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Unlicensed contractors entitled to a criminal defense

Home improvement and repair is big business in California. Not all homeowners have the skill or the desire to do this kind of work themselves, so they often put their trust in a professional contractor. There are many great contractors -- both licensed and unlicensed -- but depending on the level of work hired for, a license may be required. Contractors who are found to be operating without a license for a job that requires one could face criminal charges. Nevertheless, those who have been arrested are entitled to a criminal defense.

Recently, an undercover operation took place in several areas across the state. The intent of this operation was to find unlicensed contractors who were taking jobs beyond what is allowed without a license according to state laws. Currently, unlicensed contractors are allowed to take on jobs that don't cost more than $500 in labor and supplies. The Contractors State License Board had investigators pose as homeowners during this undercover sting. Any unlicensed contractors who bid higher than the allowable amount were arrested.

According to a recent report, 112 individuals were arrested in a total of seven different cities during this investigation. This type of crime is generally considered a misdemeanor, but the potential penalties can be quite harsh. Those convicted on a first time offense are typically ordered to pay a fine, with the maximum amount set at $5,000. Any repeat offenses may garner a more severe punishment.

Those who are accused of accepting contract work without the appropriate license do maintain the right to defend themselves in a California criminal court. Several different legal options may be available to fight the charges at hand. An experienced criminal defense attorney will typically review the details of the case and offer guidance regarding the best legal approach to pursue with the intent of obtaining a positive outcome.

Source:, "Undercover Sting Targets Unlicensed Contractors", Derek Staahl, Nov. 10, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results