FLORIDA PROFESSIONAL LICENSE BLOG

Are you being investigated for not reporting a conviction or plea to the Florida Real Estate Commission?

FREC Investigation

Unfortunately, there may be times when you find yourself on the wrong side of the law. That arrest could lead to you making a plea deal with the prosecutor, or going all the way to trial and facing the reality of being found guilty of your crime.  As a licensed real estate agent, your troubles do not end there. Did you report your plea deal or guilty conviction to the Florida Real Estate Commission? Depending on when you report or whether you report, your license could be in jeopardy.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can take disciplinary action against your license if you fail to report to them that you have been convicted or found guilty of a crime anywhere. The law in particular states your license can be disciplined for:

Failing to report in writing to the board or, if there is no board, to the department within 30 days after the licensee is convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction. A licensee must report a conviction, finding of guilt, plea, or adjudication entered before the effective date of this paragraph within 30 days after the effective date of this paragraph.

Section 455.227(1)(t), Florida Statutes requires you to report such conviction or plea. Note most importantly that you have 30 days to report to the Commission. No matter the type of crime, you must report it to FREC.

Penalties for failure to report are:

Offense

First Offense

Second & Subsequent Offenses

$250 to $1,000 administrative fine and suspension to revocation$1,000 to $5,000 administrative fine and suspension to revocation

For a first offense, you could face an administrative fine of $250 up to $1,000. Your license could also be suspended, or revoked. If you have two or more offenses, you could face an administrative fine of $1,000 up to $5,000. Your license could also be suspended, or revoked. It is important to note that your license could be taken away from you for your first offense of this statute.

However there are factors that the FREC could use in determining the penalty you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public, whether you have had prior disciplinary issues, and/or the degree of financial hardship to the consumer.

If you find that you have been served with an administrative complaint for a violation of this statute, you should contact the experienced and qualified attorneys of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law to handle your case. Call 850-877-7776 and ask for Jeffrey Howell or Rickey Strong for a FREE consultation.

Have you  plead to a crime directly relating to the activities of a real estate broker or sales associate?

Have you found yourself in a situation with the law where you end up negotiating a plea deal for activities you were involved with as a real estate broker or sales associate? Even worse, have you found yourself on the wrong side of a criminal court conviction or being found guilty of a crime that relates to your practice of being a broker or sales associate? If you have, there is more for you to worry about than the plea deal or sentence given to you by the judge. The Florida Real Estate Commission will inquire or even issue an administrative complaint against your broker or sales associate license.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can take disciplinary action against your license if you are found to have been:

Convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the activities of a licensed broker or sales associate, or involves moral turpitude or fraudulent or dishonest dealing. The record of a conviction certified or authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the state shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such guilt.

This statute applies to you if you have been convicted or found guilty of, or enter a plea of no contest to, a crime. It involves both pleas and convictions. The crime could take place anywhere, not just in Florida. The crime could directly relate to the activities of a licensed broker or sales associate. So the crime is something that could go to the heart of your profession. Notice, however, that the crime could also involve moral turpitude or fraudulent or dishonest dealing, outside of the licensed broker/sales associate realm. It should also be noted that the record of a certified or authenticated conviction can be used against you in the same manner it could be used in state court.

Penalties for these offenses are:

OffenseFirst Offense

Second and Subsequent Offenses

$250 to $1,000 administrative fine and 30 day suspension up to revocation$1,000 to $5,000 administrative fine and suspension to revocation

If this is your first offense, you could face a $250 fine, up to $1,000 in fines. Your license could also be suspended for 30 days and possibly revoked. If this is your second offense or more, the fines range from $1,000 to $5,000. Your license can be suspended for a longer period of time and your license could also be revoked.

You should also be aware that there are certain factors that FREC could use in determining the penalty you face. These facts could reduce or enhance the penalties you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public or whether you have had prior discipline.

If you find that you have been served with an administrative complaint for a violation of this statute, you should contact the experienced and qualified attorneys of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law to handle your case. Call 850-877-7776 and ask for Jeffrey Howell or Rickey Strong for a FREE consultation.

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