Can a conviction of a misdemeanor or felony keep a person from being a licensed contractor?

Can a conviction of a misdemeanor or felony keep a person from being a licensed contractor?  Occasionally, I receive inquiries from individuals seeking to obtain their contractor license, but have concerns about a somewhat checkered past.  Worried they may run into problems getting their application for a contractor licensed approved based upon poor past decisions or actions.  For those who may have gone through difficult times and are looking for a brighter future, there is good news.  In my own experience, every one of the applicants with a criminal history who fully disclosed their past convictions got their applications approved to take their contractor license exam. What’s most important is to be honest, and fully disclose whatever the criminal offense may be.

The answer to the question “Can a conviction of a misdemeanor or felony keep a person from being a licensed contractor?” will vary from case to case, depending upon the nature of the criminal offense or felony. For example the Contractor State License Board (CSLB) may be inclined to deny a license if there is a substantial relationship to the functions, qualifications, or duties of a contractor.

The contractor license application and other forms provided by the CSLB ask questions in regard to criminal convictions. It’s imperative for each applicant to be completely honest and fully disclose the requested information.  If for any reason an applicant fails to disclose this information it can be grounds for a contractor license application to be denied.  As per the CSLB, you must provide all of the information pertaining to the criminal offense even if the conviction was sealed or expunged under Penal Code Section 1203.4 or an application code of another state.  You are required to attach a statement disclosing all pleas/convictions, including violated law sections, and thoroughly explain the acts or circumstances that resulted in the plea/conviction.  In addition, the following information must be included for each plea/conviction: date of the plea/conviction, county, and state where the violation took place, name of the court, court case number, sentence imposed, jail/prison term served, terms and conditions of parole or probation, parole or probation completion dates, and parole agent/probation officer names and phone numbers.

In most cases even if a crime is related substantially to the functions, qualifications, or duties of a contractor, an individual may still qualify to be a licensed contractor if he or she has been rehabilitated and demonstrated this sufficiently.

Legislature mandated in 2003, that all contractor license applicants and registrations for home improvement salespersons must submit fingerprints with each application.  All new contractor license applicants including individual owners, corporation officers, responsible managing employees, partners, and all home improvement sales persons must submit fingerprints.  Be aware that fingerprints are compared to the records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice to inquire and determine if there is an existing criminal history.

The bottom line is this… don’t let your fears over past mistakes hold you down, they will only keep you from reaching your true potential.  The opportunities in the construction field are numerous and lucrative, let us help you get started today!

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