A crime involving moral turpitude, or CIMT, is a very serious matter and can put the immigration status of Texas migrants in danger due to the gravity of these criminal charges. These crimes can result in deportation and a permanent ban from the U.S. In addition, a person could lose their license and ability to practice in their professional field.
What are crimes involving moral turpitude?
CIMT are acts that grossly violate an acceptable standard of societal behavior. They vary and include violence, breach of trust and other willful acts seen as devoid of conventional morals. Some of these crimes include but are not limited to:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual abuse
While this is not an exhaustive list, a CIMT could result in more than one year of incarceration if the person is found guilty. Some criminal convictions will result in deportation upon release from prison. However, determining the involvement of moral turpitude in the commission of a crime is not always clear-cut. Its definition may vary from state to state and may even need to be clarified by the USCIS itself.
Crimes involving moral turpitude do not always spell doom
Even when a CIMT is committed, there are exceptions that could impact an immigrant’s case in his or her favor. One is a petty offense exception, which may make the person eligible for little to no jail time or parole. Furthermore, the immigrant could still be eligible for naturalization. If the offender is a minor, a juvenile exception could allow him or her to remain on track for naturalization. It is also possible to get a CIMT charge reduced.
Experienced immigration lawyers keep abreast of the relevant statutes that impact their clients’ immigration cases. Immigration laws are complex and change often, and individual judges and different jurisdictions can determine whether crimes involve moral turpitude. If your immigration status is ever at risk of changing due to a CIMT, it may be beneficial to seek legal help.