Monterey License Attorney


Contractor and General Contractor

Retaining your license as a contractor or general contractor is critical to your career if you work in the construction and development industry. Based on this, you need to secure your license and qualifications, especially if complaints arise against your performance or character as a professional. Defending your license requires you to partner with a skilled and experienced license attorney, giving you an easier time as you negotiate and appear for administrative hearings before the board.

At Monterey License Attorney, you will receive reliable legal services from skilled license attorneys who understand the importance of retaining your contractor or general contractor license. We aim to help you by contacting relevant parties on your behalf and negotiating with them. The team is also available if your matter moves to the arbitration or administrative hearing stage, and you can count on us to represent you and help you defend your case comprehensively. Our services are available for contractors who risk losing their licenses in Monterey, California.

The Importance of a Contractor and General Contractor License

Working as a contractor or general contractor requires you to work hard to obtain the necessary qualifications, including our working license. You also need to pass the rigorous tests authorized by the Contractors State License Board of California, after which you can build a business by providing services.

Contractor licenses also vary based on your roles, making it important to distinguish your qualifications for better protection of your license. A specialty contractor license applies if you provide specific services like plumbing, roof installation, and electrical work installation. Based on this, you must have a specific skill set that takes years to build, making it important to handle any complaint against your services as soon as possible.

Additionally, you may have a general engineering contractor license if you perform roles related to grading, excavation works, and paving in preparation for construction. The skill set under this category involves operating heavy machinery and following strict plan requirements to meet measurements for future development.

California also recognizes the specialty contractor license issued to professionals who handle private property development. If you often oversee a project individually for home construction, remodeling, or renovation, you fall within this licensing category.

Possible Complaints Made Against You to the. License Board

Based on the technical demands and hard work you put in as a contractor, you must guard your qualifications to help you remain legally qualified. Protecting your license involves engaging the Contractor State License Board of California in the event of emerging complaints filed against you.

Reacting in good time is essential in determining the most effective way to handle the complaint, and it gives your license attorney enough time to prepare for upcoming negotiations, hearings, or arbitration. The following are possible accusations that may jeopardize your contractor license:

Committing Fraud During Insurance or Real Estate Transactions

A fraudulent operation involves presenting false information or working under pretenses to obtain money and other benefits illegally. As a contractor or general contractor, you may face fraud accusations if you present false documents on the nature and size of the real estate project you are handling to access more benefits.

Fraud may also occur when taking out insurance for the project, as you may exaggerate your insurance costs without proper justification. If so, the client can rightfully report you and have your license under review.

Going to Work Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Working while intoxicated is not only unethical but dangerous as a contractor, as you often work in safety hazard zones. Working under the influence can also extend safety risks to third parties, especially if you operate machinery or heavy equipment.

Your client or co-worker can thus report you, primarily if your behavior is repeated for extended durations. The licensing board will then determine whether you need additional medical help as they deliberate on whether you should retain your license.

Hiring Under Qualified Workers

Working with unqualified personnel may be appealing because their hourly rates are cheaper than those of trained construction workers. However, it poses a danger to the entire workforce, as the inexperienced workers may be unfamiliar with standard procedures. Due to this, the license board must review your license if they receive information about your partnership with under trained employees.

Preparing for your License Hearing Before the License Board

After the contractor's state license board receives complaints regarding your misconduct or incompetency as a contractor, they may take several courses of action against you. However, they must initiate investigations to ensure that the complaints are within their jurisdiction for handling the case and that sufficient evidence is available to take action against you.

The main courses of action that the licensing board may take in determining your case include:

Calling for a Negotiation Process

The primary focus between disputing parties is resolution, often involving negotiation. You may, therefore, receive a formal order to negotiate terms with the complainant accusing you of incompetence to reach a mutual agreement.

During the negotiations, you have the right to an attorney who will guide you on how to present your interests and reach a middle ground while still considering the complainant’s point of view. Your license attorney can also fully represent you during the negotiations if the other party prefers speaking through their lawyer, giving you a level negotiation ground.

Attending Arbitration Proceedings

Alternatively, the Contractors State License Board of California can exercise its duty to call for an arbitration hearing when necessary as another attempt at alternative dispute resolution. The order is especially useful if you and the aggrieved party have an arbitration clause in your contract. Arbitration sessions are similar to formal court hearings, encompassing both the accused person and the alleged victim. An arbitrator presides over the hearing and receives evidence and further information from both parties before deciding the outcome.

During the arbitration, it is paramount to have your license attorney present, as they will make a presentation on your behalf. They are also responsible for conducting research and preparing defenses for your actions beforehand, as the proceedings require persuasive evidence. Once both parties argue their case, the arbitrator will determine if you are at fault and, if so, provide remedies for the aggrieved.

A Formal Administrative Hearing

If alternative remedies are unsuccessful, the licensing board can call for a formal administrative hearing. If so, you must appear before the board and face questions about your conduct as well as your professional history regarding the current accusation. Facing the license board alone can be intimidating, as they conduct the hearing in a panel format.

Based on this, you need to prepare adequately to ensure you anticipate the types of questions you are likely to face. You should further consolidate the evidential sources you intend to rely on to justify your case with your license attorney’s help. For example, if you deny having shown up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, consider taking a drug test to support your claims and discredit the complaint’s accusations.

While an administrative hearing may be intense, your license attorney can always help you navigate it. They understand the importance of helping you retain your license, and you can look forward to receiving comprehensive legal assistance until the administrative hearing concludes. Afterward, you need to wait for the license board’s decision on whether to suspend, revoke, or redirect your case to face criminal charges.

The Possible Case Outcomes for Your Contractor License Dispute

After concluding the license administrative hearing or arbitration, you will wait a few hours or days to receive feedback from the licensing board. Their decision is based on fact analysis, risk determination, and additional information from the complainant party.

The board should also assess your justifications and defenses for the accusations you face to establish whether you have a valid legal standing for your actions. Based on the case conclusion, here are some possible outcomes you may face:

A Mutually Agreed Settlement Between Parties

During the investigation, you can still request that your license attorney engage the complainant to seek alternative dispute resolution. Although the board will have already received your complaint, they are open to a mutually agreed-upon settlement between parties.

Nevertheless, the board will only accept the agreement if the aggrieved party’s complaint does not include a direct code violation for contractors or general contractors. Doing so would encourage future violations without punitive measures, so you should determine the nature of a complaint filed against you before agreeing to a settlement.

Receiving a Citation or Warning Letter

Less serious oversights of accusations of misconduct can also trigger a citation or a warning letter issued against you. The outcome is among the more lenient ones, as your misconduct does not necessarily cause significant losses or exposure to safety hazards for others.

However, the citation remains accessible to the general public, making it a possible hindrance to your growing contractor business. Additionally, while the citation is a less severe punishment for alleged misconduct, having it in your record can attract more severe punishment in future misconduct cases. You, therefore, need to conduct your contractor practice more carefully after receiving the citation.

A warning letter also contains a written statement recognizing your current accusations and a stern reminder that repeating the actions could be consequential in the future. While the warning letter does not negatively affect your general contractor or contractor performance, the record remains with the board, putting you under more scrutiny.

License Suspension

A license suspension order causes you to stop your duties as a contractor or general contractor for a specific period. The Contractors State License Board of California issues the order as a punitive measure when your case involves serious issues that cause significant delays or losses for your clients.

For example, breaching contractual terms or failing to meet the required work ethics and standards warrants a license suspension, as the circumstances can be detrimental to the project you oversee.

During the license suspension, the board may also authorize further investigations to determine whether you have breached other codes or contractual obligations. If new information comes up, the board can bring it under review and decide whether to extend the license suspension or to call for a hearing. If so, they may enhance your punishment to match the newly obtained information.

License Revocation

On the other hand, a license revocation is more serious and calls for an indefinite prohibition from continuing in your role as a contractor or general contractor. Upon receiving a license revocation, the board releases a formal statement that is also accessible publicly to declare your qualifications invalid.

A license revocation is detrimental to your case, making it important to fight and regain your authorization to practice. With your license attorney’s help, you can appeal the decision and request a review by the board, citing justifications for your position. Although reviewing your case outcome may not be straightforward, having a license attorney is beneficial, as you will receive the required support.

Criminal Penalties

Engaging in specific misconduct can attract criminal liability on top of having a client report you to the license board. For example, committing fraud that results in a client losing millions can attract a criminal sanction under the penal code. Due to this, the board may redirect your case to the criminal justice system instead of ordering a license revocation.

If the criminal court judge finds you guilty of the accusations, you risk spending time in county or state prison, depending on the nature of your charge. Fine payments are also a commonly issued penalty, as is paying restitution to the victim you defrauded.

Contact a licensed attorney Near Me

When you face accusations about substandard quality of work as a contractor or general contractor, you may risk losing your license. The consequences are detrimental to your career, making it important to act quickly to avoid receiving a license revocation order. When working towards retaining your license, consider partnering with a skilled license attorney to guide you through the various processes for a smoother experience.

At Monterey License Attorney, you have access to experienced license lawyers who understand the importance of following recovery procedures to prevent license loss. Our team is equipped to handle different case circumstances thanks to our years of experience in the practice area. You can access our services in Monterey, California, if you face possible license suspension or revocation as a contractor. For more information on how to retain your license, call us today at 831-296-1191.

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