense plea agreement. It takes years to build up that trust and integrity.
  • Will I lose access to my children because of my domestic violence arrest?
    The law does include some provisions that may prevent an abuser from gaining unsupervised access to their children, depending upon the circumstances of the arrest. There are provisions for access and parenting time under predetermined conditions. Your children’s safety will always be the first priority in these types of cases.
  • How much will my DUI/DWI charges cost me?
    The amount of legal fees you pay your attorney depends upon what you expect your lawyer to do for you. Every law firm is different because every law firm offers various levels of service. If it is your choice to initially plead guilty; that will certainly cost less in legal fees than fighting a conviction all the way through trial. The criminal penalty can include a hefty fine, but most are significantly lower for a first offense.