Posted on October 9, 2015
CA Business & Professions Code § 7028: Unlicensed Contractor Defense Attorney
Contracting without a contractor’s license is usually assigned to a specialized prosecuting unit. Up until 20 years ago, this charge was hardly if ever prosecuted. It wasn’t until business owners in California pressed for legislation to focus more on prosecuting unlicensed contractors due to their own loss of business. The rational for passing of this law is to gain more revenue for California via taxes from legitimate licensed businesses. Usually a complaint is filed with the California State Licensing Board where it will be assigned to a state investigator. You should expect all email correspondence, statements to the investigator, photographs of the job site, and your business advertisements to be used as evidence against you.
In California, if convicted of contracting without a license then you face up to 6 months in the county jail along with a three year probation term, and a fine up to $4,500. B & P Code § 7028 is a priorable offense which means upon a second conviction of this offense, the consequences become harsher requiring a mandatory minimum 30 day jail sentence. In addition, you may be ordered to pay for all the costs associated with the work performed as well as repaying the alleged victim in full.
Unfortunately, being charged as an unlicensed contractor is a strict liability offense. This means in the event you didn’t know your license was not valid, had expired, or you never intended to contract without a license is irrelevant. The crux of the legal issue will be whether you had a license or not. Additionally, unlike other misdemeanor offenses, this charge has a statute of limitations of four years which means the prosecutor can file charges against you within a four year time span.
There may be a number of defenses available to fight unlicensed contractor allegations. For instance, you may be working under someone who has a valid license or the work you performed does not fall within the defined term of “contracting.” For instance, you were responsible for gaining permits rather than hands on remodeling work. Furthermore, the alleged victim may fabricate documents, paperwork, or statements to investigators. It’s important to expose these defenses in an effort to dismiss the charges against you to avoid a substantial repayment and avoid a criminal record.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have been arrested, charged, or are under investigation for being an unlicensed contractor under B. & P. Code § 7028, then contact Los Angeles Unlicensed Contractor Defense Attorney John Rogers at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers. Call 877-888-9820 for a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.