Contractor License Suspensions for Criminal Convictions in Colorado

Aspiring contractors who have been convicted of a Colorado felony may be disqualified from getting a license. And if currently licensed contractors get a felony conviction, the licensing board may suspend or revoke their license.

Licensed plumbing contractors and electrical contractors are required to report their felony criminal records to the state board within 45 days of the conviction. However, they are entitled to a disciplinary hearing to contest any penalties the board imposes.

Contractors who are caught working without a valid and current license face a Colorado misdemeanor charge for a first-time offense. Furthermore, unauthorized contracting could prevent the contractor from getting a license in the future.

In this article, our Denver criminal defense attorneys discuss how criminal convictions affect contractor licenses in Colorado. Click on a topic to jump to that section:

hard hat and plans
A felony conviction can jeopardize a contractor's license in Colorado.

1. Who regulates contractors licenses in Colorado

The State Plumbing Board regulates plumbing contractors, and the State Electrical Board regulates electrical contractors.

General contractors are typically not regulated by a state agency but by local governments. Therefore, a general contractor would need to get a license in every locale he/she is doing work in. For example:

Colorado locality

Contractor licensing department

Aspen

City of Aspen Building Department

Aurora

City of Aurora Public Works Department

Boulder

City of Boulder Planning & Development Services

Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak Regional Building Department

Denver

Denver's Permitting and Licensing Center

Fort Collins

City of Fort Collins Building Services

Golden

Golden Building Division

Grand Junction

Mesa County Department of Public Works

Littleton

Littleton Building Department

Longmont

City of Longmont Building Inspection

Pueblo

Pueblo Regional Building Department

Vail

Vail Building Safety Inspection Services

2. Applying for a contractors license with a criminal record in Colorado

measuring tools
The Colorado Plumbing Board may deny contractor's licenses to applicants convicted of a felony.

2.1. Plumbing contractors

Applicants for a plumbing contractors license are required to disclose if they have a past felony conviction. (See the felony disclosure form here.)

The State Plumbing Board may deny applicants licenses if they have a past felony conviction.1 The Board is more likely to overlook an applicant's criminal history if:

  • the offense was not serious;
  • the offense does not reflect on the applicant's ability to be a contractor
  • some time has elapsed since the conviction; and
  • the applicant has been rehabilitated and is of "good moral character."2

Applicants who have had past criminal convictions sealed or expunged should contact an attorney to determine whether they are obligated to disclose those cases on the application.

2.2. Electrical contractors

Applicants for an electrical contractors license are required to disclose if they have a past felony conviction. (See the electrical contractor license application here).

The State Electrical Board may deny applicants licenses if they have a past felony conviction.3 The Board is more likely to overlook an applicant's criminal history if:

  • the offense was not serious;
  • the offense does not reflect on the applicant's ability to be a contractor
  • some time has elapsed since the conviction; and
  • the applicant has been rehabilitated and is of "good moral character."4

Applicants who have had past criminal convictions sealed or expunged should contact an attorney to determine whether they are obligated to disclose those cases on the application.

2.3. General contractors

builder
General contractors in Colorado need to get licenses from local departments.

Each local licensing department has its own rules and standards for granting licenses. For instance, the Denver Contractor's License Application does not ask about criminal history. But the Colorado Springs Contractor's License Application does require a criminal background check.5

Applicants who have had past criminal convictions sealed or expunged should contact an attorney to determine whether they are obligated to disclose those cases on the application.  (Read more about Colorado record seals and Colorado record expungements.)

3. Discipline for contractors following a criminal conviction in Colorado

3.1. Plumbing contractors

When Colorado plumbing contractors get convicted of a felony, they are required to report it to the State Plumbing Board within 45 days of the conviction.6The Board may either:

  • take no action,
  • suspend the license,
  • revoke the license,
  • refuse to renew the license, or
  • place the licensee on probation

However, the Board will give the licensee instructions on how to request a hearing by the board or an administrative law judge to contest any disciplinary actions.7

3.2. Electrical contractors

When Colorado electrical contractors get convicted of a felony, they are required to report it to the State Electrical Board within 45 days of the conviction.8The Board may either:

  • take no action,
  • suspend the license,
  • revoke the license,
  • refuse to renew the license, or
  • place the licensee on probation

However, the Board will give the licensee instructions on how to request a hearing by the board or an administrative law judge to contest any disciplinary actions.9

3.3. General contractors

builder and client
Contractors are usually required to self-report if they get convicted of a felony in Colorado.

Each local licensing department has its own disciplinary procedures for licensees who get convicted of a felony. Licensees should contact the board for the latest regulatory policies and disciplinary rules.

4. Fighting discipline by Colorado contracting boards

Contractors are advised to retain counsel when they are facing the possible suspension or revocation of their license. An experienced attorney knows how to compose the necessary paperwork and how best to advocate for the contractor at the hearing. No matter the case, the attorney would try to show how:

  • the conviction does not detract from the contractor's abilities or cast doubt on his/her character;
  • the contractor has taken responsibility for his/her actions;
  • the contractor is honest; and
  • the contractor is an asset to the community

5. Penalties for unauthorized contracting in Colorado

5.1. Plumbing contractors

A first-time offense of a plumbing contractor working without a license is a class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado, carrying a penalty of:

  • 3 to 12 months in jail, and/or
  • $250 to $1,000

A subsequent offense of a plumbing contractor working without a license is a class 6 felony in Colorado, carrying a penalty of:

5.2. Electrical contractors

A first-time offense of a electrical contractor working without a license is a class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado, carrying a penalty of:

  • 3 to 12 months in jail, and/or
  • $250 to $1,000

A subsequent offense of a electrical contractor working without a license is a class 6 felony in Colorado, carrying a penalty of:

  • 1 year to 18 months in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 to $100,000 in fines10

5.3. General contractors

The penalties depend on the local county or municipal code. Contact an attorney to learn the local laws.

6. Other professional licenses in Colorado

6.1. Doctors

Doctors who get convicted of felonies or drug crimes could face license suspension or revocation. Learn more about how criminal convictions affect Colorado medical licenses.

6.2. Dentists

Like doctors, dentists who get convicted of felonies or drug crimes could face license suspension or revocation. Learn more about how criminal convictions affect Colorado dental licenses.

6.3. Nurses

Unlike doctors, nurses do have to get background checks in order to get licensed in Colorado. Learn more about discipline for nurses with criminal convictions in Colorado.

6.4. Real estate agents

Real estate agents have just 30 days to self-report their criminal convictions to the state board. Learn more about discipline for real estate agents in Colorado with criminal convictions.

6.5. Social workers

Social workers are vulnerable to disciplinary punishments for getting convicted of a felony. Learn more about how a criminal record affects social work licenses in Colorado.

6.6. Accountants

CPAs can lose their license for committing a felony or certain misdemeanors. Learn more about how a criminal record affects accountancy licenses in Colorado.

6.7. Lawyers

Attorneys have to report themselves to the Bar if they get convicted of any crime other than a minor traffic offense. Learn more about how a criminal conviction affects law licenses in Colorado.

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Contact our Denver criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation at (303) 222-0330.

Call a Colorado criminal defense attorney...

Are in danger of being denied or losing your contractor's license in Colorado due to a past crime? Call our Denver criminal defense attorneys at 303-222-0330 for a FREE consultation.

We understand that your license is your livelihood, and we will fight to convince the Board that you should be able to keep it.

In California? See our article about how criminal convictions affect contractor licenses in California.

In Nevada? See our article about how criminal convictions affect contractor licenses in Nevada.


Legal References

  1. 12-58-110 C.R.S.
  2. 24-5-101 C.R.S.
  3. 12-23-118 C.R.S.
  4. 24-5-101 C.R.S.
  5. Rob Low, "Contractor awarded license despite criminal history," Fox 31 Denver (September 11, 2016).
  6. 3 CCR 720-1 7.2.1. (State Plumbing Board Code of Colorado Regulations).
  7. 12-58-110 C.R.S.
  8. 3 CCR 710-1 8.2.1. (State Electrical Board Code of Colorado Regulations).
  9. 12-23-118 C.R.S.
  10. 12-58-116 C.R.S.
  11. 12-23-119 C.R.S.

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