FLORIDA PROFESSIONAL LICENSE BLOG

Too much holiday partying? Florida Real Estate Brokers: Commit a Crime, Do Your Time, Lose Your License?

If you’re a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and you are convicted of a crime, even one unconnected to your profession and committed outside Florida, you may not only serve time in prison and be made to pay thousands of dollars in criminal fines, you could also lose your license, and with it your ability to earn a living.

If you are a licensed real estate broker in Florida and have received an administrative complaint from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), you are probably concerned about how this may affect your license. To set up a FREE no-obligation consultation with attorney Jeff Howell or attorney Rickey Strong, contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776. We represent licensed real estate brokers statewide, including out-of-state clients who are concerned about the status of their Florida license.

According to Section 475.25(1)(f), Florida Statutes:

The [Florida real estate] commission . . . may place a licensee, registrant, or permittee on probation; may suspend a license, registration, or permit for a period not exceeding 10 years; may revoke a license, registration, or permit; may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense; and may issue a reprimand, and any or all of the foregoing, if it finds that the licensee, registrant, permittee, or applicant . . . [h]as 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.

According to Rule 61J2-24.001(3)(g), Florida Administrative Code, even if this is your first license-related disciplinary action, the minimum penalty for violating this statute is a 30-day suspension of your license, in addition to a fine in the amount of $250 to $1,000 for each violation. If your license has been disciplined before, the penalty is a suspension or revocation of your license, plus fines of between $1,000 to $5,000 for each violation. (Note that these fines are in addition to any that might be imposed on you by a court of law when you are convicted or sentenced.) Your disciplinary history is a matter of public record, and will be viewable by your clients.

However, these penalties are not set in stone. The Florida Real Estate Commission can take into account any number of aggravating or mitigating factors to increase or lesson the penalties set down in the rules. When you have an experienced real estate attorney fighting for you, you stand a much better chance of receiving the lowest possible penalty, and even of getting the complaint against you dismissed.

Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776 to set up your FREE no-obligation consultation with attorney Jeff Howell or attorney Rickey Strong today. DBPR has experienced attorneys on its side. So should you!

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