Port Charlotte Contracting Without a License Lawyer

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Port Charlotte Contracting Without a License Attorney

In Florida, it is illegal and considered a serious offense to engage in contract work without an appropriate contracting license. If you’ve been charged with contracting without a license, it is imperative that you contact a Port Charlotte unlicensed contractor lawyer as soon as possible.

Florida requires individuals and businesses to have and maintain a license for contracting work to ensure that all contractors possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, and experience to legally and safely perform and complete all work. A conviction for contracting without a license can lead to fines, probation, and even jail time.

Protect your reputation, your future, and your freedom by hiring a qualified attorney to defend your case and work to mitigate penalties by seeking a reduction or dismissal of charges. The attorneys at Ruhl & Lux, P.A. have the experience to handle your criminal defense or personal injury case.

Port Charlotte Representation for Contracting Without a License Case

Our team at Ruhl & Lux, P.A. provides legal counsel and representation to clients in and around the Port Charlotte area, handling criminal defense and personal injury cases across a range of legal matters, including unlicensed contracting.

With both experience and knowledge of the applicable laws governing Florida contracting regulations and the defense, investigation, negotiation, and litigation skills required to effectively advocate for our clients, we are dedicated to pursuing the most favorable outcomes in your case.

If need a qualified and experienced lawyer to defend you in your unlicensed contracting case, our attorneys are ready to help. We can navigate the legal complexities of Florida’s contracting laws and ensure your rights are protected.

How Does Florida Define Contracting?

Florida statutes define contracting as any activity that engages in the business of a contractor, defined further as an individual that is in charge of offers to complete, undertake, or carry out tasks such as constructing, repairing, altering, remodeling, upgrading, demolishing, or renovating a building, structure, or property for compensation or resale. Essentially, any individual who takes payment for any type of construction work, indirect or direct, has engaged in contracting.

What Is Unlicensed Contracting?

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation issues certificates of competency to certify contractors that are licensed to perform contract work. Although performing contract work without a license could potentially encompass a broad range of construction-related conduct, Florida statutes specifically prohibit the following activities:

  • Falsely impersonating a certificate holder, registrant, or licensee
  • Presenting someone else’s certificate or registration as one’s own
  • Knowingly providing false evidence to the board or board member
  • Using or attempting to use a suspended or revoked certificate or registration
  • Engaging in the business of or acting in the capacity of a contractor or otherwise advertising oneself as available for such business without due registration or certification
  • Engaging in contracting business more than 60 days after terminating the business’ only qualifying agent without designating a qualifying replacement agent
  • Commencing or performing work on a building that requires a permit without one in effect
  • Intentionally disregarding any municipal or county ordinance

If the prosecution substantially proves just one of these violations, it could lead to conviction. Convictions result in several potential penalties, including fines, jail time, and possible restitution. Your attorney can help you understand if you have engaged in illegal activity and can review the details of your case to determine the right defense strategy.

Is Unlicensed Contracting a Felony in Charlotte County Florida?

Unlicensed contracting is a felony offense in Charlotte County. Though most unlicensed contract work is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, any unlicensed person who violates Florida’s statute regarding licensed contractor work during a state of emergency has committed a third-degree felony. Given Florida’s vulnerability to hurricanes and the damage they can cause to homes, this can frequently become a legal issue for many would-be repair workers.

Additionally, contracting without a license with a prior conviction also constitutes a third-degree felony.

Charged as a misdemeanor, those convicted of unlicensed contracting face up to a one-year sentence in jail. Alternatively, a judge may impose one year of probation in place of jail time or fine the worker $1,000. Charged as a felony, the sentence of those convicted increases up to five years in prison, five years of probation, or up to $5,000 in fines, alternatively.

What Are the Penalties for an Unlicensed Contract Work Conviction?

Florida enforces strict measures against those convicted of unlicensed work. A first offense is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor and carries up to a year in jail. Subsequent offenses and first offenses committed during a state of emergency constitute a third-degree felony, carrying up to five years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

Additionally, if the contractor received payment for unlicensed work, the court may order the contractor to return payment and pay up to three times the damages to the property owner for any work found to be faulty or below standards.

It is in your greatest interest to avoid conviction where possible, as a criminal record can impact your future as well as your present freedoms. If you’ve been charged with committing a violation, contact an unlicensed contractor attorney right away.

What Are Possible Defenses for Unlicensed Contracting?

Defending against charges such as unlicensed contracting requires a strong knowledge of legal nuance and regulatory law surrounding contracting law in Florida. Whether you possessed this understanding before incurring your charges or not, let our attorneys guide and counsel you through the legal procedures, building and asserting your defense case.

The first and most effective defense strategy in many cases is simply to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution against you. It is the legal burden of the prosecuting attorney to demonstrate beyond doubt the defendant violated the charges alleged. However, their case may not include sufficient evidence to substantiate those claims. Your defense attorney can, in these cases, challenge the evidence, file a petition, and motion to have the case dismissed.

The following represent other possible or potential defenses for your case, depending on your specific details:

  • You lacked the knowledge required to distinguish the legal framework and scope of licensure requirements applicable in your case.
  • The type of work actually performed was misclassified or misunderstood and, in reality, did not violate any regulations. The scope of the work is often more limited than it appears to be.

Your Unlicensed Contracting Attorney in Port Charlotte, FL

If you are facing charges for unlicensed contracting, navigating the complexities of Florida’s laws and fighting for your rights can be a challenge. Our lawyers at Ruhl & Lux, P.A. are qualified to handle your case and ensure justice. For more information on how to get started in your case, contact our office today. Serving clients in Charlotte, Sarasota, or Desoto Counties. Call 941-505-7845 or 855-784-5529 today.


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