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Can A Criminal Conviction Result In A Non-Citizen Deportation?

by | Aug 10, 2017 | Criminal Defense

The most common reason a noncitizen is deported from the United States of America is for the conviction of certain crimes. These are “Crimes of Moral Turpitude” and an “Aggravated Felony.” While these particular crimes can be complicated, we will try to show you the ways immigration considers pertinent.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude

If you commit a Crime of Moral Turpitude within 5 -years from the date that you entered the United States, you are placed in proceedings for deportation. If you have two convictions of two separate incidents, you fall into the category of deportation, no matter how many years you have been in the United States.

These examples are not nearly all the situations that can fall into this category. If you are in this situation, please consult an immigration attorney. This is very important. A qualified criminal defense attorney can check the violations you are accused of to see if they fall under the class of Crimes of Moral Turpitude. With that said, here are some of the most common examples.

  • Fraud
  • Larceny
  • Intent to harm a person or thing
  • Crimes that involve theft (and other forms of dishonesty)
  • Assault (usually assault with intent to kill or to rob someone)
  • Domestic abuse of spouse
  • Aggravated DUI

All these crimes (plus others which your criminal defense lawyer can identify) are taken very seriously. The immigration department will move to have a noncitizen removed from the country and usually the immigrant will not be allowed back in the United States.

Possible Exceptions

If the crime committed is considered a petty crime, even if it falls into the category of Crimes of Moral Turpitude. This would be a crime that never would carry a sentence of jail exceeding 1-year. Examples are shoplifting and simple assault. Of course, there are others, but these are the most common.

There are times when your attorney can petition the court for a waiver. These cases are rare, and your attorney is the best judge of the chances of successfully getting a waiver.

Aggravated Felony

If you are convicted of a crime of theft or a violent crime where the sentence is jail time that exceeds 1-year, it could be an aggravated felony. Any crime that includes violence or injury to someone or something is subject to examination by the immigration department. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Murder
  • Drug trafficking
  • Gun trafficking
  • Rape
  • Money laundering
  • Fraud
  • Tax evasion of $10,000 or more
  • Sexual abuse of a minor
  • Child pornography

The immigration laws in the United States are quite complicated and not exactly well defined. It takes an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney to help you if you are at risk for deportation due to a crime. While an attorney cannot guarantee he can stop the deportation, he is the best chance you have of staying in the United States and maintaining the life you are trying to build in this wonderful country.