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Engaging in Contracting Without a License

Criminal Defense Lawyers Defending the Rights of St. Petersburg Residents

The lawyers at Hanlon Law spend a great deal of time reading and digesting criminal statutes. Criminal laws run the gamut from simple, one sentence laws to statutes that seem as long and complex as encyclopedias. No matter the length or complexity of the statute, it is important for your lawyer to fully understand the statute that you might be charged under in order to adequately defend you from criminal charges.

One of the most complex criminal statutes that is commonly charged in the State of Florida is that of engaging in unlicensed contracting. Like many things in this State, contracting work like carpentry, plumbing, HVAC and electrical work are all heavily regulated industries. Those who want to enter into those lines of work are required to go through strict licensing requirements before they can begin to work in those fields. The legislature of our state put these regulations in place in order to ensure that contractors working on people’s homes and businesses have the requisite knowledge and prerequisites to do the job safely, but often the licensing requirements are strict and expensive to obtain. Unfortunately, some people attempt to get around those requirements and attempt to do contracting work without a license. If you have been charged with operating as an unlicensed contractor, you could be facing stiff penalties and should consult and experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer right away.

Elements of the Crime

Under Florida Statute 489.127(f), it is a crime to engage “engaging in the business or acting in the capacity of a contractor or advertising himself or herself or a business organization as available to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor without being duly registered or certified.” While the core of the crime seems relatively simple, the statute refers to a separate section that spells out all of the different types of contracting work that require licenses and certification to perform. The complexity of the statute has benefits and pitfalls. On one hand, the specificity of the law allows prosecutors to pinpoint exactly the conduct that you might have committed. On the other hand, the complexity of the statute may make it more difficult to prove your case and may present defenses that your lawyer can exploit on your behalf.

The section of the statute that defines contracting lays out seventeen different types of contractors that require licensing to avoid criminal charges: 1) general contractors; 2) building contractors; 3) residential contractors; 4) Sheet metal contractors; 5) roofing contractors; 6-8) Class A, B, and C air-conditioning contractors; 9) mechanical contractors; 10) commercial pool and spa contractors; 11) residential pool and spa contractors; 12) swimming pool servicing contractors; 13) plumbing contractors; 14) underground utility and excavation contractors; 15) solar contractors; 16) pollutant storage systems contractors and; 17) specialty contractors.

Although all of the above listed occupations are “contractors” under the law. Their actual duties, jobs, and responsibilities are wildly different. And each contractor operates under different rules and regulation. A pool and spa contractor obviously does not have to have the same certifications and licenses as a solar panel contractor. Because of the complexity of the law, it is important that you retain a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney who is adept at interpreting the criminal statute and determining what the best defense for your case will be.

Defenses to the charge of unlicensed contracting can vary based on the facts of each case. Police and investigators can sometimes charge people who do not actually need to be licensed under the law simply because of the confusing and complex nature of the statute. The unlicensed contractor law also includes specified exceptions to the rule that you may fall under.

Speak to the Lawyers at Hanlon Law Today

The lawyers at Hanlon Law provide personal service to develop effective defenses for their clients. Call us today for a consultation at 727.289.0222.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse