Has the Contractor Been Convicted of a Crime?
Before 2005 the state license board didn’t know and didn’t report.
Was your contractor licensed before 2005? The chances are a likely yes.
Before 2005 when a contractor applied for a license or license renewal they were asked to disclose if they had a criminal record. What they shared (or didn’t share) was accepted. End of conversation. Contractors were not fingerprinted and criminal background checks weren’t conducted. Like many authoritative governmental agencies there were staffing issues that precluded such safeguards.
Kind of scary, isn’t it?
Fortunately, in 2005 things changed for the better. The board began conducting background checks and taking fingerprints on all licensed contractors and their personnel. If charges are filed against someone who became licensed during or after 2005, the board’s alliance with the Department of Justice will provide the needed action and/or alert.
Each year the licensing board received nearly 6000 arrest notices. Most relate to drug and alcohol sale or abuse. These are not recorded by the board, but the board always has the option to look into the allegations and determine if they are related to construction. If they are not related to construction, they do not impact the status of a contractor’s license who is otherwise in good standing. If the arrest is related to a violent or sexual crime, this will be reflected on the license without needing to wait for a possible conviction.
If the charge is deemed to be related to construction, the board will investigate and note on the license an investigation is being conducted (or if a conviction has been made.) If a serious crime is not alleged the board will wait for charges to be filed before determining if an investigation is necessary. Once an investigation is opened, it will be noted on the license for the public to see.
Most of us will want to know this information. Whether a crime was or was not committed on the job, who we have in our home is a very personal choice. Indeed, we want to feel most safe, when we’re in our home.