The Defendant served 3 years of probation for Unlicensed Contracting during a State of Emergency conviction. The Defendant must obey certain conditions while serving a probation sentence; one condition is to obey all laws without violation. The Defendant violated probation with a Battery arrest and an arrest for felony Grand Theft. The Probation Officer had a warrant issued for the defendant’s arrest on Violation of Probation charges.
What Constitutes an Unlicensed Contracting During a State of Emergency?
Unlicensed contracting is a misdemeanor, but when it is done during a state of emergency, it becomes a third-degree felony.
In Florida, any conduct related to home improvement or construction without a license can be constituted as this. Contractors must have a valid certificate of competency that has been issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or registration in accordance with Florida Statutes, Chapter 489. Florida law requires a certificate, license, or registration as a means to protect Florida citizens for not only safety but also for consumer protection.
A contractor is defined as a person who is responsible for a construction job that is being compensated. This includes properties that have a repair done to them, additions added, those that are remodeled, demolished, improved, or subtracted from.
All construction work does not need a license or certificate to complete, as there are numerous exemptions in Chapter 489 where a contractor, either as an individual or as a business entity, does not need a license to complete work.
Terms of Probation Likely for Unlicensed Contracting During a State of Emergency
Unlicensed contracting typically faces a probation period of one year for those that reside in Florida and is charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. They may also be subjected to paying restitution fees.
Motion to Set Bond
A Motion to Set Bond occurs when an attorney attempts to have the court set a bond or reduce a set bond. In Florida, the term Pretrial release is interchangeable with bond. A bond is money that is set by the judge and must be paid before the offender can be released from jail while waiting for a trial to begin. The bond may have conditions set forth by the judge, such as limited or no contact provisions, electronic monitoring, therapy or counseling sessions, abstaining from alcohol consumption, or other reasonable conditions that the judge feels pertain to the offender.
Violation Warrants and Surrendering at a Hearing
Those that violate probation may have a warrant for their arrest. Once the warrant has become active, the court will serve the warrant or wait for the offender to surrender. A probation attorney can set up a court date to resolve the violations.
RESULT: The Defense filed a Motion to Set Bond with plans for the Client to surrender at the hearing. The Attorney argued that the Client completed all terms of his probation and no longer required supervision. The Court GRANTED the motion, DISMISSED the probation violation and TERMINATED the Client’s remaining probation sentence.