Tradespeople are a special breed. They work hard for their living, and they do it without much glory. Because tradespeople provide essential services to our communities, many states require certain trades to be licensed in order to regulate these industries and make sure basic standards of safety and professionalism are upheld.
Suffice it to say that if you work in a licensed trade, your livelihood rests on your license. That's why it can throw your world into such upheaval when the state licensing board notifies you of a complaint and that your license is under investigation. All it takes in many cases is a single allegation of wrongdoing--perhaps even caused by a simple misunderstanding--to put your career in jeopardy. Disciplinary actions taken by the licensing board can hurt your professional reputation at best--and cause you to lose your license at worst.
When it comes to imposing penalties, state licensing boards have a wide range of leeway and a relatively low burden of proof. Hiring a professional license defense attorney at the first sign of trouble is your best bet to protecting your professional license and your future. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an experienced license defense attorney who helps licensed tradespeople in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York who are facing possible disciplinary action.
Licensed Tradespeople We Can Help
Many trades are commonly regulated by state licensing boards, and allegations of misconduct, unprofessionalism, or violations of state policies can trigger an investigation. The Lento Law Firm can represent members of any of the following trades who are facing possible board disciplinary action.
Plumbers have to go through extensive training and years of apprenticeship, plus they must qualify for either licensure or certification by the state. Failing to provide reliable, quality workmanship can result in extensive damage to people's property, create environmental health hazards, and erode public trust. Plumbers commonly face disciplinary actions or allegations of wrongdoing such as fraud, false advertising, negligence, code violations, criminal convictions, or operating outside the scope of their license. If you're a plumber accused of these or other violations, we can represent you before the licensing board to answer the complaint and protect your license.
Building inspectors and building code compliance officers help public and private institutions—such as schools, fire stations, hospitals, and factories—maintain safe and compliant buildings. They're tasked with enforcing the local building codes to ensure that new construction is up to code and that existing buildings are kept in good repair.
If you work as a building inspector, you need to know your stuff: each municipality has different codes and regulations, and code violations can result in fines, payment of damages, and potential loss of license. The licensing board may also take action on allegations of negligence, unprofessionalism, falsifying records, criminal convictions, and more. If you're facing such allegations, a good attorney can work to help you answer the complaint, provide corroborating evidence, and minimize the damage to your license.
The job of a fire inspector is to ensure that buildings and their systems--from sprinkler systems to cooking equipment, heating units, and the like--are up to code with regard to fire safety. Most states require fire inspectors to go through many hours of training in order to be licensed or certified. Fire inspectors are often the first line of defense in discovering code violations or other dangers in buildings. A simple oversight can result in costly property damage and even loss of life--which is why your license or certification could be jeopardized over allegations of negligence, falsifying records, or acting outside the scope of your certification, etc. A qualified professional license defense attorney can come to your aid, help you present your side of the story, and work to avert any loss of license.
Electricians and electrical contractors work with electricity, wiring systems, and equipment that can be harmful or dangerous if configured improperly. Many states require electrical contractors to go through several years of intensive training plus time as a journeyman apprentice in order to be licensed. Your professional license provides a guarantee to the public that you have the training and experience to work safely in this environment. Electricians commonly face allegations of negligence ranging from simple code violations to injury or damage incurred by improper wiring. Electricians can also come under investigation for failing to meet continuing education requirements, unprofessional conduct, and other violations of public trust. An experienced attorney can evaluate the nature and circumstances of the complaint against you to develop a compelling and persuasive defense.
Environmental Health Experts
Environmental health experts work to protect the public from harmful exposure caused by pollution, hazardous substances, pests, and other contaminants. They're tasked with enforcing laws that regulate conditions such as sanitation, indoor air quality, lead safety, asbestos controls, and more--and they must be fully trained in all aspects of their field to do a successful job. Many environmental health tradespeople are licensed for specific areas of expertise (e.g., asbestos handling or pest control). If you work in the environmental health sector, the public's well-being depends on how well you execute your duties and the decisions you make--and violations of that trust may be taken very seriously. If you are facing allegations of negligence, unprofessional conduct, falsifying records, criminal convictions, or other violations of public trust resulting in sanctions on your license, we can work on your behalf to mitigate the damage and protect your career.
HVAC technicians are responsible for safely installing and maintaining heating, ventilation, and cooling systems in homes, businesses, public buildings, etc. They may also test ductwork for air quality, leakage, and heat loss, as well as identify potential safety issues. Many states require HVAC technicians to be certified or licensed. Although the majority of HVAC technicians go through intensive training and years on the job before they get licensed, sometimes even veteran professionals can get into hot water over allegations of negligence, unprofessional conduct, false advertising, falsifying records, etc. An experienced attorney representing your interests can help you avoid serious penalties like fines, suspension, or revocation of your license.
General contractors must be duly licensed in many states because they must be skilled in a wide range of construction tasks. They are in charge of overseeing the work to be done according to plans, specifications, and timelines. Allegations of negligence, fraudulent practices, code violations, hiring unskilled help, and other acts of professionalism can put your contractor license in jeopardy, resulting in anything from hefty fines to loss of license. If you're facing possible disciplinary actions from your licensing board, we can intervene to help minimize the damage, and in some cases, even have the complaint dismissed.
Welders are required to be licensed in many states, and they must pass a certification test before they can even begin working. U.S. standards for welding safety require expensive equipment and special precautions to prevent injury from sparks, molten metal, electric shock, and dangerous gases that may result from the process. Violations of safety standards by welders can result in disciplinary actions that include fines, suspension, or revocation of license. If you've been cited for violations and your livelihood and personal finances are on the line, it's vital to retain legal representation as soon as possible to help avoid penalties and prevent any further damage to your reputation.
How Our Firm Can Help
Anytime you face a license investigation without an attorney representing you, the chances of severe penalties go up considerably. This is because most tradespeople are unfamiliar with the disciplinary process and the fact that the licensing board has a wide range of discretion and a low burden of proof to find you to be at fault. As an experienced professional license defense attorney, Joseph D. Lento can greatly improve your chances of coming through the process unscathed and with little or no damage to your license. A good attorney can:
- Act as your legal representative in all contacts with the licensing board
- Strategize with you to create a strong defense for the allegations, including a compelling written response to the complaints
- Gather evidence and witnesses on your behalf
- Interact with the licensing board at numerous points, negotiating for a dismissal of the complaint or for more lenient sanctions
- Act as your legal advocate in any formal hearing (if one is held)
- Help you get your license reinstated if it has already been suspended or revoked
Don't let a misunderstanding, a lapse in judgment, or an unfounded allegation of wrongdoing derail the career you've worked so hard to establish. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have extensive experience helping tradespeople who are facing disciplinary action from their respective licensing boards. Take action now to protect your future by calling the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686.