Am I facing jail time or fines for contractor without a license charges? 11 Answers as of March 13, 2011

I was cited in a sting operation by the contractors state license board. I received a notice to appear for a misdemeanor 70286 contract as contractor without license and 7159.5 excessive down payment. Could I be facing jail time and or fines?

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Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf | Lawrence Wolf
You may be. Give us a call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/13/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
Sure, you can receive up to a year in jail (of which you could do no more than 2/3), but that is not likely to happen. Any custody time you are sentenced to as a term and condition of probation could likely be served in a Work Release Program or on Electronic Detention ("House Arrest"). You will have to pay restitution to the homeowner/customer. There are other miscellaneous fines and fees, and of course, you will be ordered not to contract without a license.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/11/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
When charged with a misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 6-12 months in jail and fines, etc. on each count. The OC DA is very diligent in seeking out unlicensed contractors, through stings like this. They have a DA dedicated to only these cases. Effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail/prison, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts and evidence. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain for you, or take it to trial. If serious about doing so, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. This is not the first sting case Ive handled. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/11/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
It is a misdemeanor carrying up to 6 months in jail per count. There may
also be collaterial consequences to your ever obtaining a valid license. I
would recommend hiring an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/11/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
You will be facing fines.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/11/2011
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
    much more likely you're facing significant fines, possibly restitution if someone claims to have been damaged by your fraud.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Law Office of Gregory W. Fox
    Law Office of Gregory W. Fox | Gregory W. Fox
    Business and Professions Code section 7159.5 subdivision (b) provides the penalties for a violation of Business and Professions Code section 7159 subdivision. Depending upon what charges are filed, there may be a fine of not less than $100 nor more more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. You should consider contacting an attorney who can assist you further with this matter. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact our office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, a misdemeanor could result in jail time and/or fines. Consider hiring an attorney to help you. These types of charges are relatively minor, and an experienced attorney can often talk the court/prosecutor into reducing/infracting or dismissing the charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Technically, yes. But in reality these cases are usually negotiated with settlements involving monetary payments to the victims (restitution) and/or a suspended sentence if you can get your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc.
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc. | Mary Ann Bird
    Yes. It's wise to consult with an attorney regarding the specifics of your case to see if you can avoid felony consequences. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You could be facing both. You need to retain an attorney. There are possibly ways to resolve this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/11/2011
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