Los Angeles Contractor Number Fraud Defense Attorneys
Making fraudulent use of a contractor’s license number is a “wobbler” crime in California that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. It involves intentionally and willfully, with intent to defraud, using a contractor’s license number that is not your own valid number. It carries heavy penalties, including jail time and significant fines.
Beating fraud charges requires an in-depth understanding of California’s criminal justice system and business law. These cases are fact-dependent and should not be trusted to an inexperienced lawyer. Bring your case to Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, where our legal team can use more than 25 years of experience to fight for your freedom. Call us today at (213) 688-0460 for a free initial consultation.
This type of fraud involves using a contractor’s license number that was issued to someone else. For example:
- An experienced construction worker who does not have a contractor’s license wants to bid on projects. He uses the license number of a contractor friend for his bids.
- A person who wants to start a construction business but does not want to bother getting a license uses another contractor’s license to bid on jobs and complete projects.
- A man who wants to make some extra money doing contractor work on the side uses a relative’s contractor’s license to secure a small job.
This offense can be charged and prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the criminal history of the defendant and the damages suffered by the victim. When contractor’s license number fraud is charged as a misdemeanor, it is punishable by jail time of up to one year or a maximum fine of $1,000, or both. When this offense is charged as a felony, the penalties are much steeper. They may include a state prison term of up to three years or a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.
Possible defenses against charges of contractor’s license number fraud include the following:
- No intent to defraud: If you accidentally used the license number of another contractor, you may be able to avoid a conviction. Intent to defraud is an element of this criminal offense. A person who has intent to defraud intends to deceive someone else out of property or money. If you did not intend this, it is a valid defense.
- Duress: If you fraudulently used a contractor’s license number because someone else was threatening your life or well-being, it was done under duress. In this case, you may be able to avoid criminal charges.
- No willful act: Fraudulent use of a contractor’s license number only occurs when someone willfully and intentionally uses the license number with intent to defraud. If your actions were not willful, you have a valid legal defense. For purposes of the law, “willfully” means doing something with purpose or willingness.
When you are charged with using a fraudulent contractor’s license number, you may also be charged with:
- Contracting without a license: This involves doing business without a contractor’s license or operating with a suspended license.
- False advertising: A person or company that makes false or misleading statements about the nature of a service or product offered to consumers commits the offense of false advertising.
- Forging, counterfeiting, or possessing a fraudulent public seal: This offense involves forging a counterfeit design or symbol, such as the state seal on a driver’s license.
If you have been charged with contractor license fraud, the best way to resolve the matter favorably is to have an experienced lawyer by your side. Our Los Angeles white-collar defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP have a proven track record of resolving issues quickly and quietly for clients. Call our office today at (213) 688-0460 to schedule an initial consultation, free of charge.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.