Civil Justice Warriors

Deportable Offenses | What Crimes Can Lead to Deportation?

Whether you are hoping to become a U.S. citizen or have already received a green card, you must have or demonstrate “good moral character.” You can face deportation if you violate U.S. laws and removal actions may be taken if it is shown that you have been convicted of a deportable offense (i.e. a crime of moral turpitude, an aggravated felony, etc.). In this article, we will discuss the various crimes that can jeopardize a non-citizen’s ability to stay in or apply to reenter the U.S.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude

A crime of moral turpitude is an offense that is immoral or done with evil intent and that is contrary to the duty that people owe one another or society. If you have a crime of moral of turpitude on your record or admit to having such a crime, your vis or green card application can be blocked. Even if you already have a visa or green card, you can still be removed from the U.S.

Under 8 USC § 1227, a person can be deported if they have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude within five years (or 10 years if the person is was provided lawful permanent resident status) after admission and was convicted of a crime that has an imposed sentence of a year or more. Examples of crimes of moral turpitude include (but are not limited to):

  • Sexual Battery
  • Prostitution
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Fraud
  • Forgery
  • Child pornography
  • Child abuse
  • Burglary or robbery
  • Arson
  • Aggravated stalking
  • Aggravated drinking and driving charges
  • Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon

If you have been convicted of a crime, you should make your attorney aware of the specific charges. They can advise you on whether the offense is a crime that can lead to deportation and help you understand your legal rights. It is also important even if your charges were expunged or modified that they can still affect your immigration status.

Aggravated Felonies

If you have been convicted of an aggravated felony at any time, you risk being deported or losing your reentry eligibility. 8 USC § 1101 outlines the offenses that are considered aggravated felonies. These offenses include:

  • Violent crimes (punishable by imprisonment for at least a year)
  • Trafficking of firearms, destructive devices, or explosive materials
  • Theft crimes (with a prison sentence of at least a year)
  • Sexual abuse of a minor
  • Rape
  • Prostitution
  • Murder
  • Fraud (involving $10,000 or more)
  • Drug trafficking or related offense
  • Child pornography

Controlled Substance or Drug Offenses

A conviction for an offense involving drugs can lead to deportation as well. You should consult with an immigration attorney if you have been convicted of:

  • Drug manufacturing
  • Drug sale and trafficking
  • Possession with intent to sell
  • Simple possession

Firearm Crimes

You may be targeted for removal if you have been convicted of committing an offense that involves automatic weapons or the use of a firearm in the commission of another crime. You also risk deportation if you unlawfully:

  • Use a firearm
  • Sell a firearm
  • Purchase a firearm
  • Possess a firearm
  • Exchange a firearm
  • Carry a firearm

Domestic Violence Offenses

If you harm another person in your household or family (i.e. a roommate, your child, spouse, or another person you have or currently live with), you can be convicted of a domestic violence offense. A conviction for this crime can lead to deportation or restrictions on reentry.

Get Legal Help

At Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers, we are here and ready to help you or a loved one navigate the immigration system. Our attorneys can help you understand your legal options as well as the potential consequences of criminal convictions on your immigration case. Our firm handles a variety of immigration cases, including:

  • U Visas
  • T Visas
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Family-based immigration
  • Naturalization & citizenship

To get in touch with a member of our team, call (214) 739-0100 or complete our online contact form today. We offer free case evaluations and offer services in English and Spanish.