When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Augusta, SC

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If you have been accused and charged with a crime you are in need of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, SC. Having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key in order to protect your freedoms and to ensure that a proper legal defense is built to shield you. Dealing with legal charges in Augusta can be a highly distressing ordeal with even minor violations causing considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships and alienation from loved ones.

At Theos Law Firm we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has over 50 years of combined experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases, sexual misconduct offenses and murder cases, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we provide the best opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Service Areas

We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:

  • Homicides
  • Drug Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Misdemeanor Offenses
  • Federal Offenses
  • More

If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in Augusta where we will educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps in our representation.

At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Augusta, SC

Understanding Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

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In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum penalty of less than one year are considered misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than one year in prison are generally classified as felonies.

State and Federal Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into three categories: (1) Magistrate or Municipal Level Offenses; (2) General Sessions or Circuit Court State Charges; and, (3) Federal Crimes. Classifications are based on which prosecuting body has jurisdiction to prosecute a particular charge or offense. Regardless of which court your criminal charge is in, the Theos Law Firm has decades of experience protecting individuals from prosecution and assuring that the best possible outcome is achieved.

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The Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies in South Carolina

Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, and can result in punishment by incarceration up to one year.

Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes which are punishable by incarceration of more than one year. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentences of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release such as losing the right to vote and the right to carry a firearm. These penalties make it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in Augusta, SC.

Plea Deals in South Carolina

It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved without a trial through a plea deal. In order to assure that the best possible plea deal become available it is crucial for your legal defense to properly build your defense and prepare your case for trial. Deciding to represent yourself or not hiring the best legal team will likely result in exposure to unnecessary penalties, fines and jail time.

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When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Augusta, SC?

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At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.

Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.

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When You've Been Accused or Charged

Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. Our team of experience criminal defense attorneys can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly. It is critical that you engage an experienced attorney as soon as possible!


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When Investigators or Police Question You

As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in Augusta, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage. If possible, consult with an attorney before answering any questions or participating in any discussions with law enforcement.


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When Authorities Search Your Residence

In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.


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When You Are Wrongly Accused of Committing a Crime

Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When you are accused or charged with committing a crime that you didn't commit defending yourself may seem straightforward but it can be an arduous task to see to it that the charges are timely resolved. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that anything you say or do can and will be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.


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When Your Child Is Involved

The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you your child has been accused of a crime it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could be destructive to your child's life, your family or result in a exposure to jail time. Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.

Criminal Defense for DUIs in South Carolina

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In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.

If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.

Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in Augusta and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:

  • Was your DUI stop legal? If not, your case could be thrown out.
  • Is there enough probable cause or evidence for an arrest? If there is not, it's possible to file a pre-trial motion for your case to be dismissed.
  • Did officers explain implied consent rights? One of the most common errors police make is failing to take this step.
  • Did the police maintain your BAC and breathalyzer results? Breath testing often comes with inherent weaknesses. This can create doubt in a juror's mind.
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Criminal Defense for Drug Cases in South Carolina

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If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Augusta or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a Augusta drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.

One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?"

Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:

  • Simple Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Trafficking

However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:

  • Drug Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution Near Schools, Parks, or Playgrounds
Criminal Defense Lawyer Augusta, SC

Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Augusta and other cities in South Carolina.

Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD and Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Prescription Pain Killers
  • Fentanyl
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Can I be Arrested for Drug Paraphernalia in South Carolina?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes." Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.

Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery Cases in South Carolina

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If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.

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It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.

Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:

  • Age of Victim
  • Severity of Injuries Sustained
  • Size and Weight of Accused vs. Size and Weight of Victim
  • Whether or Not the Victim Presses Charges
  • Whether or Not Weapons Were Involved
  • Whether or Not the Victim's Privates Were Touched

Understanding the Degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina

Third Degree

Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.

Second Degree

Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

First Degree

Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent," and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.

Everyone Deserves a Reliable Criminal Defense Attorney in Augusta, SC

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At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.

That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:

  • Thorough Knowledge of South Carolina Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Seasoned Legal Representation in the Courtroom
  • Years of Experience Structuring Plea bargains
  • Ability to Identify Due Process Violations
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients & Vigorous Representation
  • Skilled Negotiation Tactics Involved with Bail, Sentencing, Appeals, and More
  • Familiarity with Local Prosecutors

Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.

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Latest News in Augusta, SC

CSRA Events: Live Music, fairs and food

Listen to Charlotte artist Bryan Bielanski perform at the Highlander in North Augusta on Friday, Nov. 3, at 10 p.m.. Bielanski, who brings inspiration from Nirvana and the Beatles to his performances, leans into the indie and alternative genres. For more information, visit his Bands in Town event page.Head out to Riverview Park in North Augusta on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m...

Listen to Charlotte artist Bryan Bielanski perform at the Highlander in North Augusta on Friday, Nov. 3, at 10 p.m.. Bielanski, who brings inspiration from Nirvana and the Beatles to his performances, leans into the indie and alternative genres. For more information, visit his Bands in Town event page.

Head out to Riverview Park in North Augusta on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Kids Jam. The event, hosted by CSRAKids.com features five packed gyms with exhibitors and interactive products for families and kids. Touch a truck, inflatables and more will be available. This is a free non-ticketed event. For more information, visit their website.

Experience rides and classic fair food at the Columbia County Fair which runs Thursday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 12, in at 5462 Columbia Road in Grovetown. The fair features petting zoos, rides, live entertainment and fair rides. Gate admission costs $10 per person and unlimited rides cost $25 on weekdays and $30 on weekends. For more information, visit the Columbia County Fair website.

Feel spooky at the seventh annual October Spooktacular at Le Chat Noir through Friday, Nov. 3. The Halloween inspired gallery curated by Augusta artist Heather Rene Dunaway features a variety of visual art themes. To view the gallery and learn more about the theater, visit Le Chat Noir’s website.

Get a taste of Georgia’s food offerings at the Georgia Foodees Festival Friday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Freedom Bridge at 5th Street in downtown Augusta. The festival will feature over 50 food trucks, and will be the largest food truck festival in the region’s history. This event is free to attend. Friday kicks off at 1 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. and weekend hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Eventbrite page.

Step into a theatrical universe at Cirque Ma’Ceo Friday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Western Carolina State Fairgrounds in Aiken. The hour and a half long show features acrobatics, aerial dancing, horse and more. General admission tickets are $35 per adult and children’s tickets ages 3-12 are $20 per person. Parking is free. For more information, visit the event website.

Head out to the Silver Bluff Audobon Sanctuary on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a day on the equestrian trails. Hosted by the Aiken 40 Something Cowgirls group, the event allows people to ride the trails of the park. Ticketsare $35 per rider and include lunch. Water and food for your horse must be brought. For more information, visit the Eventbrite website.

Visit Langley Pond Park on Sunday, Nov. 5, for Feel the Music. The event located at the Aiken County park will feature live music by The Dubber and Mike Fourroux. Music kicks off at 3 p.m. and goes until 5 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. For more information, visit the Discover Aiken County website.

N. Augusta, Thurmond go head-to-head in Game of the Week

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - For more reasons than just one, there’s been a lot of chirping going on between the North Augusta Yellowjackets and the Strom Thurmond Rebels in prep for Friday night.It seems like it was just yesterday that we were kicking off Under the Lights, and since then, both teams have learned a lot about themselves.Part of that comes from both squads facing tough non-region schedules.Friday is one of those. Strom Thurmond is hoping to go for win number three in a row, while the Yellowjacke...

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - For more reasons than just one, there’s been a lot of chirping going on between the North Augusta Yellowjackets and the Strom Thurmond Rebels in prep for Friday night.

It seems like it was just yesterday that we were kicking off Under the Lights, and since then, both teams have learned a lot about themselves.

Part of that comes from both squads facing tough non-region schedules.

Friday is one of those. Strom Thurmond is hoping to go for win number three in a row, while the Yellowjackets are looking to rebound after last week’s loss against Dutch Fork.

Last year, the Yellowjackets lost to the Rebels 13 to 7. The Rebels 13 coming only in the third quarter, while the Yellowjackets put on 7 in the fourth.

While the Yellowjackets are focusing on hushing the outside noise, the Rebels are dialing in on what they already have.

“We got to keep our team quiet, can’t have any personal files and other non-disciplinary issues. So just keep us if we do that straight, it can be really going through,” said Corey Tillman, North Augusta junior quarterback.

Andrew Webb, head coach for Strom Thurmond, said: “You can’t focus on just this week you can’t start looking ahead. You got to go get better today and if you can stack those good days on good days on good days, you got a chance to be special.”

While both teams are impressive in their own right, Tillman knows this game is going to be won based on how their offense manages the Rebels defense.

Tillman has been trying to keep his guys from entertaining the noise of social media surrounding this game.

He knows there’s a lot of hype surrounding this match-up. They’ve been working towards it since week one by dialing it in in the weight room, getting ready for what Tillman calls the ‘revenge game.’

The last time they played, it was a low-scoring affair- just 20 on the board between the two. It was a defensive battle.

This year, they’re prepared for it to be just the same.

“Their defenses are really good, give their cornerbacks a lot, a lot of talent, and a lot of great things they have they’re coming in, they have run a lot of men so take advantage of that,” said Tillman.

Darius Simpkins, senior defensive line for Strom Thurmond, said: “On Friday, when there’s a guy in front of you getting after it, we’ve already seen this all week. It’s nothing new to us, we are going to get after him, just like they’re getting after us.”

HD Yonce, senior lineman for Strom Thurmond, said: “It was very valuable for the defense like it felt kind of secure. But we’ve all the competition during practice. We’re always trying to get each other better. So, we’re not really paying attention to which side is really better. We’re always trying to beat each other.”

North Augusta won against Strom Thurmond 23 to 11.

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What to expect as detour along I-20 begins, and who’ll be impacted

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the new detour on the South Carolina side starts Thursday night, learn about what to expect and who will be mostly impacted on the road.MORE | Roadwork shuts down part of 13th Street for rest of the yearDriving over the state line may get messy once more for about two months, as crews work to build more lanes from exit one, right across the Savannah River bridge on I-...

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the new detour on the South Carolina side starts Thursday night, learn about what to expect and who will be mostly impacted on the road.

MORE | Roadwork shuts down part of 13th Street for rest of the year

Driving over the state line may get messy once more for about two months, as crews work to build more lanes from exit one, right across the Savannah River bridge on I-20.

The I-20 construction project at the state line is nearing its fourth full year.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is warning you to slow down as you’re approaching Exit 1.

Although the detour will only apply to people visiting the welcome center, it could cause delays for anyone exiting eastbound I-20 at Martintown Road in North Augusta.

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The detour will start overnight Thursday and is planned to last around two months as part of the I-20 and Savannah River bridge improvements.

As weather allows, crews will close the auxiliary lane to continue work on the roadway.

People leaving the welcome center will need to use Exit 1 at Martintown Road, make a slight left onto Martintown and continue right onto I-20.

The roadwork will only affect trucks and cars stopping at the welcome center. So if you aren’t stopping, one lane will still be open.

But if you are trying to get off I-20 at Exit 1, Martintown Road, there will be a backup, so it’s important to slow down, officials say.

The welcome center will remain open and accessible during this time, according to officials.

DETOUR PLAN:

We talked to some who say this roadwork will be messy.

“They’re doing road work and bridge work. And so, the exit for this location is very narrow and has the potential for accidents. It’s hard to see. And it’s very easy to miss,” said Skip Playford.

Exit 1 is known lately for its narrow cement barriers and large supply of orange barrels. With constant construction, Playford says it’s a route he tries to avoid.

“They changed it, and they’re fixing to change it again. So, the memory thing doesn’t always work unless you travel it a lot. And I think at this point, I’ve decided to try to avoid that area, you know, just altogether,” said Playford. “I wish there was another way they could do it. But I understand roads need repairing, replacing, because we complain about the roads enough. And we want people that we want to do something about it. But they also need to do it in a safe manner.”

MORE | Gas-tronomy: Gourmet convenience stores gain cult followings in CSRA

Georgia Department of Transportation say within the next two months they are grading for new roadway, asphalt and concrete paving and putting up barrier wall replacements.

The change will cut off the ability to merge back onto I-20 from the rest stop, diverting drivers to Exit 1 to get back on I-20. It’s something Playford says if drivers from this area don’t pay attention to, there will be issues.

“Somebody’s not paying attention, going too fast for conditions. If they hit one of those barriers, they are designed to bounce the car back over, so you don’t go over them. They work very well. But they almost work too well, because you’ll end up pinballing back and forth. And if other cars are involved, it’s just a mess,” he said.

Drivers can expect issues in downtown Augusta, too.

Officials say 13th Street between Telfair and Walker streets is closed to thru traffic due to repair work on the bridge over the Augusta Canal that started over the weekend.

All traffic will be detoured using 12th Street for the rest of the year.

Try to find alternate routes and expect heavy traffic delays.

Also downtown, CSX will close the railroad crossing between Twiggs and Fifth streets from 9 a.m. Aug. to 5 p.m. Aug. 18. The railroad will install a new switch near the crossing.

There are also a few ongoing and upcoming lane closures in Columbia County:

Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

N. Augusta convenience stores becoming lucky lottery spots

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A chain of convenience stores in North Augusta is proving to be a lucky spot to play the Lottery after two of its stores sold winning tickets worth five figures.A less than five-minute drive separates the two Sprint stores where the winners played their numbers only days apart.In Monday night’s Powerball drawing, a ticket sold at the Sprint 737 at 107 Edgefield Road won $50,000. The ticket matched all but one number in the drawing (2, 11, 48, 58, 65 and PB 13).On Friday, a customer...

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A chain of convenience stores in North Augusta is proving to be a lucky spot to play the Lottery after two of its stores sold winning tickets worth five figures.

A less than five-minute drive separates the two Sprint stores where the winners played their numbers only days apart.

In Monday night’s Powerball drawing, a ticket sold at the Sprint 737 at 107 Edgefield Road won $50,000. The ticket matched all but one number in the drawing (2, 11, 48, 58, 65 and PB 13).

On Friday, a customer at the Sprint 744 at 525 E. Martintown Road came up one number short of winning a $940 million Mega Millions jackpot (5, 10, 28, 52, 63 and MB 18). That winning ticket is worth $10,000.

The Mega Millions jackpot is now more than $1 billion. Tuesday’s jackpot is an estimated $1.05 billion with a cash payout of $527 million.

This is the fifth time the jackpot has exceeded $1 billion. The first was back in October 2018, when a record Mega Millions jackpot of $1.5 billion was won in Simpsonville, S.C. The most recent billion-dollar jackpot was in January of this year.

The massive prizes are due in part to chance, but it’s not all happenstance. Rising interest rates coupled with changes to the odds of winning are also big reasons the prizes grow so large.

Nearly all jackpot winners opt for a lump sum payout, which for Tuesday night’s drawing would be an estimated $527.9 million. The lump sum is the cash that a winner has actually won. The highlighted $1.05 billion prize is for a sole winner who is paid through an annuity, which is funded by that lump sum and will be doled out annually over 30 years.

That’s where the higher interest rate becomes a factor, because the higher the interest rate, the larger the annuity can grow over three decades. The U.S. is in the midst of a remarkable run of interest rate increases, with the Federal Reserve raising a key rate 11 times in 17 months, and that higher rate enables a roughly $500 million lump sum prize to be advertised as a jackpot of about twice that size.

A winner who chooses the annuity option would receive an initial payment and then 29 annual payments that rise by 5% each year. Opting for an annuity has some tax advantages, as less of the winnings would be taxed at the top federal income tax rate of 37%. It also could be an option for winners who don’t trust themselves to manage so much money all at once.

If lottery winners die before 30 years, the future payments would go to their beneficiaries.

The annuities pay out big money, but not nearly as big as taking the lump sum.

For example, a sole winner of Tuesday night’s Mega Millions could choose a lump sum of an estimated $527.9 million or an initial annuity payment of about $15.8 million. Of course, those annuity payments would continue for decades and gradually increase until the final check paid about $65.1 million, according to lottery officials.

In both cases, the winnings would be subject to federal taxes, and many states also tax lottery winnings.

Given all that, nearly all jackpot winners think they could make more money by investing the money themselves, or they simply want the biggest initial payout possible.

That’s another factor that has created so many huge prizes for those who match all six numbers.

In 2015, the Powerball odds were changed from 1 in 175.2 million to 1 in 292.2 million. Mega Millions took a similar action in 2019 by lengthening the game’s odds from 1 in 258.9 million to 1 in 302.6 million.

For lottery officials, the hope was that by making it harder to win jackpots, the prizes would roll over for weeks and create truly massive pots of money that would in turn generate higher sales.

The result is that all of the billion dollar jackpots have come after the changes in the odds.

Luck remains a big factor, as the odds of any ticket being a winner never changes. However, the more people who play Mega Millions, the more of the potential 302.6 million number combinations are covered.

For the last Mega Millions drawing on Friday night, 20.1% of possible number combinations were purchased. Typically, the larger the jackpot grows, the more people buy tickets and the more potential combinations are covered.

Tuesday night’s drawing will be the 30th since the last jackpot winner. That is inching closer to the longest Mega Millions jackpot drought, which reached 37 drawings from Sept. 18, 2020, to Jan. 22, 2021.

The longest jackpot run was for a Powerball prize that stretched over 41 drawings and ended with a record $2.04 billion prize on Nov. 7, 2022.

Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

More homes, more issues? North Augusta development looks to move forward, neighbors upset

More than 170 acres of North Augusta property are looking to be turned into new homes and businesses. But while the city looks to grow, many neighbors are only growing in worry.On Monday, North Augusta gave its initial approval to The Hive, a mixed-use development in an area southeast of West Martintown Road and I-20. While there are homes and a few businesses in this area, this would really fill up the space.The residential portion of the plan is a mix of detached single-family residences, townhomes and apartmen...

More than 170 acres of North Augusta property are looking to be turned into new homes and businesses. But while the city looks to grow, many neighbors are only growing in worry.

On Monday, North Augusta gave its initial approval to The Hive, a mixed-use development in an area southeast of West Martintown Road and I-20. While there are homes and a few businesses in this area, this would really fill up the space.

The residential portion of the plan is a mix of detached single-family residences, townhomes and apartments. In total, it would create more than 600 homes. About 27 acres has been designated for commercial use, and while the list of new businesses is still being nailed down, one of the developers, Bobby Bagwell, said Lowes Foods has expressed interest. If built, it would be the only nearby grocery store for many residents.

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However, several people who live near the proposed development expressed how upset they were over their quiet neighborhoods seeing huge boosts in traffic because of the project. Part of the plan is to use Pinion Road as a connector for ease of access to first responders, and residents like Jean Norris found this particularly frustrating.

"The safety overall, the appeal of our neighborhood, it's just not going to be there anymore," Norris said. "Those that have moved away from other neighborhoods into Pinion to have that quiet atmosphere, we're not going to have that anymore."

The Pinion Road residents also cited a neighborhood covenant established more than 50 years ago which potentially gives them certain protections in these matters. North Augusta's City Attorney Kelly Zier could not definitively comment on this without investigating further. The developers explained that there are currently no other options to replace the connector and it was already part of the masterplan, but they spoke with the residents following the meeting and said they would look over the covenant and discuss it further.

Another resident that lives on Wellington Road expressed concern over many natural backyards disappearing and residents losing that privacy with all of the new buildings. He requested some kind of natural buffer be included, which the developers and North Augusta City Council agreed to.

These were some of the highlights of an ongoing debate between city council, residents, and the developers, and it's likely not to be the last. The council will review and give a final vote on the plan's latest details during their next meeting at 6 p.m. June 19.

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