New Rock Hill Office

The personal injury and criminal defense attorneys at Reeves Aiken Hightower & Burns LLP are pleased to announce the opening of their newest office in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This is our third office in York County, including our main office in Fort Mill and satellite office in Lake Wylie. Because so many of our clients live and work in Rock Hill, we wanted to have a location that was convenient for them. Our new office is located at 2424 India Hook Road, Suite 200, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29732 near the intersection of Celanese  and India Hook Road. We hope that the new location will prove convenient to new and existing clients in the Rock Hill area.

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How Do Probate Courts Work in the State of South Carolina?

In each and every South Carolina county, there is a specific probate court. Probate court is simply a different type of system/courthouse, in which a decedent’s estate will enter to distribute the deceased member’s devise’s, residuals, and pay off debts.Family Law Attorneys

The probate courts of South Carolina will have exclusive original jurisdiction over all South Carolina matters involving or related to someone who has passed away estate and all their belongings, including both personal and actual land property. The SC Probate courts moreover are entitled to hear any will contests, the determination of who is considered to be an “heir” entitled to take from the estate, and also any issues with the construction of the will.

Additionally, probate courts are permitted and mandatorily must hear any cases covering the protection of minors, trusts, marriage licenses and any ” involuntary commitments.” S.C. Code 62-1-302(2012.)  However, Family Court handles matters of divorce, child custody, and alimony.

So the next obvious question is, what actually happens in this so-called probate court? Accordingly, the parties enter into the court, and after the close of the pleadings, the parties are allowed to remove matters from the probate court to the circuit court( which is the typical courthouse you would be thinking of in your head right now), for all matters involving the “formal” probate of the wills, any actions to try title, trusts with discrepancies, appointments of personal representatives for the estate, and most importantly, any action for more then $5,000 that carry with it the Constitutional protection of a right to trial by jury. S.C. Code 62-1-302(2012.)

What is important to note is that these probate courts do not handle any civil liability claims for fatal perishes, such as wrongful death suits. Wrongful death suits are taken care of in circuit court first, and then appealed up if need be. These claims are different then probate because they concern the matters that caused the death to the decedent. Probate would occur later, after the wrongful action was taken care of, and the estate was ready to be distributed by the probate judge in the county in which the decedent died, had property, or left property.

If you have any sort of familial issues, such as the one listed above, and a wrongful death action took place, contact the attorneys at Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on how we can help you with your case.

Can You Avoid Using a Life Insurance Policy in SC as an Insurer?

According to South Carolina’s precedential law, the only way for an insurance company to void or to avoid an unfair or unjust life insurance policy is to have something called ” misrepresentation” at play.

In order for there to be misrepresentation, there mist be six elements first met:

” (1) the statements complained of were untrue, (2) the statements falsity was known to the applicant, (3) they were material statements, ( meaning in modern terms, not common law, that if the risk was increased and actually contributed tot eh loss, it was material enough to fit the third prong), (4) the carrier relied on the statements, and (6) the insurer must challenge the truthfulness of the application within the first two years of the application being submitted.” S.C. Code Ann. 38-63-220(d)(2002.)

If all the elements are met, and the two year statute of limitations has not yet run, then the insurance company is well within it bounds to make a claim that the insure lied about a material fact that increased the risk of the problem in the first place.

So, for example, a insure lies about being a smoker, and then one day keels over from lung cancer. The misrepresentation to the insurance company that the insured did not smoke was so material that it actually increased or caused the risk.

This would be a perfect example of why it is never right to lie tot he insurance companies on what you do. With the new health bill being threatened, most people are afraid as it is to even talk about life insurance. However, that does not mean that the life insurance company would necessarily pay out, as seen in the example given above.

Our attorneys at Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP have worked on both ends of the insurance spectrum, both for and against them. If you find yourself in the aforementioned situation, you ma have claim for bad faith, and so may the insurance company. If that if the case, contact us today at 877-374-5999 toll-free for more information.

 

How Many Points Can I Get before My License is Suspended? What about a DUI?

According to both South Carolina law and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) have agreed that after a dozen (12) points on your license, it shall be suspended. The length of time for each person will be different, according to your previous record, and amount of points previously accrued.DUI Attorney

South Carolina states the following for suspension times: “12 -15 points: three months suspension; “16 -17 points: four months suspension; “18 – 19 points: five months suspension, and lastly, “20 or more points: your license will be suspended for six months.”

After you have reached half of the allotted points on your license, which is 6, you will most likely receive a letter from the DMV, “advising you to drive more carefully.” In other words, the SCDMV is warning you that if you continue on the path you are with traffic violations, then your consequences may be grave and your driving privileges could be suspended.

However, after you have obtained 12 points on your license, you are ordered to immediately surrender your license over the DMV. If you do not do so, you will have to pay a large fine or maybe even go to jail.

This is the same response if one refuses to blow into a breathalyzer when they get a DUI. According to the implied consent laws of South Carolina, having a license is a privilege and not a right. Therefore, once you get a license, you have consented to surrendering your license in the event that you refuse to blow into a breathalyzer when pulled over for suspicion of a DUI. If it turns up you are over the legal limit, you will also lose your license.

If you are convicted of a DUI for the implied consent laws of South Carolina, or for having too many points on your driver’s license, then you should contact an attorney to help you with the complex system. Contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on your options.

Rock Hill Police Pursue Man in Chase that Ends in Car Crash

The Rock Hill Police Department had their patrol cars put to the test early Sunday morning when they were forced to chase a suspect down by vehicle.Crimianl Defense Attorney

Apparently, the officers were simply practicing a routine patrol in downtown Rock Hill when the turned down East Main Street a little after midnight.

It was at that point that they saw a gray 1990 Buick that had a paper tag and no headlights on at that time of night.

It was at that moment the police beleived they were to pursue a routine traffic stop, flipped on their blue lights, and begin to follow the car.

The car moved over tot he right side of the road, and the officers thought the car was actually stopping, but instead, the car sped away and turned down numerous streets before the police finally apprehended the defendant on Flint Extension, after the car had crashed into a telephone pole.

After the 45 year old defendant crashed, he jumped out of the vehicle and began to flee on foot from the police. He was eventually found hiding behind a shed on Marshall Street.

His ultimate charge was failing to stop for the blue light, and driving under a suspended license.

According to South Carolina Law, under Section 16-23-10(4), if you flee from a police officer, you will be considered to be a ” fugitive from justice.” A  fugitive from justice” means any person who has fled from or is fleeing from any law enforcement officer to avoid prosecution or imprisonment for a crime of violence.”Section 16-23-10(4).

In other words, the defendant willbe considered to be a fleeing felon, or a fugitive from justice because he ” ran from the blue light.”

If you, or someone you know has been charged with a similar crime, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower,LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information.

How to Get Discounts For Not Drinking and Driving in SC

istock-keys and red liquorAccording to recent studies coupled with new South Carolina Car Insurance Laws, there are 246 different ways to insure your vehicle, but only 7 companies will award you lower rates if you drive your vehicle less than 25 miles per day. Even fewer of them will give you a discount if you have never been charged or convicted of a DUI; but they are out there if you look.

Have you ever noticed that there are some places that if you pay for your purchase in cash, you will get some sort of discount? You probably went to this place 100 times before someone told you to “ask for that 10% discount they always give me when I pay in cash.” Well, insurance companies are the same way. They are not going to list the amount of discounts you can obtain without you asking. So when you are searching for someone to insure your vehicle, know what to ask for.

Some important factors that may lower your rates are the following: clean driving record; less than 40 miles a day; if you haven’t been involved in an auto accident for over a year; if you are over the age of 25; if your car has airbags equipped in it; and lastly, some will award discounts if you have never been convicted or charged of a DUI.

That’s right. Just like you get punished for driving while intoxicated, some insurance companies will reward you if you don’t drink and drive.

What is important to note is that each state and insurance company is going to have a different policy or “so called bundle” available to help lower your rates. Unfortunately, the only way to truly find the lowest rate is to research each company on your own.

We at Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower,LLP hope that you found this information helpful. Often times we struggle with Car Insurance companies and the policies our clients have submitted themselves into prior to being involved in an auto accident.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, let us deal with the insurance companies for you; as you have enough on your plate by simply recovering from your injuries. Contact us today toll-free at 877-374-5999.