As an immigrant, there are certain crimes that will make you subject to removal proceedings, even if you are a green card holder. Even if there is only evidence that you committed a crime, you may find yourself in removal proceedings. Immigrants are at the greatest risk of deportation if they are convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude” or an aggravated felony.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
The moral standing of an immigrant is an important aspect of their ability to remain in the U.S. Crimes of moral turpitude are offenses that fall into a loosely defined category involving crimes that include fraud, larceny, or an intent to harm. Often, crimes involving dishonesty or theft are considered to fall into this category of crimes. Some examples include:
- Assault with the intent to rob or kill
- Domestic violence
- Aggravated DUI
- Identity theft
If you are accused of a crime of moral turpitude, you may be able to defend yourself by demonstrating that your conviction should not be classified as a crime of moral turpitude. To do so, your attorney may claim that the statute you violated contains elements that are not always attributed to a crime of moral turpitude. Your immigration or criminal defense attorney can review your case and determine the best course of action.
Aggravated felonies that make an immigrant deportable are an extensive list that is detailed in the Immigration and Nationality Act at I.N.A. § 101(a)(43). These charges include:
- Drug trafficking
- Firearms trafficking
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Charges involving child pornography
- Money laundering
- Tax evasion greater than $10,000
- Theft or a violent crime with a sentence of at least one year
- Perjury with a sentence of at least one year
While crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies are two of the main types of charges that can cause deportation, the Immigration and Nationality Act lists a number of other crimes that may not fall in these categories. Some offenses may overlap with crimes of moral turpitude or aggravated felonies. Other crimes that may cause deportation include:
- Drug crimes
- Illegal sale or possession of firearms
- Human trafficking
- Child abuse or neglect
- Terrorist activity
Facing criminal charges as an immigrant poses a significant risk to your ability to remain in the U.S. If you are under investigation for criminal charges, you should get experienced legal representation. Our San Jose immigration attorneys are standing by to protect you and help you remain in the U.S. At the Verma Law Firm, our team is backed by more than 15 years of legal experience, and we are committed to helping our clients with any immigration issue, including fighting their removal proceedings.