It is highly dangerous work to deal with asbestos and underground tank works, which can cause big property damages and serious health injuries if not done correctly. A person (including a licensed contractor) who performs asbestos-related work without certification, or who installs or removes an underground storage tank without certification, is in violation of California’s Business and Professions Code 7028.1 BPC.
What are Asbestos and Underground Tanks?
Asbestos is a high heat resistant fibrous silicate mineral. An underground tank is “a tank and or any underground piping which is connected to the tank, and at least 90 percent of the combined volume of which is underground.” Such tanks are usually used to store petroleum and other similar materials.
California Business and Professional Code with its section 7028.1 make it a crime for a contractor to perform the following actions:
- to perform or hire to perform asbestos-related works without certification
- to install or hire to install underground storage tanks without certification
- to remove or hire to remove underground storage tanks without certification
- to bid for installation or removal of underground storage tanks without certification
According to the text of the law, it does not matter whether you are a licensed or a non-licensed contractor, you shall be certified to conduct the works mentioned above, as your license does not automatically enable you to conduct asbestos-related or underground tank works.
What are the Penalties for Violation of Section 7208.1 of the California Business and Professional Code?
The above-mentioned section is a misdemeanor. In case you commit the violation for the first time, it can result to:
- imposing a penalty in the amount of 1000-3000$
If you violated the relevant section for the second or subsequent time, this can lead to:
- imposing a penalty in the amount of 3000-5000$
- imprisonment in a county jail for a term up to 1 year
In accordance with the aforementioned sanctions, the judge has the authority to grant probation to the defendant.
What are Related Offenses to Violation of Section 7028.1?
Under California Business and Professional Code, among the related offenses is contracting without a license under section 7028 of the mentioned Code.
The relevant section makes it a crime for the person to:
- serve as a contractor without a license from the Contractors State License Board
- operate with a license that has previously been suspended because of a failure to pay a civil penalty or to comply with an order of correction
The offense is a misdemeanor offense and has these charges:
- imprisonment in a county jail for a term up to 6 months
- imposing a fine in the amount of up to 5000$
What are Legal Defenses Against Violation of Section 7028.1 of the California Business and Professional Code?
There are several defenses you can raise to protect yourself from further penalties under the relevant section. Examples of such defenses will be if you were not a contractor while performing the forbidden actions. This means you have not reached any contract to perform these activities. This defense may work as section 7028.1 applies only to contractors.
It can also be if you have not committed the actions knowingly. For example, you touched upon asbestos in the middle of the performance of other types of work, you performed actions not understanding that you are currently dealing with the mentioned material.
You can also use types of such defenses as proving that the police applied overbearing measures to coerce you into confession, with the help of which the judge may exclude the confession from other evidence. It is also possible to try to prove that you are falsely accused of violation of section 7208.1 of the California Business and Professional Code.
Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer
Note that it is essential to have a good defense to mitigate or even dismiss a charge against you. Contact our Glendale personal injury lawyer today for a consultation and case review. Please feel free to give our office a call at 310.943.1171.