San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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Unsatisfied Judgments can Lead to Criminal Charges, and More.

Unsatisfied judgments can lead to criminal charges. That’s right. If you get sued and you do not resolve the law suit, this can lead to the loss of your driver’s license, contractor’s license or other state issued license. It can cost you your job, income, or lead to criminal charges. The same is true if you fail to pay child support. Don’t ignore that summons and complaint (lawsuit) because it won’t go away. It will only get worse.

I recently had a client get served with a lawsuit. He didn’t call me. In fact, he didn’t call me until the lawsuit went to judgment and his bank account was levied. This means, he was sued, he failed to respond, the other side got a judgment against him and a court order to go collect on it. They found a bank account of his and took what was in it. All the while, the amount of their judgment is increasing because it is accruing interest every year.

My client called me to ask me to do something about it. He told me the claim was based upon a dispute with his worker’s compensation insurance company from three years prior. Only he never resolved the dispute. The insurance company turned the debt over to a collections lawyer who sued him and got a judgment. And it gets worse.

My client runs a construction company. He has over a dozen employees and needs a contractor’s license to do his job. The judgment creditor or lawyer for the insurance company notified the Contractor’s State Licensing Board about the debt. They are about to notify my client that he has 90 days to clear up this debt otherwise he is going to have his contractor’s license suspended. If he loses his license, he can’t work. Well, he can work, but he would be committing a crime if he does.

What to do now? Now we reach out to the creditor and settle the debt as quickly as we can. Settling this debt is a lot cheaper than even being without a contractor’s license for a day. If my client loses his license, every job he is working on must stop. He risks losing tens of thousands of dollars in contracts and future business as well. If he continues to work without a license, he risks criminal charges and not being able to collect fees for work performed without a license.

The same general principles apply to judgments resulting from car accident, unpaid child support and any other unsatisfied judgment. The judgment must be “reasonably related” to the type of work which requires the license in order for the license to get suspended. In my example, worker’s compensation insurance is always considered reasonably related to the business as businesses are required to have such insurance to operate lawfully and protect their employees.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime related to operating a business without a license or you are dealing with losing a license from an unpaid judgment, call me, Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340, email me at: or visit my sites for more information: or