Florida Air Conditioning Contractor Defense Attorney

Have you been alerted of an Administrative Complaint brought against your Florida air conditioning license? Are you worried about how the complaint may alter your future reputation and career? A complaint filed against a licensed air conditioning contractor in Florida can have harmful consequences, including substantial fines, a restriction on services provided, damage to your reputation, and sometimes a rescinded license.

As a licensed air conditioning contractor, one of your top concerns should be a trustworthy and good reputation. Whether you think the complaint filed against your license is unfounded, it’s crucial to your career that you take steps to resolve it as quickly as possible. The first opportunity after you receive notice of an Administrative Complaint against you, call an experienced professional license defense attorney to protect your future as a licensed Florida HVAC and air conditioning contractor.

What Responsibilities Do Air Conditioning Contractors Have?

Air conditioner contractors are responsible for building, installing, designing, and repairing equipment used in commercial and home air conditioning systems or heating systems. Consumers rely on their expertise to test, restore, and inspect their systems correctly, so they work successfully throughout the year. Air conditioning contractors also provide seasonal maintenance to air cooling and heating systems so they efficiently operate as long as they should. In Florida, where the temperature stays warm all year long, the HVAC and air conditioning profession are highly valued.

According to Florida Statute 489.105(h) describes an air conditioning contractor as:

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2017/489.105

“…A contractor whose business is limited to the servicing of air-conditioning, heating, or refrigeration systems, including any duct cleaning and equipment sanitizing that requires at least a partial disassembling of the system, and whose certification or registration, issued pursuant to this part, was valid…”

Why is Having a Valid Florida License Important for Air Conditioning Contractors?

Air conditioner contractors must have a valid license to practice this occupation in Florida. This license protects Florida communities from an incompetent contractor doing neglectful air heating or cooling treatments that could lead to substantial problems to the house or building’s system that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Having a certified Florida air conditioning contractor license validates a professional’s competency, experience, and expertise to maintain and improve heating and air condition systems.

Who Licenses Air Conditioning Contractors in Florida?

In Florida, air conditioning contractors must acquire an Air Conditioning Contractor’s License through the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR). The Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) is responsible for regulating licensed air conditioning contractors in the construction and air conditioning industries in Florida. To practice, air conditioning contractors must also have public liability and property damage insurance determined by the CILB. To keep a valid Air Conditioning Contractor’s License, the CILB requires professionals to complete continuing education courses every two years.

What Are Complaints HVAC and Air Conditioning Contractors Face That May Result in Disciplinary Action?

Licensed HVAC and air conditioning contractors in Florida can face disciplinary action from Complaints related to various reasons. Often, customers or competitors file Complaints related to negligent or unauthorized services provided. Some of the most widespread Complaints against HVAC and air conditioning contractors include:

  • Rendering HVAC or air conditioning services without a valid license
  • Being convicted of a crime which relates to their profession
  • Failing to test for carbon monoxide during inspections
  • Neglecting to measure proper ventilation for air circulation
  • Providing incomplete or faulty services
  • Bidding low by cutting corners on materials or quality to save money
  • Sizing an HVAC system incorrectly
  • Improperly designing and installing an HVAC system

Failing to install correctly, design, or service an air cooling or heating system in a house or building can have serious legal implications. If you’re facing a Complaint against your air conditioning contractor license in Florida, be sure to hire an experienced professional license defense attorney as soon as possible.

How Does Someone Lodge a Complaint Against an Air Conditioning Contractor in Florida?

Anyone who wants to file a Complaint against a licensed air conditioning contractor or any other licensed professional in Florida would do so by contacting the DBPR and completing a Uniform Complaint Form. The DBPR’s online service also allows the public to confirm that a professional’s license is valid in addition to filing a Complaint.

How Does the Complaint Process Work in Florida?

When a Complaint is filed against an air conditioning contractor, it’s evaluated by either the Construction Industry Licensing Board or an investigator with the DBPR. The investigation involves gathering enough information to decide whether the Complaint can go on to the next step.

Information collected during an investigation frequently includes:

  • Interviewing complainants
  • Interviewing the subject of the Complaint
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Issuing subpoenas
  • Recording sworn statements
  • Gathering documented evidence
  • Readying reports

As a professional air conditioning contractor, it is highly recommended that you secure a knowledgeable and skilled attorney to help you build a befitting response to the investigation process. Often, an experienced attorney can end the investigation process at its earliest stage, preventing you from further harming your reputation or business.

The Probable Cause Panel Evaluates the Complaint

If the investigation procures enough evidence to move the allegation to the next step, the Complaint will be examined by a Probable Cause Panel. That will typically involve members on the CILB who review the documents and evidence connected to the Complaint.

During this process, it is essential that you have your defense attorney and that you do not attempt to manage it alone.

The panel review can result in three possible outcomes:

  • Finding “no probable cause”
  • Issuing a “letter of guidance”
  • Issuing a formal Administrative Complaint

A finding of “no probable cause” is a dismissal of the case. Meaning there was not enough evidence proving that you did not violate any rule or regulation. A “letter of guidance” is not a disciplinary action, but it’s issued when the panel finds that a minor violation did occur. The most severe outcome is when a formal Administrative Complaint is issued against you.

Process of the Administrative Complaint

An Administrative Complaint against you describes the evidence in detail, and the information against you discovered during the investigation, along with the particular laws or regulations that you’re accused of breaching. At this time, the Complaint becomes public record. Even if the claim is thrown out, your reputation as a professional air conditioning contractor could be damaged. After consulting with your lawyer, you can decide whether you want to attend an Informal Hearing or Formal Hearing.

Informal Hearing

If you choose to continue with an Informal Hearing, you do not intend to disagree with any of the allegations against you, nor do you want to disclose any new evidence. Instead, you recognize the claims, and you’ll face the Board again, where they’ll make a final decision on penalties that will be imposed against you.

Formal Hearing

If you wish to dispute the accusations and evidence found against you during the investigation, you proceed with a Formal Hearing. This hearing is before Florida’s Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) and is chaired by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ hears the evidence from both sides and makes a final Recommended Order to the Department of Health. The DOH then makes a final decision regarding disciplinary actions.

You can appeal the decision by filing a petition for judicial review if your air conditioning license is suspended or revoked. Your lawyer is your most valued ally as you go through this process – always seek advice from them before making a final decision.

What Help Can a Professional License Defense Lawyer Provide?

At The Umansky Law Firm, our professional license defense team investigates every case in detail to find the relevant facts and the most effective way to defend your Florida air conditioning contractor license. Occasionally, Complaints against HVAC or air conditioning contractors can go to criminal court and face criminal charges. Having a skilled criminal lawyer who handles professional license defense is the highest priority.

Umansky attorneys can help you in many ways, including:

  • Examine the Complaint against you and build a defense by securing evidence, documents, and witnesses that help you
  • Prevent you from incriminating yourself as you defend against the accusations
  • Defend against potential criminal charges that may arise from the Complaint
  • Determine the motive or bias behind the person who filed the Complaint against you
  • Help you respond to the Probable Cause Investigation by securing documents, witnesses, and other methods to determine there is no probable cause for the Complaint
  • Help to try and get the Complaint dismissed by the Probable Cause Panel
  • Argue that a guidance letter is better than a prosecution
  • Mitigate any potential punishments the Board may want to take
  • Present evidence, witnesses, and cross-examine state’s witnesses at a formal review hearing
  • Dispute the findings at an informal review hearing
  • Appeal the hearing

Call Experienced Orlando License Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you have been accused of committing an act where the State may rescind your license or suspend your business operations, call The Umansky Law Firm to defend you.

As experienced trial lawyers, we understand the evidence code. We can assist in preparing a defense for you that might include the dismissal of the citation, Complaint, or allegation against you. Because we have a criminal defense background that includes construction, fraud, and other offenses, we are prepared to defend you in the administrative action and help you avoid license suspension and criminal prosecution.

The Umansky Law Firm attorneys include former prosecutors, defense lawyers, and some have experience working directly for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. To speak with an administrative lawyer today, complete an online contact form or call at (407) 228-3838.