Other criminal offense that Benjamin has successfully handled include reckless endangerment, which is a misdemeanor with a 5-year maximum penalty under state law. Reckless endangerment is often charged in firearm cases where a defendant is accused of pointing a gun at another person or even discharging it. Of course, in these cases, there are often more serious charges included with reckless endangerment such as first-degree assault and even attempted murder. It is also charged in cases involving other weapons such as knives, explosives and flammable fluids, and frequently appears in cases involving the misuse of an automobile. Benjamin has also defended clients in police impersonation cases in both state and federal court, as well as kidnapping, telephone misuse, bomb threat and business regulations violations such as contracting without a license.
In addition to defending clients in new criminal cases, Benjamin is also an experienced Maryland probation violation lawyer. He has defended hundreds of clients in VOP proceedings, and has successfully argued for the dismissal of violations in district and circuit court. State and federal law provide all defendants with an opportunity to challenge an alleged probation violation, but the odds are stacked against defendants in VOP cases. For starters, the State must only prove a violation occurred by preponderance of the evidence, which is a far lower burden than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Hearsay is also admissible in VOP hearings so the State often has a much easier time proving its case. While must defendants who have been violated face the possibility of a jail sentence, VOP hearings are actually classified as civil proceedings. This means defendants have fewer rights than during a criminal trial. In Maryland there are two types of violations, technical and non-technical. Anyone found to have committed a technical violation faces a presumptive cap of 15 days in jail for a first violation, 30 for a second and 45 days for a third. A presumptive cap simply means that judges are urged but not required to stick to the maximum penalties. Non-technical violations are committing a new criminal or jailable traffic offense, and missing more than two probation appointments. Failing to report two or more times is considered absconding, and the maximum back-up time could be in play. VOP lawyer Benjamin Herbst knows all the ins and outs of the Maryland probation rules and is standing by to fight for your rights in these challenging proceedings.