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Contracting without a License
BP 7028(a) Law & Defense
Information on the crime of contracting without a license is found at Business & Professions Code section 7028(a).
BP 7028(a) Law
BP 7028(a): Contracting without a license is when a person engages in the business of, or acts in the capacity of, a contractor, and either the person is not licensed as a contractor, or the person is licensed as a contractor, but that contractor's license is suspended (Abbrev.).
BP 7028(a) Penalties
First Offense: The crime of contracting without a license is charged as misdemeanor. If found guilty of BP 7028(a), the defendant could face up to six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine (First offense).
Second Offense: For a second offense of BP 7028(a), the defendant could face up to six months in jail, but not less than ninety days, unless unusual circumstances exist where the interest of justice would be served by not incarcerating the defendant for a minimum of 90 days. In addition, for a second offense of BP 7028(a), the fine amount would be increased to 20% of the aggregate contract price, or 20 percent of the aggregate payments made to the unlicensed contractor.
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision, instead of a jail sentence. Probation sentences are allowed in BP 7028(a) cases, but they are not guaranteed. Whether or not a court grants a sentence of probation instead of jail after a conviction for contracting without a license depends largely on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the sophistication of the crime.
Work Release: Work release, which is essentially picking up trash near highways or jails (or other non physical labor for persons who otherwise can not physically pick up trash), instead of of an actual jail sentence, is not uncommon as an alternative to an actual jail sentence in BP 7028(a) cases.
Bail: The bail amount for a charge of BP 7028(a) is $5,000 in San Bernardino County. In some cases, the defendant may be allowed to remain out of custody without the need for bail while the outcome of his or her case is determined (Own Recognizance Release [O.R.]). Whether or not a court will allow the defendant to be release on his or her O.R. depends on many factors, including the defendant's criminal history.
In addition to the penalties listed, if found guilty of the crime of contracting without a license, the defendant could be ordered to pay restitution, suffer fines and fees, lose his or her contracting license (if the license was only suspended at the time of the offense), be denied entry intro the armed services, and more.
BP 7028(a) Defense
Common defenses that apply to contracting without a license crimes include: mistake of fact, insufficient evidence to prove a the person contracted for work, coerced confessions, statute of limitations (4 years from the date of contract proposal, contract, completion of work, or abandonment of the work, whichever occurs last), and more.
Note: In many situations, the defendant without a contractor's license will hold an actual business license and he or she may mistakenly believe that contracting, general contracting, or even independent contracting, is permissible under his or her business license. This can lead to the defendant's occupational licensing board to interview the defendant concerning his or her business license. At this interview, anything the defendant says may be used against him or her in criminal court. This is one of the reasons it is absolutely vital to retain a criminal defense lawyers at the earliest opportunity if the defendant is accused of contracting without a license.
For more information on the crime of contracting without license, or BP 7028(a), contact our criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers are available seven days a week to answer all of your questions. Call today!
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