Baltimore Environmental Control Violations

If you have been issued a citation to appear in front of the Baltimore Environmental Control Board do not let the city take advantage of you.  Innocent people all over the city are being charged with code ordinances but you can fight back, and The Herbst Firm can help you win.  The city has created an entire system where its investigators issue thousands of citations per year with little evidence of wrongdoing.  The city hopes that the cited person just pays the fine, and many often do.  In some years the city has profited over $5 million from these bogus citations, and a large portion of this money came from people who did nothing wrong.  It is completely unfair that the government takes part in this type of behavior, and passes it off as trying to keep the city clean.  Benjamin Herbst has successfully defended clients in front of the Environmental Control Board, which conducts hearings from its office on 200 Lexington Street downtown.  There is typically an investigator present, but it does not have to be the same investigator that issued the citation.  There are relaxed rules of evidence, and the hearing judge only has to find that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the offense.  This is a much lower burden than in traffic, criminal or civil violation court cases, which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  A low burden of proof means it is easier for the city to find you guilty, thus having an experienced lawyer present with you is key.

Investigators from the Baltimore Housing Code Enforcement department and other branches of the city government are notorious for issuing costly citations to innocent people, and many of those cited by the city are honest hardworking taxpayers that are trying to do the right thing.  There are dozens of different citations that the city can issue, but the most common ones are littering and prohibited disposal of 25 lbs. or less.  Both of these citations carry a $500 fine, but if the trash improperly disposed is more than 25 lbs. it becomes a $1,000 fine.   A law-abiding citizen faces the highest chance of being wrongfully charged with prohibited disposal because the investigators need almost no evidence to issue a citation.  If a housing investigator finds a piece of trash in the street with your name on it he or she can charge you without doing any follow up investigation.  If someone steals a package off your doorstep or an envelope out of your mailbox and throws it in the street you could be the one that ends up being blamed.   It’s hard to believe this type of government misuse of power happens in our country but it does, and the consequences are real.

Benjamin Herbst handles all Baltimore City code citations including the waste control violations mentioned above.  He also defends clients that are cited with building code violations such as working without a permit and unlawful continuance of a stop work order, which are both punishable by a $500 fine.  He also handles alcohol and tobacco related citations including drinking in public, sale to minors, selling unpackaged cigarettes, indoor smoking and distribution to minors.  If you or a loved one has been issued a citation by an investigator from the city call Benjamin Herbst anytime at 410-207-2598 for a free consultation about how to avoid paying a fine and admitting guilt to something you didn’t do.
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