California Business & Professions Code Section 7028.1 BPC: Engaging In Asbestos / Underground Tank Work Without Certification

1. Definition and Elements of the Crimeasbestos

Working with asbestos or underground tanks is highly dangerous labor that can potentially cause serious injuries or property damage if not properly conducted by someone who knows what they are doing. Engaging in asbestos related work or in the installation or removal of underground storage tanks without proper certification is a misdemeanor under California Business and Professions Code Section 7028.1 BPC, regardless of whether or not the defendant is a licensed contractor.

In order to establish that the defendant is guilty of engaging in asbestos / underground tank work without certification, the following must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant performed or engaged in asbestos-related work, without certification

  2. OR the defendant performed or engaged in a removal or remedial action involving asbestos without certification

  3. OR the defendant installed or removed an underground storage tank without certification and was not specifically exempt

An underground storage tank is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 90 percent of its combined volume underground. These tanks are often used to store petroleum and similar material.

2. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. Contracting without a License – California Business and Professions Code Section 7028 BPC

  2. Fraudulent Use of a Contractor’s License Number – California Business and Professions Code Section 7027.3 BPC
3. Examples

A man is a licensed contractor who deals with large-scale construction removal projects. The man contracts to complete a teardown of a historic property. While surveying the scene, the man notices that there is a substantial amount of asbestos that must be removed as part of the project. The man is not certified to remove asbestos, however he agrees to remove it as part of the job. This man could be charged with engaging in asbestos removal without certification pursuant to California Business and Professions Code Section 7028.1 BPC. In another example, a licensed contractor is engaging in a massive renovation of a property’s foundation. While digging up the foundation, the contractor realizes that there is a damaged septic tank underground. The man removes the tank and repairs it for the homeowners. The man would not be guilty under California Business and Professions Code Section 7028.1 BPC, because septic tanks do not qualify as underground storage tanks pursuant to the statute.

4. Defenses to Engaging in Asbestos / Underground Tank Work Without Certification

If the defendant did not knowingly engage in asbestos removal or asbestos related work, he or she would not be criminally liable under California Business and Professions Code Section 7028.1 BPC. This may occur where the defendant is contracted for a certain type of job and only discovers the unexpected presence of asbestos while in the middle of the project.

5. Penalties

Engaging in asbestos / underground tank work without proper certification is a misdemeanor offense. A first conviction is punishable by a fine between $1000 and $3000 and by the possible revocation or suspension of any contractor’s license. Any subsequent offense is punishable by a fine between $3000 and $5000 and up to a year in jail or by both the fine and imprisonment. In these cases, mandatory suspension or revocation of the defendant’s contractor’s license would be ordered.

6. Criminal Defense for Engaging in Asbestos / Underground Tank Work Without Certification Cases

If you are under investigation for engaging in asbestos / underground tank work without certification, or have been charged with this crime, it is imperative that you meet with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer right away. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut knows how best to defend clients charged with white collar offenses such as this. Mr. Kraut understands the potential collateral consequences that a conviction for offenses like this can trigger and Mr. Kraut works tirelessly to ensure his client’s rights are absolutely protected. In many cases, Mr. Kraut’s early intervention before a case has been filed has resulted in charges being significantly reduced or even dropped entirely.

For more information about engaging in asbestos / underground tank work without certification, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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