Licensed contractors face disciplinary action by the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) for such offenses as:
- crimes involving moral turpitude (including crimes of violence, fraud, or theft)
- Failure to complete a construction project,
- Diversion of money or property,
- Fraudulent or deceitful acts,
- Unfair business practices, and/or
- Substandard workmanship
The NSCB usually attempts to address complaints against contractors through a “Notice to Correct.” Though if problems persist, the NSCB will commence disciplinary proceedings and hold an administrative hearing. If the NSCB finds that you committed misconduct, the NSCB can either:
- give a reprimand,
- order you to do corrective building work,
- impose a $10,000 fine, and/or
- suspend, revoke, or limit the scope of your license
Since the stakes are so high, you are encouraged to hire private counsel to represent you at administrative hearings.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. How does the Nevada Contractors Board work?
- 2. Can I apply for a contractors license with a criminal record?
- 3. What triggers disciplinary action?
- 4. What happens if there is a complaint against me?
- 5. What happens at a disciplinary hearing?
- 6. Can I go to jail for building without a license?
- 7. Other occupational licenses in Nevada
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 NSCB 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 NSCB 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 you from obtaining a contractor’s license, but it may weigh against your favor. The NSCB considers many factors, including
- general character and
- proof of financial responsibility.
The NSCB evaluates your financial responsibility not only on the basis of net worth and credit history. The NSCB also takes into account your
- past convictions of felonies and/or
- crimes involving moral turpitude (which comprises crimes of violence, fraud, or theft).
If you have a criminal record, you are required to fill out a criminal disclosure form for each conviction and include the following information:
- 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 you have been paid
- details, facts, and circumstances of the offense, including what led to it, the victim, and losses suffered
- explanation of why you committed the crime
- rehabilitation efforts, with supporting documentation
The NSCB warns that you will be disqualified if you do not disclose all your criminal convictions, even those that have been sealed. Therefore, you are encouraged to consult with an attorney first to discuss whether there could be a legal way around revealing sealed records.2
Learn more about sealing criminal records in Nevada.
3. What triggers disciplinary actions?
As a contractor, you are subject to disciplinary actions by the NSCB 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 your license
- Fraudulent or deceitful acts
- Unfair business practices
- Substandard workmanship
- Failure to abide by rules re. residential photovoltaic systems used to produce electricity
You also face disciplinary action for not notifying the NSCB if you get convicted of any of the following offenses:
- a crime against a child,
- a sexual offense,
- voluntary manslaughter,
- any felony, and/or
- any other felony or crime involving moral turpitude
You 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 NSCB receives a complaint against you, it will notify you within 10 days and commence an investigation. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the investigation may involve an NSCB member or contracted employee visiting the job site to evaluate workmanship.
4.1. Notice to Correct
If the investigator concludes that the complaint lacks merit, the NSCB will notify you and the consumer (complainant) in writing. Otherwise, the investigator will send you a Notice to Correct, which enumerates the issues that you must address.
These Notices to Correct are sent within five (5) days of any job site visit. You are typically given up to 20 or 30 days to comply with the NSCB’s orders.
4.2. Notice of Hearing and Complaint
If you do not comply with the Notice to Correct, the NSCB may commence disciplinary proceedings by mailing you a Notice of Hearing and Complaint. This Notice outlines the specific statutes that you allegedly violated.
You then have 20 days from the mailing to respond to the allegations. Neglecting to respond constitutes an admission of the complaint’s allegations, and the NSCB can suspend or revoke your license without a hearing.
Once you respond to the Notice of Hearing and Complaint, the NSCB will schedule an administrative hearing. You 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?
NSCB administrative hearings resemble a trial:
Prior to the hearing, you and NSCB can engage in trial-prep-like activities such as deposing witnesses and issuing subpoenas. You may bring an attorney to the hearing to represent you. The hearing itself consists of
- presenting evidence,
- calling witnesses, and
- cross-examining witnesses.
At the end of the hearing, the NSCB will make a decision. If the NSCB finds you committed a violation, it may impose any of the following disciplinary actions:
- a reprimand with or without an increase in the amount of your 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 NSCB issues a written decision within 30 days of the hearing. The NSCB 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: |
|2nd-time offense||gross misdemeanor: |
|Subsequent offense||category E felony: |
Furthermore, having a conviction for contracting without a license can potentially bar you from getting a Nevada contractors license in the future.
7. Other occupational licenses
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 nursing license revocations and suspensions.
Dentists and dental hygienists are entitled to a disciplinary hearing if accused of crimes moral turpitude or unprofessional conduct. See more in our article on license revocations or suspensions for dentists.
Doctors who commit crimes or misconduct risk having a license suspension or revocation by the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners. Learn more about medical license revocations and suspensions.
7.4. Real Estate Brokers
Real estate brokers and sellers risk a license loss for violating the rules imposed by the Nevada Real Estate Commission. Learn more in our article on disciplinary proceedings and license revocations for real estate brokers and salespeople.
Attorneys convicted of certain offenses or violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct may be disciplined by the Nevada State Bar. Learn more about attorney license disbarment or suspension.
Accountants risk a certificate loss for getting convicted of certain offenses or committing unprofessional conduct. Learn more in our article about disciplinary proceedings and license suspensions for accountants.
7.7. Social Workers
Social workers face license suspension or revocation in Nevada for certain criminal convictions or acts of misconduct. Go to our article about suspending or revoking social worker’s licenses in disciplinary hearings.
Nevada teachers risk license loss for convictions of felonies, crimes involving moral turpitude, or sex offenses with pupils. See our article about suspending or revoking teaching licenses.
Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney…
Is your contractor’s license in jeopardy? Call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys to consult on your case. We will do everything to help you keep your license and your job.
Facing discipline in California? See our article on California contractor’s licenses and disciplinary actions.
Facing discipline in Colorado? See our article on Colorado contractor’s licenses and disciplinary actions.