An allegation of contracting without a license is a serious offense that comes along with severe penalties and fines. Charges of contracting without a license, however, do not always fall on unlicensed individuals and businesses. There are three classifications of contractors, certified, registered, and specialty. These classifications are divided into Division I and Division II licenses that relate to the specific scope of work that the contractor may perform. Not only are construction professionals required to work within the scope of their license, they are also required to practice within the location their license allows. Failure to do so is considered contracting without a license and can lead to criminal charges, penalties, and/or license suspension or revocation.
The minute charges are brought upon you or your company for contracting without a license, contact a Tampa construction license defense attorney, who is familiar with arguing these cases in front of The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DPBR) and the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB).
As mentioned, the type of contractor’s license determines where a contractor can perform service and what type of service they can provide. A certified contractor has the ability to perform service throughout the entire state. A registered contractor is limited to the county where the license is received. Specialty contractors are approved to provide service within a particular phase of a construction process and are approved on a case by case basis by the CILB.
The scope of work a contractor is approved to perform is defined within F.S. 489.105:
Division I Contractors
(a) General (any structure)
(b) Building (commercial and residential structures not exceeding three stories, and accessory structures)
(c) Residential (one-family, two-family or three-family structures not exceeding two habitable stories over not more than one uninhabitable story, and accessory structures).
Division II Contractors
(d) Sheet metal
(f), (g) and (h) Air-conditioning categories
(i) Mechanical (which includes air-conditioning)
(j), (k) and (l) Pool/spa categories
(n) Underground utility and excavation
(p) Pollutant storage systems
If you are found working outside of your contractor’s license, in a county or state outside of your registered location, or without a license altogether, you should immediately seek the assistance of a Tampa contractor license defense lawyer.
Penalties for a first offense include first-degree misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. A violation occurring during a state of emergency and with each subsequent charge will result in third-degree felony charges, punishable by up to five years in jail if convicted.
Trent Cotney, P. A. Expert Contractor License Defense Attorneys in Tampa
Due to the severe criminal penalties of license charges, it is imperative to seek representation from an attorney well versed in construction law and the DBPR and CILB’s processes. Trent Cotney and his team of construction license defense attorneys in Tampa represent contractors throughout the State of Florida.
To speak with one of our qualified Tampa contractor license defense lawyers, please contact our office at 813.579.3278 or submit our contact request form.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.