Bureau Of Automotive Repair Law Firm California
Defending The Licenses Of Automotive Workers
A car is a highly technical piece of machinery that we expect to function properly when we need it and get us from Point A to Point B safely. That means extensive training is necessary to be able to properly repair it and make sure it is safe to drive.
The professional licensing needed to work on cars in almost any capacity is difficult to acquire and requires a significant investment in time and money for training. At S J Harris Law, we understand how important it is that you hold onto your license to be able to have the career you want.
Based in Los Angeles, we serve clients throughout California, from north of the Bay Area to Southern California. Schedule a free consultation today.
Bureau of Automotive Repair License Denial
The Bureau of Automotive Repair has specific guidelines on who is eligible to get a repair license. These guidelines include the ability for the Board to deny a license to an applicant who has been convicted of a crime within the previous seven years that relates to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee. This seven-year rule does not apply in other specific cases, including:
- If the applicant was previously convicted of a serious felony; or
- A felony financial crime that relates to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee.
If the applicant is or was licensed in another state and faced professional license discipline within the previous seven years, then the applicant may have their license denied by the Board. An arrest that did not result in a conviction is not to be considered by the Board when determining whether to issue a license. If an applicant made a knowingly false statement on his or her application for licensure, then the Board may deny a license.
If the Board denies an automotive repair license, then the applicant must be notified of the following in writing:
- The denial and reasons behind it;
- The existing appellate procedure;
- That the applicant has the right to file an appeal; and
- The process of how to question the accuracy of a conviction record if one is at issue.
If you are facing an automotive repair license denial, then it is important to get in touch with an experienced automotive repair license defense attorney.
Bureau of Automotive Repair Accusation
The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) receives thousands of complaints each year accusing California automotive repair shops and workers of some type of fraud or other violation of the Automotive Repair Act or Smog Check Program violation. It is easy to file a claim online through the Bureau’s website. Once an automotive repair worker or shop is accused of misconduct, then they can face an investigation from the enforcement branch of the BAR.
If the investigation of a complaint finds that the licensee may have violated automotive repair law or another form of statutory misconduct such as the Smog Check Program, then the licensee will receive a “Notice of Accusation” letter. California automotive repair shops and workers who receive a Notice of Accusation are immediately put on the clock to respond and defend themselves.
An automotive repair shop or worker who receives an accusation has 15 days from the date of the proof of service to file a “Notice of Defense.” The actual defenses may or may not need to be included in this notice, but the notice must be filed to inform the BAR that the licensee plans to defend themselves against the accusations. If the licensee does not respond to a Notice of Accusation, then this can result in a default against the licensee and a waiver of certain rights.
An experienced automotive repair license defense attorney can pinpoint what defenses must be raised in a Notice of Defense, as well as help you determine what the appropriate plan of action should be in defending your case if you have been sent a Notice of Accusation.
Bureau of Automotive Repair Investigation
Once the BAR receives a complaint, then the complaint will be investigated by a BAR representative. These investigations are not only meant to uncover alleged wrongdoing but also serve to inform the investigator what educational tools might be helpful for the licensee to prevent repeating their misconduct. BAR investigators can use several methods to investigate complaints, including:
- Inspecting violation patterns and trends
- Auto Body Inspection Program findings
- Smog Check Program inspection data
- Undercover surveillance
- Anonymous tips
- Other investigative measures
Once an investigation is complete, then the matter can result in one of four different outcomes. These outcomes are known as a proactive conference, an office conference, a citation, or a formal discipline. If the concerns of the BAR are minimal, then the most likely result is a proactive conference which will require minor changes to come into compliance.
An office conference is likely when the concerns of the BAR are greater and will require more substantive changes from the licensee to come into compliance. If the licensee violated the health and safety code or was involved in unlicensed activity, then the BAR can issue a citation and a fine.
The most serious outcome of a BAR investigation is formal discipline. Allegations of fraud and other conduct that is unsafe to consumers can be referred to the Attorney General’s office for potential license revocation and even criminal charges. If you are facing a complaint of any kind, it is important to understand what the potential penalties are before you make any decisions on how to proceed. Make sure you have the advice of an experienced automotive license defense attorney if you are facing an investigation of any kind.
Defending You Before The Bureau Of Automotive Repair
Whether you are facing allegations of defrauding customers, keeping improper records, abusing alcohol or drugs, or any other type of violation, our firm can help. A former deputy attorney general in California, founding lawyer Scott Harris has prosecuted cases for licensing agencies throughout the state, including the state Bureau of Automotive Repair.
Scott Harris puts that experience to work on behalf of license holders now, representing licensed workers in the automotive repair field, including:
- Automotive repairmen
- Auto-body repairmen
- Smog check station employees
- Brake and lamp specialists
If you have learned that you are the subject of an investigation, obtain legal representation quickly. Scott Harris and the rest of our team understand the complex issues you are dealing with and can build a strong defense that will seek to allow you to keep working and making a living.
Is Your License At Stake? Call Us Today.
If you are facing a citation, interim suspension or the revocation of your professional license, you cannot afford to go it alone. Contact our Los Angeles-based firm today by calling 323-370-6139 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with an attorney.