Contractors are responsible for constructing, repairing, adjusting, and demolishing buildings and other constructed structures in California. Carrying out this work legally requires a license and a failure to obtain this license can lead to charges under California Business and Professions Code Section 7028: Contracting Without a License.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you go over the details of BPC 7028 charges right here. Consider the repercussions for a contracting without a license conviction and the applications of this charge in the court system today.
California’s Definition of Contracting Without a License
Individuals in California are only allowed to work as contractors if they have a contractor’s license in good standing. This means that, according to BPC 7028, individuals can face criminal charges for working as contractors:
- If They Don’t Have a Contractor’s License
- If They Have a Suspended Contractor’s License
Contractor’s licenses may be suspended if a contractor:
- Doesn’t Pay a Civil Penalty
- Doesn’t Obey an Order of Correction
Note that individuals cannot avoid contracting without license charges by using another contractor’s license number. This act is also illegal and it can be prosecuted under California Business and Professions Code Section 7027.3: Fraudulent Use Of A Contractor’s License Number.
Defining Contractors in California
Individuals may be unsure if they are considered contractors or not in California. Generally, contractors are builders. This means that individuals may be working as contractors if they work on building projects for any type of structure.
Common tasks associated with construction work include:
- Building, Repairing, or Improving a Structure
- Altering or Adding to a Building
- Moving, Demolishing, or Wrecking a Built Structure
Individuals may be legally considered contractors if they directly take part in these activities or if they employ other individuals who complete the direct labor.
Examples of BPC 7028 Violations in California
Man A is good at construction work, but he doesn’t have a contractor’s license. His neighbor asks him to repair some damage to an interior wall and agrees to pay him $250. Man A completes the work without a contractor’s license, but should not face charges because the job is considered a small operation.
Man B has worked as a contractor for a long time, but his license was recently suspended for failure to pay a civil penalty. He keeps working as a contractor anyway. He could be convicted under BPC 7028.
Penalties for Contracting Without a License
Individuals who engage in contracting without a license may be charged with a white collar crime misdemeanor in the California court system. Note that the penalties for contracting without a license vary depending upon whether the individual is a first-time or repeat offender, as follows:
Penalties for a First Offense:
- Fines: Up to $5,000
- Jail Time: Up to six Months
Penalties for a Second Offense:
- Fines: Up to 20% of the Contract Price or $5,000
- Jail Time: No Less than 90 Days
Penalties for a Third Offense:
- Fines: Up to 20% of the Contract Price or $10,000
- Jail Time: Up to one Year
When determining fines for second and subsequent offenses, the court system will choose either a set fine or 20% of the contract price. The court will select whichever amount is higher.
Defenses for BPC 7028 Accusations
Contracting without license charges can have a serious impact on your life. You can take control if you are facing a BPC 7028 accusation by contacting a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer can assess your specific situation to build your defense. Depending on your case, your lawyer may be able to argue:
That You Were an Employee – Not a Contractor
Employees who work for a contracting company do not need to worry about a contractor’s license. This means that your company must maintain a contractor’s license to avoid BPC 7028 charges, not you.
That You Were Completing a Small Operation
There is a legal exception to BPC 7028 that can help you avoid a conviction if you were working on a contract that was worth under $500. This means that you can legally complete minor or casual contracting jobs without a license.
That You’re Not a Contractor
We went over the legal definition of contractors earlier in the article. Individuals who are not considered contractors are not required to obtain a contractor’s license. If you fall outside the legal definition of a contractor you may be able to avoid a BPC 7028 conviction.
Handle Contracting Without a License Charges with Professional Help
Individuals facing California Business and Professions Code Section 7028: Contracting Without License charges can get help by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can offer you legal advice today with a FREE initial case evaluation.
Call us at (310) 997-4688, or complete our online contact form to get started today.