Penalty for Hiring Unlicensed Contractor in Florida
The penalty for hiring unlicensed contractor in Florida is outlined in Florida Statutes Section 489.127
In a nutshell, there are nine ways a person can be in a position to commit a crime by being an unlicensed contractor in Florida. Should proof of such a violate be evident, it is sufficient to sustain a conviction in a court of law.
Unlicensed contracting can be either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the facts. The first offense can result in a first-degree misdemeanor that will include penalties or the person receiving 12 months of probation, up to one year in jail, and a $1,000 fine. Further offenses are deemed third-degree felonies under Florida Statute 775.083. A third-degree felony can incur up to five years in prison or probation and a $5,000 fine.
Additionally, any offense committed by an unlicensed contractor during a state of emergency declared by the governor is a third-degree felony.
Along with the potential for time in jail and subsequent fines, a person who is either convicted or pleads to a charge of contracting without a license is often subject to court-ordered restitution. Restitution can lead to awards in the tens of thousands of dollars. If the person fails to pay or does not pay in a timely manner, the defendant can be held in contempt of court.