Increased Penalties for Unlicensed Activity
Added Language Below
493.6120 Violations; penalty.—
(1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person whoengages in any activity for which this chapter requires a license and who does not hold the required license commits:
1. For a first violation, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
2. For a second or subsequent violation, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s 775.084, and the department may seek the imposition of a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply if the person engages in unlicensed activity within 90 days after the date of the expiration of his or her license.
(2)(a) A person who, while impersonating a security officer, private investigator, recovery agent, or other person required to have a license under this chapter, knowingly and intentionally forces another person to assist the impersonator in an activity within the scope of duty of a professionallicensed under this chapter commits a felony of the thirddegree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.775.084.
(b) A person who violates paragraph (a) during the course of committing a felony commits a felony of the second degree,punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) A person who violates paragraph (a) during the course of committing a felony resulting in death or serious bodily injury to another human being commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.775.084.
Goes into effect: July 1, 2013
As many of you are aware, unlicensed activity is a serious problem throughout Florida. In the past, violators would face only a slap on the hand and would be back to defrauding the public the very next week. Frequently they were individuals who could not legally obtain a Class "C” or "CC” license because of a criminal background or lack of experience.
Every time an unlicensed person got a job, they stole work from professional licensed investigators. Because of FALI's dedication to our profession, we proposed legislation that would increase penalties for unlicensed activity under Chapter 493. Through our ongoing efforts in the legislature, that bill today has passed every committee in both the Senate and the House, without opposition, and was voted on in both chambers, again without opposition. As I write this, the bill is heading for enrollment to be prepared for Governor Scott's signature. (Signed into law June 14th, 2013)
Under this new law, which would go into effect on July 1, 2013, a first-time conviction would be a misdemeanor. Second and subsequent violations would be considered a third-degree felony with a civil penalty up to $10,000.
As a reminder, the FALI website has a place to report suspected unlicensed activities, which we then forward to the Division of Licensing.
If you have any questions concerning legislation or rules affecting you as an investigator, please feel free to give me a call.
T: (850) 561-3990