For many, owning a home is the essence of the American dream. But with that dream comes a great deal of work. This may include creating or refurbishing outdoor spaces, designing and building unique landscapes, or maintaining areas within your home such as flooring repairs or A/C maintenance. That’s where landscape contractors come in. These individuals focus on improving mainly outdoor spaces by planting flowers and trees, trimming bushes, installing sprinkler systems, and establishing hardscapes such as patios and walkways.
For many Orlando landscaping contractors, a certification is required depending on your business structure and scope of work. To become licensed, you must complete the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association’s Certified Landscape Contractor Program, which requires three years of experience in the horticulture/landscape industry, and completion of both FNGLA’s Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP) and Landscape Technician (FCLT) certifications.
However, if you’re convicted of a criminal offense, your license and certifications may be suspended or revoked, which can affect your livelihood. To make matters worse, if you fail to notify the Board of your conviction or plea deal, it could result in additional penalties beyond the statutory consequences handed down by the state. Here’s what you need to know.
While general garden and yard maintenance doesn’t require licensure, you will need a certification if you plan to apply chemical pesticides. Residential or commercial building turf pesticide applicators need a Commercial Lawn and Ornamental Pest Control License, and if you’re applying pesticides to residential or commercial ornamental beds, you need either the Commercial Lawn and Ornamental License or a Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance Certification.
Likewise, landscape designers who mow, trim, plant and maintain yards require a business license from the State of Florida. Additionally, landscape architects who contour the land for proper drainage, build or install fences and walls, install and maintain irrigation systems, or build structures require a license.
Chemical pesticide licenses are provided and regulated by the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, while general landscape contractor certifications are handed down by the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association. For landscape architects—who are in charge of designing aesthetically pleasing and efficient public parks, gardens, residential lawns, college campuses, and public areas—the Board of Landscape Architecture is the authority that provides licensure.
The Board is supervised by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) that oversees and regulates over one million professionals and businesses in Florida. The Board meets regularly to review applications for new licenses, complaints, and disciplinary cases.
No matter the crime of which you’re accused, it’s crucial to note the professional ramifications and the criminal sanctions you may face. Ultimately, if you enter a plea deal or you’re charged with a crime, the professional Board may find probable cause to penalize your landscape license. Even if you aren’t charged with a crime, breaking your contract’s terms can instigate a disciplinary hearing.
The penalties that you may face if you fail to report your plea deal or conviction—or if you’re found in violation of your Florida landscape license contract—include the following:
As a landscape contractor, failing to report your conviction or plea can risk your license and livelihood. If you think you could lose your license, don’t delay seeking trusted legal defense.
If you’re a licensed or certified landscape contractor who’s facing penalties for failing to report the crime to the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, Department of Business and Professional Regulations, or Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association, don’t hesitate to seek professional legal assistance. For aid in protecting your professional career and rights, look no further than the highly knowledgeable criminal and professional license defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm.
With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team has the resources and expertise to investigate your case and fight for an outcome that’s in your best interest. We understand the ins and outs of Florida administrative laws and stand committed to protecting you from further penalty and harm to your reputation. Call or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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