Ervin Law Office


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Lawyer in Darlington, SC

The Ervin Law Office occupies the Willcox Building, which is located on the historic Public Square in Darlington, SC. In 1891, Dr J.C. Willcox purchased the old US Post Office site from local attorney JJ Ward and the Willcox Building was completed the following year. The two-story brick commercial building has a unique ornate cast iron and tin facade above the first floor with the name Willcox and Co. in the center of the facade. The Willcox Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Willcox Building was one of only two buildings on the south side of the Public Square that survived a disastrous fire in 1930. Today it is the only reminder of the impressive structures which once lined that block. Dr. Willcox built another building of significance that was destroyed by the 1930 fire, the Enterprise Hotel. The interior was completely renovated in 1992 by Jay Ervin, Gene Warr and former SC Governor, David Beasley, when the firm was known as Beasley, Ervin and Warr. Jay Ervin has practiced law in the Willcox Building since the purchase and renovation in 1992. Although the interior is very functional as a law office, the exterior retains its architecturally unique and historic appearance.

The Ervin Law Office is located just minutes from the Florence/Darlington Exit 164 off I-95 and is two hours travel time from Myrtle Beach, SC, Charleston, SC, Columbia, SC and Charlotte, NC.

About John Ervin

John Ervin began his legal career as a law clerk to Circuit Judge Sydney Floyd in 1985. He returned to Columbia, SC and began prosecuting drug cases and violent crimes for the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s office in 1986

In 1989 he returned to the Pee Dee region to work in Darlington, SC as a solicitor prosecuting serious felony cases and continued in that position until 1991, when he entered private practice full time.

Mr Ervin was certified as lead counsel in death penalty cases by the SC Supreme Court in 1991 and has tried numerous criminal, civil and domestic cases since.

He joined the Federal Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel in 1992 and has represented over three hundred retained and appointed federal clients. John Ervin is now a top lawyer in Darlington, SC at Ervin Law Offices.



It is important that you act fast if you have been charged with drunk driving. DUI / DWI cases in South Carolina are time-sensitive. You have to request a hearing within 30 days to prevent loss of license.  If you do not, your license will be taken away. Your driver’s license provides you with driving privileges.  As privileges — not rights — they can be taken away from you if you have been arrested for or found guilty of drunk driving. Should your license be suspended we can help you obtain one of the following temporary licenses so you are able to go to work or school. Temporary alcohol license: Provisional license: Route restricted license

Implied Consent Law

The Implied Consent Law in South Carolina states that when you apply for a license, you consent to being administered a chemical test if you are stopped by a police officer who suspects you of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you refuse to be tested, your license is automatically suspended for 6 months.

A blood test may be required without the issuance of a search warrant. The legal limit for blood-alcohol content (BAC) in South Carolina is 0.08% (.02% for drivers under 21 years old); however, your ability to drive might be impaired even with a lower BAC.

Jury Trial

In South Carolina DUI convictions are tried before a jury, so you might want to consider hiring an attorney who specializes in DUI cases. A first offense is considered a misdemeanor, but it will remain on your driving record forever and can be used against you in the future―think potential employers and your insurance company.

DUI Conviction

A DUI conviction can be costly. The fine for a DUI can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars; your license will be suspended for 6 months for your 1st offense; and your insurance rates will increase. So, aside from your fine, you’ll also have to pay a license reinstatement fee and higher insurance rates.

You will be required to attend special counseling for alcohol abuse, and your insurance company must provide the DMV with an SR-22 insurance certificate. Expect your insurance premiums to possibly double or triple when you request the SR-22 certificate.

Traffic Tickets in South Carolina

Decide whether to plead guilty, no contest or nolo contendere, or not guilty.

Depending on the violation, pleading guilty or no contest or nolo contendere means paying the ticket online or by mail, dealing with penalties like point accumulation, and moving on.

Some drivers opt to plead not guilty, and this means going to court and proving your innocence to a judge.

NOTE: Your ticket will state whether a court appearance is required. Regardless of how you plan to plead, some violations require a court appearance.

Which court handles traffic tickets?

Nearly every court in South Carolina can handle traffic tickets, and your ticket will specify which court is handling yours.

However, most traffic tickets go before municipal and magistrate courts. Usually, municipal courts handle town- and city-level tickets, and magistrate courts handle county-level courts.

The South Carolina Judicial Department provides everything you need to know―including how to contact each court in the state.

Drivers License Suspension in South Carolina

If the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspends your driver’s license, you’ll need to satisfy your suspension requirements to reinstate it. Your driver’s license may be suspended for reasons including:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI/DWI) of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Driving with a suspended license.
  • Violating insurance laws.
  • Failing to pay a traffic citation.
  • Accumulating too many driving record points.

On this page, you’ll find information about your suspension and how to reinstate your SC driver’s license.

About Your Suspended License in SC

The duration of your suspension will vary depending on the circumstances of your offense. NOTE: You may also receive additional fines and penalties from the court if you receive a criminal conviction. Some common suspensions include:

  • 6 months to 3 years for alcohol-related offenses, depending on the number of violations.
  • Indefinitely for suspensions resulting from:
    • Insurance violations.
    • SR22 violations.
    • Failing to pay a ticket.
  • 3 – 6 months for accumulating too many traffic points on your driver record, depending on the number of traffic points.

For information about your specific suspension requirements, contact the South Carolina DMV:

NOTE: If you drive while your license is suspended, you will receive an additional suspension of:

  • The same duration as your current suspension, if the duration is stated.
  • 3 months, if your suspension is indefinite.
  • 30 days, if your suspension was caused by failing to pay a traffic ticket.

Check Your Drivers License Status and Driving Record Points

Along with higher car insurance rates and fines, accumulating too many points on your driving record can lead to a license suspension.

  • If you accumulate 6 points or more, the SCDMV will mail you a warning letter.
  • If you earn 12 points or more, your driver’s license will be suspended.


Reporting Car Accidents in South Carolina

Accidents happen. If you are involved in a traffic accident, you have several tasks ahead of you. You should call law enforcement unless there was minimal damage to vehicles or property. However, you definitely need to call the police if the accident resulted in an injury or death.

If the police weren’t involved but the wreck caused damages greater than $1,000 or resulted in injury or death to anyone, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles requires all drivers to submit a completed and accurate Traffic Collision Report, Form FR-309.

Submit the form within 15 days of the accident by mail to:

  • S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
  • FR 309/FR-21
  • Financial Responsibility
  • P.O. Box 1498
  • Blythewood, SC 29016-0040

Failure to Report an Accident

The law requires the driver or owner of the vehicle involved in the collision to submit the Traffic Collision Report, Form FR-309. Note that your insurance company must also complete a portion to verify your coverage. If you don’t properly submit this report, the DMV will take this as evidence that the vehicle was not insured, and you might be subject to legal penalties for driving without insurance.

DUI Lawyer Cheraw, SC



Aggressive South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney

Have you been accused of committing a crime? Don’t let the prosecution bully you around. Stand up for your rights, beginning by hiring a dedicated criminal defense attorney who will represent you forcefully in the face of prosecution accusations.

Criminal defense attorney John M. Ervin has more than 25 years of experience serving Darlington clients in criminal cases, providing aggressive representation with proven results.

Ensuring Your Freedom

At Ervin Law Office, we are devoted to protecting our clients’ freedom. We strongly challenge prosecution efforts to prove their case, and do everything in our power to avoid conviction or reduce any sentence that might be imposed. We know that witness may lie on the stand, crime scenes can be tampered with, and police officers can make mistakes. We personally speak with witnesses to ensure that they are telling the whole truth. We can examine the alleged crime scene thoroughly, searching for evidence that can help prove your innocence. We also study police records and bring in experts to challenge the prosecution’s theories.

Nothing is more important than your freedom. If you need a defense attorney who is dedicated to your case, contact us today.

Protecting our clients for more than 25 years
We represent clients in the following criminal matters:


If you have been charged with a felony, it is essential that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to zealously defend you in court. Felonies are the most serious crimes — such as murder, rape, armed robbery, credit card fraud and burglary. Felony convictions also have the most serious consequences. A person convicted of a felony is sentenced to serve at least one year in a state or federal prison, and may be committed for life. In addition, convicted felons are stripped of many of the rights guaranteed to American citizens, including the right to vote, the right to travel out of the country and the right to own a gun. Convicted felons also have to disclose their crimes on job applications and can be deported if they are not American citizens.

How your felony charge is defended can make the difference between life and death for you. We are committed to attaining the best possible outcome for you.


Misdemeanors are crimes such as disorderly conduct, simple assault, shoplifting and trespassing that are punishable by less than a year in prison. Although misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, having a misdemeanor conviction on your criminal record can limit your employment options and can result in a jail sentence. Ensure that you receive a fair trial by letting us represent you.

Motor Vehicle Offenses

If you have been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving with a suspended license, or vehicular manslaughter, we can help. We also assist clients who need to get their drivers licenses restored or fight traffic tickets.

Drug Crimes

Charges of trafficking, distributing or possession of illegal substances or drug paraphernalia can result in heavy fines and extended time in jail. You can rely on our knowledge of drug crimes and our history of successful results to help eliminate or minimize the charges against you.

Sealing and Expungement of Records

A criminal record can prevent you from pursuing higher education, securing your dream job or traveling abroad. We can help you eliminate past criminal charges from your record or get those records sealed so that you can move on with your life.

Don’t Delay. Contact Ervin Law Office in Darlington Today!
When your freedom is on the line, choose a criminal defense attorney with the experience and dedication to make a difference. Call Ervin Law Office at 843-393-5555 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. With offices conveniently located in Darlington, South Carolina, we stand ready to represent you in your criminal matter.



Full-Service Family Law Firm in Darlington

Whether anticipating the joys of adoption or experiencing the frustrations of divorce, you need a competent, assertive South Carolina attorney by your side when facing important family issues. Ervin Law Office zealously advocates for your rights and provides protection for your family during all family law proceedings, including:

• Adoption
• Alimony
• Child custody and visitation
• Child support
• Child support modification and enforcement
• Divorce
• Juvenile delinquency and dependency proceedings
• Mediation
• Pre- and post-nuptial agreements


Adopting a child brings happiness to families — but a biological parent’s change of heart or an immigration fiasco can turn the joyous occasion into a nightmare. We assist with the complex legal process of adoptions so you can feel secure about your child’s well-being.


Divorce should not lead to financial crises. We will help you obtain the spousal support you deserve, so you can continue to live as you did during the marriage.

Child custody and visitation

Divorce attorney John M. Ervin advocates for your parental rights so you can raise your children in a fit and healthy home.

Child support

Parents share the responsibility of raising their child. At Ervin Law Office, we advocate for a fair division of financial support between the parents so that the child can have a healthy, happy upbringing.

Child support modification and enforcement

Child support payments do not change unless the court modifies the child support order. If either you or the other parent experiences a significant change in circumstances, we can guide you through the proper legal procedures to modify your child support payments accordingly.


Through mediation or litigation, our divorce law firm fights for your rights to get the best possible settlement or judgment — including your fair share of assets, division of the marital home, child support payments and child custody rights.

Juvenile delinquency and dependency proceedings

When South Carolina authorities interfere with your parental rights, you need a zealous advocate who understands how to cut the bureaucratic red tape. We are skilled at maneuvering through the complex laws of South Carolina to protect your parental rights.


Mediation puts the decisions in your hands and can often provide more expedient, predictable results than trial. We can help you obtain the best possible divorce settlement.

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements

Love can blind you to the potential for financial loss if the marriage fails. We expect the unexpected and draft agreements that protect both spouses’ financial interests.

Contact a zealous Darlington family law attorney.
Family lawyer John M. Ervin has more than 25 years of experience in all family law matters. Call Ervin Law Office at 843-393-5555 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.



Dedicated attorney assertively pursues your interests

Personal injuries can happen on the road, at work or even at home, often with devastating consequences. When you are injured due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and emotional distress. You need an experienced and aggressive attorney to fight for your rights, to go head-to-head with the insurance companies, and to win the fair and full compensation needed to pay for your recovery.

An experienced and methodical approach

For more than 25 years, personal injury attorney John M. Ervin in Darlington has successfully employed an assertive, methodical approach to help injured victims recover generous settlements and jury verdicts. At Ervin Law Office, we consult top experts — such as trauma doctors, chiropractors, pharmacists, forensics engineers, mechanics and accident reconstruction analysts — to maximize recovery for your injuries. At trial, these experts are available to deliver clear, compelling testimony that helps jurors understand the extent and cause of your injuries.

Get help immediately.

Consult an attorney immediately following your injury, when witnesses’ recollections are fresh and evidence remains available. Keep in mind that South Carolina law limits the amount of time in which you can file your claim for relief. We schedule appointments on weekends and evenings and willingly come to your home or hospital bed to ensure the timely, thorough investigation of your claims. Our offices are conveniently located in Darlington, South Carolina.

We handle your personal injury claim on a contingency basis so that legal bills do not compound the financial stress resulting from your injuries. You don’t pay us until we win a judgment for you.

Workers Compensation

You have devoted your skills and hard work to your job. If you are injured on that job, you deserve compensation.

You are entitled to workers’ compensation for an injury or illness that you sustained at your workplace or at a work-related activity, regardless of whether it is directly connected to your job. Even if your employer was not negligent or otherwise at fault, you have a right to workers’ compensation benefits. We fight for the compensation injured workers rightfully deserve, including:
• Compensation for permanent disability
• Dependents’ recovery for worker’s death
• Lost wages or salary
• Rehabilitation expenses
• Retraining costs

Waiving workers’ compensation benefits

If you suspect your injuries were caused by your employer’s negligence, seek legal advice before accepting workers’ compensation benefits. Once you accept a workers’ compensation payment, you forfeit your right to pursue other remedies against a negligent employer. We analyze your case to determine how you can recover the best possible compensation.

Appealing a workers’ compensation decision

You must immediately file an appeal of an unjust workers’ compensation denial. Failure to file an appeal in time bars you from recovery of compensation you rightfully deserve. We have experience handling the rigid bureaucratic process of appealing to the South Carolina workers’ compensation board.

Contact a personal injury/workers’ compensation attorney at Ervin Law Office.
Call Ervin Law Office at 843-393-5555 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with an attorney who can help you win the compensation you deserve.



Should You Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?

Statistically, the vast majority of Social Security Disability (SSDI/SSD) and SSI claims are denied at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, and this typically happens regardless of whether or not a claimant is represented by an attorney or non-attorney disability advocate.

For this reason, most SSD and SSI claims will need to go to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) before a claimant can hope to receive disability benefits. It is at the level of an ALJ hearing that having a disability attorney can really help win a claim. While a disability attorney can’t guarantee that a claimant will be awarded Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, a Social Security lawyer can guarantee that a case will be properly “developed” prior to a hearing date.

Developing a Disability Case

The simple fact of the matter is this: the vast majority of SSDI and SSI claimants will have no idea how to properly and thoroughly prepare a disability case for a hearing, whereas an attorney has a high level of familiarity and expertise with Social Security rules and regulations. And, in many cases, an attorney will have several years of invaluable SSDI and SSI claim experience to lend to a claimant’s disability case. A disability advocate will know what a judge will be looking for with a particular medical condition, and will know what questions to ask your doctor.

Because disability attorneys get paid only if you win, they do a great many things to ensure that an SSDI or SSI claim will have the best chance of winning. This includes tracking down important medical records and test results, obtaining detailed statements from a claimant’s treating physicians, and, at the time of the hearing, applying a thorough understanding of SSA regulations and prior rulings to the disability adjudication process.

How a disability lawyer can help you win your disability claim at the hearing:

Gathering and Assessing Your Medical Records

If your medical records are incomplete, or there are inconsistent reports or gaps in your treatment history, the ALJ may have grounds to deny your claim. Therefore, one of the most important services a disability attorney can perform is gathering the proper medical records and submitting them to the court. Although you can request records yourself, an attorney can usually get them more quickly. An attorney will also know when your medical records need updating.

In addition to contacting physicians and medical facilities to obtain your medical records, a disability attorney will review the records in detail and decide if they should be submitted to the SSA. This is important because it allows the attorney to determine whether your case needs additional medical evidence and whether any key test results or documentation is missing spot other issues that may arise at the hearing.

Getting Doctor’s Opinions

A disability lawyer will also contact your treating physicians to obtain their written opinions (usually on a lengthy form) about your ability to work. Often, doctors are more likely to respond to an attorney’s request than to a patient’s. Additionally, if your medical history is insufficient to support your claim, a disability attorney can request that the SSA schedule psychological or physical exams.

Preparing You for Questioning

You may be nervous before your hearing, which can make you more likely to make a mistake. Your attorney will be very familiar with the procedure of hearings than you will be, and can tell you what to expect. This can help allay any fears you have before your hearing.

Your lawyer will no doubt want to practice asking you questions the judge might ask and helping you with your answers (testimony). Being well prepared to answer the judge’s questions can calm your nerves and make it less likely that you’ll say something that might inadvertently hurt your case.

Questioning the Vocational Expert at the Hearing

A vocational expert (VE) is an consultant hired by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to testify at your hearing as to his or her opinion about your ability to work based on your impairments. During the hearing, the ALJ will ask the VE questions about your ability to work based on certain documented work restrictions. These questions are called hypotheticals; here is an example: “Consider an individual of the same age, education, and work history as this claimant. Consider that the individual can frequently carry ten pounds or more and sit or stand at least six hours a day. What jobs could this person do?” The VE would then name a number of jobs that a person with those abilities could perform. If a VE affirms your ability to work, your claim will be denied.

However, once the ALJ has finished questioning the VE, the applicant’s attorney will have a turn to cross-examine the VE. At this point, the knowledge and experience of a disability attorney is invaluable. If the VE tells the ALJ that you can do certain jobs, your attorney will ask a series of hypotheticals based on your medical records to counter the VE’s testimony. Because the attorney is more familiar with your medical record (ALJs often don’t review your records until the morning of your hearing), he or she can use supporting facts that the ALJ may have overlooked. An attorney will use these facts to create hypotheticals that lead the VE to state that you are unable to perform any jobs at all. Without an attorney, it is extremely difficult for a claimant to do this successfully.

Using Personal Knowledge of the ALJ

Another factor to consider is that disability attorneys are familiar with the personalities and decision-making processes of the ALJs in their area. Your lawyer may have conducted hearings before this particular ALJ before and will know their “style” in advance. This is a tremendous benefit, because going into the hearing, an experienced disability attorney will know best how to handle any weaknesses in your case and how to play up the strengths of your case, given his or her knowledge of the ALJ.

In addition, a disability lawyer can help you skip the hearing and go straight to an approval if you are eligible for an on-the-record decision.



Do You Need to Hire a Real Estate Attorney When You Buy a House?

South Carolina lenders require title certification from a licensed S.C. attorney in any financial real estate transaction. As a result, hiring an attorney is necessary in practically all S.C. real estate closings.  Your Real Estate Attorney will make the transaction come together in a manner that is fair and amenable to both sides.  A real estate attorney takes over after the selling price and terms have been established by the realtors and all parties have signed.  He will review the contract, negotiate repairs based on the home inspection report, and collaborate with the title company.  He will also be with you at settlement along with your realtor and possibly your lending agent.  All of these people are working for you to make sure you are protected.

How Attorneys Can Help Homebuyers

Depending on your needs and where you’re buying a house, your attorney may become involved in one or more of the following homebuying tasks:

  • negotiating, creating, or reviewing the sales contract
  • overseeing the homebuying process to check for compliance with all terms and conditions of the contract
  • performing a title search or reviewing the title abstract or title insurance commitment (to determine whether there are any liens or encumbrances on the property)
  • explaining the effect of any easements or use restrictions
  • negotiating or representing you in a contract dispute with the seller, and representing you at the closing.

An attorney can be especially important in complex housebuying transactions, such as the following:

  • Legal claims have been made against your prospective house that must be satisfied by the time the property is sold.
  • You plan to rent out the cottage behind the house you’re buying and want to make sure this complies with local and state rules.
  • You hope to add a second story addition and need to make sure that won’t be a problem under local zoning ordinances.
  • Problems show up with the title: for example, the driveway is shared by the house you want to buy and the neighboring house, but that isn’t reflected in the title.
  • You’re buying a condo or home in a planned unit development and need help reviewing documents like CC&Rs.
  • You’re buying a co-op and want an attorney to review a co-op proprietary lease.
  • You’re purchasing a new house, and want an attorney’s review of the new home contract drafted by the developer.
  • You need to structure a private loan from a relative or friend to make the purchase.
  • You purchase the house jointly with others and need to structure a cobuyer agreement and document how title will be held.
  • The house you’re buying is a FSBO (“for sale by owner”).
  • You’re buying a house that is in probate, foreclosure, or a short sale.
  • You want to get out of the deal, and need a legal reason to break the contract (perhaps after you’ve removed contingencies, you found something wrong with the house).
  • The seller is trying to get out of the deal, and you suspect they simply got a better offer.

And, of course, problems can come up after the sale that require an attorney’s help—for example, the basement floods during the first rainstorm and the seller’s disclosures never noted this problem. In this case, you may want an attorney to help you get the seller to compensate you for the water damage and the cost of a new sump pump.


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