Immigrants might be under the constant anxiety of deportation, particularly if they are undocumented. However, even lawful permanent residents need to worry about removal proceedings if they face criminal charges. A legal permanent resident who commits particular crimes, such as aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude.
Criminal Charges That Could Lead to Deportation
While speeding may not result in serious court proceedings, crimes of moral turpitude will. Moral turpitude isn’t well defined in U.S. immigration law, but the most common elements of this kind of the offense are fraud, larceny, and intent to harm persons or things. Crimes that also involve dishonesty and stealing will also be listed under moral turpitude. A petty offense exception could excuse a crime of moral turpitude if the penalty for the offense could never exceed 1 year of imprisonment and if any time the person served in prison was less than 6 months. Examples of petty crimes are shoplifting, simple assault, or a DUI that didn’t involve damage to property or people.
The two ways that committing a crime of moral turpitude will lead to deportation are:
- You committed the crime during the first 5 years after your admission to the United States;
- You commit more than 2 such crimes that didn’t arise out of a single plan of criminal misconduct at any time after your admission
Aggravated felonies are another way to risk deportation. The full list of crimes considered aggravated felonies can be found in the Immigration and Nationality Act. It does include some of the following:
- Drug / firearms trafficking
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Child pornography
- Money laundering
- Tax evasion involving more than $10,000
- Theft / violent crime if the sentence order was at least 1 year
- Perjury if the sentence order was at least 1 year
Call Our Law Firm Today
Facing criminal charges as an immigrant can lead to serious consequences. If you want the best chance of avoiding deportation, talk to our experienced Denver deportation defense lawyer. He has years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and an advocate for social justice. If you want to us to review your situation, we offer free case consultations.