When can the Nevada State Contractors Board impose discipline and suspend your license?

Licensed contractors face disciplinary action by the Nevada State Contractors Board for such offenses as:

  • crimes of violence, fraud, or theft ("crimes involving moral turpitude"),
  • Failure to complete a construction project,
  • Diversion of money or property,
  • Fraudulent or deceitful acts,
  • Unfair business practices, and/or
  • Substandard workmanship

The Contractors Board usually attempts to address complaints against contractors through a "Notice to Correct." But if problems persist, the Board will commence disciplinary proceedings and hold an administrative hearing. If the Board finds that the contractor has committed misconduct, the Board can either:

  • give a reprimand,
  • order the contractor to do corrective building work,
  • impose a $10,000 fine, and/or
  • suspend, revoke, or limit the scope of the contractor's license

Since the stakes are so high, licensed contractors are encouraged to hire private counsel to represent them at administrative hearings.

In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:

Contractor's hands on a laptop on a work table
Licensed contractors face discipline in Nevada for committing misconduct.

1. How does the Nevada State Contractors Board work?

The Nevada State Contractors Board (abbreviated NSCB) is the state association tasked with granting contractors licenses, investigating complaints, and levying discipline. The Board consists of seven (7) Nevada Governor appointees, including:

  • 6 licensed contractors with at least 5 years of experience, and
  • 1 non-contractor to represent the general public.

The Board meets several times a year, and it makes its agendas and minutes available online.1

2. Can I apply for a Nevada contractors license with a criminal record?

Having a criminal record does not automatically bar someone from obtaining a contractor's license, but it may weigh against his/her favor. The Contractors Board considers many factors, including general character and proof of financial responsibility...

The Board evaluates an applicant's financial responsibility not only on the basis of net worth and credit history. The Board also takes into account the applicant's past convictions of felonies and/or crimes involving moral turpitude (which comprises crimes of violence, fraud, or theft).

Applicants with a criminal record are required to fill out a criminal disclosure form for each conviction and include the following information:

Male contractor
The Contractors Board consider a person's financial responsibility when determining whether to grant him/her a license.
  • arresting agency (such as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
  • plea/conviction date
  • court case or docket number
  • court name and location
  • violation code(s)
  • sentence (such as fines, community service, or jail)     
  • dates of incarceration, release, and probation/parole (if applicable)
  • fines and/or fine amounts, and whether they have been paid    
  • details, facts, and circumstances of the offense, including what led to it, the victim, and losses suffered
  • explanation of why the applicant committed the crime
  • rehabilitation efforts, with supporting documentation

The Board warns applicants that they will be disqualified if they do not disclose all their criminal convictions, even those that have been sealed. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to consult with an attorney first to discuss whether there could be a legal way around revealing sealed records.2

3. What triggers disciplinary actions against Nevada contractors?

Contractors are subject to disciplinary actions by the Contractors Board for committing various crimes or acts of misconduct, including:

  • Failure to complete a construction project
  • Disregarding of plans, specifications, laws, or regulations
  • Diversion of money or property
  • Failure to keep records or maintain bond
  • Acting beyond the scope of one's license
  • Fraudulent or deceitful acts
  • Unfair business practices
  • Substandard workmanship

Contractors also face disciplinary action for not notifying the Board if they get convicted of any of the following offenses: 

Male contractor
Licensed contractors are required to notify the Contractors Board if they are convicted of a felony.
  • a crime against a child,
  • a sexual offense,
  • murder,
  • voluntary manslaughter,
  • any felony, and/or
  • any other felony or crime involving moral turpitude

Contractors are required to disclose these convictions whether they occurred in Nevada or another state.3

4. What happens if there is a complaint against me made to the Nevada Contractors Board?

When the Contractors Board receive a complaint against a contractor, it will notify the contractor within 10 days and commence an investigation. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the investigation may involve a Board member or contracted employee visiting the jobsite to evaluate workmanship.

4.1. Notice to Correct

If the investigator concludes that the complaint lacks merit, the Board will notify the contractor and consumer (complainant) in writing. Otherwise, the investigator will send the contractor a Notice to Correct, which enumerates the issues that the contractor must address.

These Notices to Correct are sent to contractors within five (5) days of any jobsite visit. Contractors are typically given up to 20 or 30 days to comply with the Board's orders.

4.2. Notice of Hearing and Complaint

If the contractor does not comply with the Notice to Correct, the Board may commence disciplinary proceedings by mailing a Notice of Hearing and Complaint to the accused contractor. This Notice outlines the specific statutes that the contractor allegedly violated.

The contractor then has 20 days from the mailing to respond to the allegations. Neglecting to respond constitutes an admission of the complaint's allegations, and the Board can suspend or revoke the contractor's license without a hearing.

Once the accused contractor responds to the Notice of Hearing and Complaint, the Board will schedule an administrative hearing. The contractor will get about 30 days of advanced notice of the hearing's date. Scroll down to the next section to learn more.4

5. What happens at Nevada contractor disciplinary hearings?

hard hat in front of brick wall with text "licensed contractor"
Nevada licensed contractors are entitled to have an attorney represent them during an administrative hearing in front of the Contractors Board.

Nevada Contractor Board administrative hearings resemble a trial:

Prior to the hearing, the contractor and Board can engage in trial-prep-like activities such as deposing witnesses and issuing subpoenas. Contractors may bring an attorney to the hearing to represent them. And the hearing itself consists of presenting evidence, calling witnesses, and cross-examining witnesses. 

At the end of the hearing, the Board will make a decision. If the Board finds the contractor committed a violation, it may impose any of the following disciplinary actions:

  • a reprimand with or without an increase in the amount of the contractor's surety bond or cash deposit,
  • fines of up to $10,000,
  • orders to do corrective building work,
  • limitation on scope of license
  • no new renewals of license,
  • license suspension, and/or
  • license revocation

The Board issues a written decision within 30 days of the hearing. The Board also makes disciplinary actions public and searchable through its online database.5

6. Can I go to jail for contracting without a license in Nevada?

Perhaps, but probably not for a first-time offense. Penalties increase for each successive offense for contracting without a license from the Nevada Contractor's Board:

Nevada conviction of contracting without a license Penalties

1st-time offense

misdemeanor:

  • up to $1,000 in fines, and
  • up to 6 months in jail (at the judge's discretion), and
  • possible restitution payments

2nd-time offense

gross misdemeanor:

  • $2,000 to $4,000 in fines, and
  • up to 364 days in jail (at the judge's discretion), and
  • possible restitution payments

Subsequent offense

category E felony:

  • $5,000 to $10,000 in fines, and
  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison (at the judge's discretion), and
  • possible restitution payments6

Furthermore, having a conviction for contracting without a license can potentially bar the person from getting a Nevada contractors license in the future.

7. Other occupational licenses

7.1. Nursing

The Nevada Nursing Board oversees the state's nurses and nursing assistants. This Board adopts regulations, administers hearings, and hands down disciplinary measures for misconduct. Learn more about Nevada nursing license revocations and suspensions.

7.2. Real Estate Brokers

Real estate brokers and sellers risk losing their license if they violate the rules imposed by the Nevada Real Estate Commission. Learn more in our article on disciplinary proceedings and license revocations for Nevada real estate brokers and salespeople.

7.3. Doctors

Doctors who commit crimes or misconduct risk having their license suspended or revoked by the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners. Learn more about Nevada medical license revocations and suspensions.

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Call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE for a FREE consultation.

Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...

Is your contractors license in jeopardy? Call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to consult on your case for free. We will do everything to help you keep your license and your job.

Facing discipline in California? See our article on California contractors licenses and disciplinary actions.


Legal References:

  1. NRS 624.040. 
  2. NRS 624.266; NRS 624.263.
  3. NRS 624.301 to NRS 624.305; NRS 624.266.
  4. Complaint Forms, Nevada Contractors Board.
  5. NRS 624.300; NRS 624.500.
  6. NRS 624.700.
  7. NRS 624.263.

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