Florida Mold Inspector Defense Attorney

Have you been notified of an Administrative Complaint filed against your Florida mold inspector license? Are you concerned about how the complaint may affect your future wellbeing, reputation, and career? A complaint lodged against a licensed mold inspector or any licensed professional in Florida can have damaging consequences, including hefty fines, a restriction on services rendered, harm to your reputation, and sometimes a revoked license.

 

Whether you believe the complaint against your license to be groundless, it’s vital to your career that you address it as soon as possible. The first opportunity you receive word of an Administrative Complaint against you, contact a trusted professional license attorney to help safeguard your future as a licensed Florida mold inspector.

What Does a Mold Inspector Do?

In Florida, a mold inspector is a licensed professional who performs assessments searching for mold growth and identifying the source and location. A mold inspector must communicate thoroughly with property owners to learn where there are moisture problems, water damage, or any areas suspected of mold growth in a house or building.

Florida Statute 468.8411(3) defines a mold assessment as:

“…A process performed by a mold assessor that includes the physical sampling and detailed evaluation of data obtained from a building history and inspection to formulate an initial hypothesis about the origin, identity, location, and extent of amplification of mold growth of greater than 10 square feet.”

Why Is It Important for a Mold Inspector to be Licensed in Florida?

A valid license is required to be a mold inspector in Florida. To become licensed, mold inspectors must have the necessary education and at least four years of documented field experience in microbial sampling or investigations, with documented instruction in mold, water, and respiratory protection, and other training. This requirement is mandatory and was implemented to protect citizens in Florida.

Who Licenses Mold Inspectors in Florida?

In Florida, mold investigators must attain a Valid Florida State Mold Assessor License through the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR). The DBPR must find individuals to be of good moral character and qualified before granting a mold inspector license. To practice, mold inspectors must also have general liability and errors and omissions insurance coverage of at least $1 million. The DBPR is also responsible for issuing certifications to mold inspection companies, so they’re eligible to employ mold inspectors.

Could Complaints Against Mold Inspectors Result in Disciplinary Action?

Licensed mold inspectors in Florida may face disciplinary action from complaints related to negligible mold assessments in a house or building. According to Florida Statute 468.842, grounds for discipline against a licensed Florida mold inspector include:

  • Failing to provide a thorough inspection and negligently missing an infestation
  • Preparing a misleading or false report on the condition of a home or building
  • Being convicted of a crime which relates to their profession
  • Advertising false or misleading services for financial gain
  • Performing mold inspections or related work without a valid license
  • Filing a false complaint against another professional licensee

Failing to identify mold growth can cause life-threatening illness to anyone living within the home or building. Licensed mold inspectors must be meticulous in their assessments to ensure any need for mold remediation or treatment.

How Would Someone File a Complaint Against a Florida Mold Inspector?

Anyone who wants to file an Administrative Complaint against a licensed Florida mold inspector would do so by contacting the DBPR and completing a Uniform Complaint Form. The DBPR’s online service allows the public to confirm that a professional’s license is valid and file complaints.

How Does the Complaint Process Operate in Florida?

After the DBPR is notified of a complaint against a licensed mold inspector, the complaint is evaluated by an investigator who will further examine your case. The investigation contains collecting information that will be used in determining whether the complaint has adequate legal grounds to move forward.

Information collected during a DBPR investigation typically includes:

  • Interviews with complainants
  • Interviews with the subject of the complaint
  • Interviews with witnesses
  • Issuing subpoenas
  • Recording sworn statements
  • Gathering detailed evidence
  • Preparing reports

As a licensed Florida mold inspector, it is strongly recommended that you secure the services of a knowledgeable and qualified professional license attorney as soon as possible to assist you in creating a reply to the investigation. An experienced lawyer can often close the inquiry before it goes forward and becomes available to the public. At this point, you have the best chance of saving your career and reputation from damage.

If the investigation procures enough proof to move the allegation to the next step, the complaint will be reviewed by a Probable Cause Panel. That will typically involve members on the CILB who review the documents and evidence tied to the claim.

During this process, it is vital that you have your defense attorney and you do not attempt to handle the situation alone.

The Probable Cause Panel Assesses the Complaint

If the DBPR investigation discovers sufficient information to push the Administrative Complaint forward, it will be reviewed by a Probable Cause Panel, which reviews evidence to support the complaint along with rules of regulations that were violated. Because there is no Board of Mold Assessors in Florida, the investigation is handled entirely by the DBPR.

 

During this process, it’s essential that you have counsel with a trusted license defense lawyer, and you do not try to handle it on your own.

 

The panel review may lead to three possible results:

  • Finding no probable cause: a dismissal of the case
  • Issuing a letter of guidance: a determination that a minor violation did occur
  • Issuing a formal Administrative Complaint: the most severe of outcomes

A determination of “no probable cause” means there was insufficient evidence to establish that you violated any rule or regulation. A “letter of guidance” is not a disciplinary action, but can still damage your professional reputation. If a formal Administrative Complaint is issued against you, the Administrative Complaint process proceeds to the next step.

What’s the Process of an Administrative Complaint?

An Administrative Complaint describes the evidence and information found against you during the investigation, along with the specific laws or regulations you’re accused of violating. At this time, the complaint becomes public record. Even if the complaint is tossed out, your reputation as a qualified mold inspector could be damaged. After consulting with your attorney, you can determine 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 argue with any of the allegations against you, nor do you want to reveal any new evidence. Instead, you’re accepting the complaints, and the DBPR will make a definitive decision on penalties that will be imposed against you.

Formal Hearing

If you wish to dispute the allegations and evidence found against you during the investigation, you move forward to 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 considers the evidence from both sides and makes a final Recommended Order to the DBPR. The Department then makes a final decision on what disciplinary actions you’ll face.

Keep in mind that you can appeal the decision by filing a petition for judicial review if your mold inspector’s license is suspended or revoked. Your attorney is your most valued partner and a critical part of your defense team when going through this process – always seek advice from them before making a final decision.

How Can a Professional License Defense Attorney Assist?

At The Umansky Law Firm, our professional license defense team examines every case in great detail to discover the facts and the best way to proceed. In general, some complaints against mold inspectors can go to criminal court and face criminal charges. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer with thorough experience professional license defense is crucial.

Our attorneys can help you in some of the following ways:

  • Review the complaint against you and develop a defense by securing evidence, documents, and witnesses that help you
  • Prevent you from incriminating yourself as you defend against the allegations
  • Defend against potential criminal charges that can arise from the complaint
  • Establish the motive or bias behind the person who made the complaint against you
  • Help you respond to the Probable Cause Investigation by securing documents, witnesses, and other methods to establish 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 penalties the Department may want to take
  • Present evidence, witnesses, and cross-examine witnesses at a Formal Review Hearing
  • Help dispute the findings at an informal review hearing
  • Appeal the hearing

Trusted Mold Inspector Defense Attorneys in Orlando

If you have been accused of committing an act where the State may revoke or suspend your license or business activities, call The Umansky Law Firm to defend you. As experienced trial lawyers, we can help you develop a strong defense against the claims you face that may include dismissal of the citation, complaint, or claim against you. Because we have a criminal defense background that includes government agencies, fraud, and other crimes, 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 defense attorneys, former prosecutors, and some have experience working directly for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. To speak with an administrative attorney today about your Florida mold inspector license, complete an online contact form or call at (407) 228-3838.