Many people may think of criminal law and immigration as two distinct areas of law. However, criminal cases often have serious immigration consequences and both state criminal laws and federal immigration laws may be at issue in a particular case. The way in which these two types of laws intersect is often referred to as “crimmigration.”
It is important to understand how a certain criminal conviction can affect a non-citizen’s immigration status and that, in many cases, a conviction can lead to possible deportation. If you have pled guilty or been convicted of a deportable offense and you are facing possible removal, you need to seek representation from an experienced immigration lawyer immediately to help defend against deportation and keep you in the United States.
What Crimes Can Affect Immigration?
Under federal immigration law, convictions for many different criminal offenses may result in deportation; such offenses include the following:
- Drug offenses, except possessing smaller amounts of marijuana for personal use;
- Participation in human trafficking;
- Domestic violence including stalking, violating a protective order, or child neglect or abuse;
- Offenses involving firearms;
- Treason, espionage, or sabotage;
- Crimes of moral turpitude; and
- Aggravated felonies.
What Is A Crime of Moral Turpitude?
The law does not specifically define what offenses qualify as a crime of moral turpitude, however, it is generally considered to be any crime that involves evil intent or immorality. Some examples of crimes of moral turpitude include theft, any offense involving fraud or deceit, rape and serious sexual offenses, murder or voluntary manslaughter, among many others.
What Constitutes An Aggravated Felony?
Every state has its own laws regarding what crimes can be considered to be a misdemeanor, felony, or aggravated felony. Because of the significant variance in state laws, an aggravated felony for immigration purposes is different. Therefore, you can be convicted of a misdemeanor in state criminal court, however, if that offense qualifies as an aggravated felony under state law, a conviction could still result in deportation.
- 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets out many different specific offenses that are considered to be aggravated felonies, some of which include:
- Rape or child sexual abuse;
- Child pornography;
- Firearms trafficking;
- Theft or burglary that carries at least a one year jail sentence;
- Fraud offenses involving more than $10,000; and
- Forgery, bribery, or counterfeiting with a sentence of at least one year;
Consult With A Hollywood, FL Immigration Lawyer As Soon As Possible
If you or a family member has been convicted of a crime and has been taken into ICE custody facing deportation proceedings, you need a highly experienced deportation defense attorney handling the case as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Alex T. Barak, P.A., we have defended many foreign nationals against deportation and understand ways to prevent such action following a criminal conviction. In addition, criminal defense attorneys representing immigrants should never hesitate to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer for assistance in understanding the possible immigration effects of a particular case. Please call our office at (954) 399-7778 for assistance today.