Protecting Your Right To Live And Work In The U.S.
For a permanent resident or other noncitizen, being charged with a crime can have ramifications far beyond jail or fines. Any person in the United States who is not a citizen can be deported if they are convicted of certain crimes. This is potentially true even if a person was granted a deferred judgment or other discretionary action by the court.
Conviction for an aggravated felony is a serious problem. When a person is convicted of an aggravated felony, the law says that they are deportable. An aggravated felony can be any of the following:
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Trafficking in drugs or illicit trafficking in controlled substances
- Illicit trafficking in firearms, destructive devices or explosive materials
- Money laundering, if the amount is more than $10,000
- Certain firearm offenses
- Certain crimes involving arson or explosives
- Violent crimes where the person was sentenced to one year or more, even if the person served less than one year or no time
- Theft crimes where the person was sentenced to one year or more, even if the person served less than one year or no time
- Offenses related to ransom demands or receipt
- Child pornography offenses
- Racketeering (RICO) offenses, where the potential sentence is one year or more
- Crimes such as running a prostitution business, human trafficking or slavery
- Sabotage, treason, gathering or transmitting national defense information, or revealing the identity of undercover agents
- Fraud or deceit causing a loss of over $10,000
- Tax evasion of over $10,000
- Alien smuggling, except first offenses involving a spouse, child or parent
- Illegally re-entering the country after having been deported or removed for conviction of an aggravated felony
- Forging or counterfeiting a passport or document fraud where the person was sentenced to one year or more, even if the person served less than one year or no time, except for a first offense involving a spouse, child or parent
- Failing to appear to serve a sentence if the underlying offense is punishable by five or more years in prison
- Crimes involving commercial bribery, counterfeiting, forgery or trafficking in vehicles for which a sentence of one year or more can be imposed
- Crimes involving obstruction of justice, perjury or convincing another person to commit perjury for which a sentence of one year or more can be imposed
- Crimes related to failing to appear before a court for a felony charge for which a sentence of two years or more can be imposed
- Any attempt or conspiracy to commit any crimes listed above
Conviction for an aggravated felony is a serious matter. If you are charged with an aggravated felony, there may be ways to avoid conviction for a crime that will subject you to removal. If you are charged with an aggravated felony, our experienced attorneys can discuss your options with you and determine whether your charge can be dealt with in a way that will keep you from being removed.
Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude
This is the other big category of criminal activity that causes trouble for many noncitizens. Depending on the circumstances, the timing of the conviction, the maximum penalty for the crime, the time actually spent incarcerated, the nature of the charge and the number of other convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude can all potentially have an effect on a person’s immigration status. Furthermore, determining whether a specific crime is a crime involving moral turpitude can be tricky.
Moral turpitude refers generally to conduct that is inherently base, vile or depraved and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed between people or to society in general. See Matter of Franklin, 20 I&N Dec. 867, 868 (BIA 1994). At this most basic level, it is clear that moral turpitude is difficult to define. There are cases deciding whether specific conduct constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude, but those cases cannot always tell us whether violation of any specific law, or even the violation of any specific law under a specific set of facts, constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude.
Your Ally In Troubling Times
It is important to acknowledge and address immigration issues when confronting a criminal charge. The attorneys at Foster Law Office are experienced in addressing these issues head on to determine the best course of action under any circumstances. To speak with one of our attorneys about how a criminal charge can affect your immigration status, call our law offices at 319-383-0405 or contact us online.