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California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1 BPC: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service

There are a lot of people who charge for services in the State of California, and while they often have a lot of room to set their own rate and charge how they see fit, there are laws out there to protect clients. In cases of Misrepresentation of Charge for Service, it’s important to determine why the client was charged unfairly, and whether or not the additional charges were accidental or purposeful.

Definition of California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1 BPC: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service

In the State of California, professionals are allowed a lot of leeway and flexibility when it comes to how much they’re allowed to charge for the services they offer. However, when someone either overcharges for their services or misrepresents their prices or services, it could be considered a criminal offense in violation of California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1 BPC: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service.

In order for the prosecution to prove that a crime was committed, they would need to show that the defendant purposely misrepresented a service charge based on measure, weight, count or time.

California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1 BPC: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service is related to the offenses of Inaccurate Pricing, Selling Short Quantity and Petty Theft.

Example of California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1 BPC: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service

A graphic designer charges based on an hourly rate of $100. When the graphic designer’s business practices are investigated, it’s shown that she double-billed clients on various occasions, charging them $200 for one hour instead of $100 per hour. Or, the graphic designer charged for more hours than were spent, based on their timekeeping and their invoices. The graphic designer could be charged with violating California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1 BPC: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service.

Defenses Against California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1 BPC: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service

If the defended did not intentionally or knowingly misrepresent their charges for service, they would most likely not be found guilty of the crime.

For example, let’s say the graphic designer accidentally entered the wrong amount of hours into her invoicing platform. The client gets a bill that shows double the amount of hours than worked, and charges that match the doubled hours. The client tells the graphic designer that the bill looks much higher than expected, and the graphic designer realizes their mistake, fixes the invoice and charges the client correctly. In this case, the graphic designer would not be liable under California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1 BPC: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service.

Penalties if Charged

If you’re found in violation of Misrepresentation of Charge for Service, it’s considered a misdemeanor. The sentence that comes with this charge is up to one year in jail, plus high fines. It’s also probable that the defendant would need to pay restitution fees to the victims, as well as the amount that was unlawfully charged. It’s also possible that the person found guilty would face disciplinary actions by the California licensing board, which could result in loss of license.

Criminal Defense

If you or someone you know is being investigated for Misrepresentation of Charge for Service, or if you’ve already been charged with Misrepresentation of Charge for Service, it’s necessary to contact a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Being convicted of an offense like this can destroy a professional’s reputation, business and means of income. Additionally, the defendant could potentially lose their professional license, and possibly face jail time.


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"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

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