In the State of Florida it is illegal to contract work or act as a contract without a valid, state issued contractor’s license. Initial convictions for this crime are misdemeanors; however if you have priors the charge may be upgraded to a felony offense.
Florida Statute 489.127 governs contracting without a license. According to the Statute, no person shall:
- falsely hold himself or a business organization out as a licensee, certificate holder, or registrant;
- falsely impersonate a certificate holder or registrant;
- present as his or her own the certificate or registration of another;
- knowingly give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof;
- use or attempt to use a certificate or registration that has been suspended or revoked;
- engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor or advertise 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;
- operate a business organization engaged in contracting after 60 days following the termination of its only qualifying agent without designating another primary qualifying agent;
- commence or perform work for which a building permit is required pursuant to part IV of chapter 553 without such building permit being in effect; or
- willfully or deliberately disregard or violate any municipal or county ordinance relating to uncertified or unregistered contractors.
Penalties for a first time offense include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in county jail. If the person claims to be a contractor during a state of emergency, or if he has a prior conviction for contracting without a license, the charge will be upgraded to a third degree felony offense with penalties including a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in Florida State Prison.
If you have been charged with this crime you need to contact an attorney immedidately. There are many defenses that can be raised with regards to this offense and it is not advisable to simply enter a guilty plea and accept whatever punishment the Court deals out. Contact an attorney with out firm today for a free, confidential consultation if you have questions or concerns regarding the facts of your speficic case.