Not just anyone can make a career working as a general contractor in Florida. Receiving your certification in Florida as a general contractor requires both experience and education, as well as the ability to pass a background test and secure insurance. Skilled contractors working in specialized fields often have an even higher standard to meet.
It can take years to put yourself in a position to work as a general contractor in Florida, and it may only take a single mistake to end your career or at least your certification.
Florida’s Construction Industry Licensing Board upholds high standards
According to Florida’s Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB), a general contractor must have four years of experience or an equivalent amount of college credits to accommodate for a lack of hands-on experience. An equivalent combination of the two is also acceptable. The state will also look at the credit score of the individual in question, typically only licensing applicants with good credit scores.
Each applicant must also submit a fingerprint to the CILB for comparison with criminal record databases. Those hoping to go into the world of construction and contracting may find that a previous criminal conviction can hold them back from that licensing. Those who already work as a general contractor in Florida could lose their status if they plead guilty to an offense or get convicted in court.
You have the right to defend yourself in front of the CILB
First of all, you need to understand that there is no black and white rule about which specific criminal penalties preclude someone from having a license. That said, any general contractor in Florida who has a positive result on a fingerprint search for criminal history will have the application for their initial certification or renewal reviewed.
The CILB will carefully consider the type of offense before determining how to proceed. Sometimes, they will simply determine that the offense is minor enough or old enough to not affect your application. Other times, they may call you to defend yourself in front of the board. The board will allow for the presentation of evidence and testimony regarding the circumstances of the offense and your rehabilitation.
The help of an attorney can make it much simpler to convince the board that your criminal history does not impact your trustworthiness or ability to perform your job.
Don’t wait until you receive your notification from the board that a hearing is necessary. If you have recently plead guilty or even simply been accused of a crime, talking to an attorney who knows how criminal actions impact your professional licensing in Florida can help you find a way to protect your professional future.