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If a person is not a licensed contractor, but they pose as one and use a contractor license number, they may be convicted of a crime under California Business & Professions Code Section 7027.3 BPC: Fraudulent Use Of A Contractor’s License Number. It is illegal to use a contractor’s license number that doesn’t belong to you. This crime is considered a felony and it can come with prison time. In order to prove that a person is guilty of this crime, the prosecution would have to show that the defendant purposely used a contractor license number, that the number didn’t match the number of the defendant’s contractor’s license, and that he or she did this to purposely defraud.
An example of this crime is as follows:
A person has been a construction worker for several years, but he never received his contractor’s license, as he never applied for one or went through the process. He decides to bid on a specific project, but the project requires that he provide a license number. He knows a licensed contractors and asks to use his license so he can bid on the project. If caught, the man could be convicted of California Business & Professions Code Section 7027.3 BPC: Fraudulent Use Of A Contractor’s License Number.
Other Similar Offenses
There are three offenses similar to California Business & Professions Code Section 7027.3 BPC: Fraudulent Use Of A Contractor’s License Number:
• Contracting without a License – California Business and Professions Code Section 7028 BPC
• Diversion of Construction Loans – California Penal Code Section 484b PC
• Forging or Possessing a Fraudulent Public Seal – California Penal Code Section 472 PC
Defense for This Crime
If the defendant did not know that their contractor’s license was invalid or that someone who worked for them had a fraudulent contractor’s license number, they would not be found guilty of the crime. The defendant would also not be found guilty if intent to defraud could not be proven.
An example of a situation where the defendant would not be found guilty is as follows: a general contractor has a license from the State Board. He hires subcontractors to work on a project, and he thinks that all of the subcontractors are also licenses. He gets the license numbers of the subcontractors and keeps them in the project file. The man is audited, and it’s discovered that one of the subcontractors had a fraudulent license number. The general contactor would not be guilty of the crime, as he did not knowingly hire someone with a fraudulent license number.
Penalties for This Crime
The prosecution may opt to file misdemeanor or felony charges against the defendant for this crime. The level chosen will be based on factors such as if there were damages to the victim, and if so the extent of those damages, as well as if the defendant has a criminal record. If the defendant is charged with a felony, they may have to serve as long as three years in state prison. If the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor, the maximum amount of jail time they could face is one year. Whether the defendant is charges with a misdemeanor or felony, they would have to pay for any damages for the victim.
If you or someone you know is under investigation for the illegal use of a contractor license number, it’s important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.