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Will a criminal charge lead to deportation?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2016 | Criminal Defense, Immigration

Even just the thought of facing deportation is frightening. Especially for those who have been living in Texas for the past couple of years, hoping to one day obtain citizenship, being charged with a crime that could lead to deportation can be stressful and heartbreaking, all at the same time.

In talking about crimes leading to deportation, you may have heard the words “crimes of moral turpitude” and are now wondering what exactly this means. Common questions include: Am I being charged with a crime of moral turpitude? Will this lead to deportation? Is there a way to fight the charges?

According to the United States Department of Justice, while a crime of moral turpitude is grounds for deportation, what the phrase actually means is rather hard to define. Generally, though, moral turpitude crimes are ones that shock the general public. These include murder, robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assaults and voluntary manslaughter. However, there are other crimes that may not seem as shocking to the public, but could still be considered a crime of moral turpitude. These include, but are not limited to, conspiracy-related charges or a crime involving fraud.

When it comes to deportation and crimes of moral turpitude, the following points should be kept in mind:

  • A conviction for the crime must have happened within five years of entry into the U.S.
  • The person facing the charge must have been confined for a minimum of one year
  • As we mentioned, the definition of “moral turpitude” is not straightforward
  • Those facing deportation or removal do not have time to waste. It is never too early to seek out legal representation right away

Again, the rules surrounding deportation stemming from criminal acts can be quite confusing, especially for someone who is not familiar with the law. In addition to crimes of moral turpitude, deportation can also stem from multiple criminal convictions and aggravated felonies. An attorney who focuses on criminal defense and immigration law can be a valuable resource for exploring available options.