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What Is a Crime of Moral Turpitude?

Posted on in Immigration

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1072282619-1-min.jpgA criminal conviction can have tremendous immigration consequences. However, these consequences are largely determined by the nature of the crime, and whether the offense can be classified as a crime of moral turpitude.

From the perspective of the U.S. Government, crimes of moral turpitude raise serious questions about the convicted person’s personal character and their desirability as foreign residents. Thus, a conviction often has serious implications for an immigrant’s ability to remain in the country or obtain a more permanent status.

When Is an Offense Considered a Crime of Moral Turpitude?

There is no statute delineating what is or is not a crime of moral turpitude. Defining the term has often been left up to the courts, which have historically considered the defendant’s intent and the recklessness of their behavior in their determination.

Crimes of moral turpitude have typically been organized into three categories: crimes against property, crimes against government authority, and crimes against persons.

The Department of State has promulgated its own guidelines, indicating that crimes of moral turpitude include one or more of the following elements: 1) fraud; 2) larceny; and 3) intent to harm a person or property.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude and Immigration Consequences

A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude can have severe consequences for immigrants.

If you are a permanent resident, you could be deemed removable or deportable if:

-          The conviction occurred within five years of your last entry into the United States.

-          The crime carries a sentence of a year or more.

Additionally, green card holders may be deemed ineligible for U.S. citizenship.

For immigrants who have not yet obtained their green card, a conviction may render them inadmissible for permanent resident status. Note, a conviction is not required here – simply admitting that you committed the crime is sufficient.

Contact a Charlotte Immigration Lawyer

Many immigrants come to the United States seeking a better life for themselves and their families; others come fleeing persecution. Hence, it goes without saying that maintaining a legal immigration status is of grave concern to most non-citizens.

Therefore, when this status comes under threat, having the right legal representation is critical.

The immigration lawyers at Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC are dedicated to protecting the rights of immigrants. They have experience handling all kinds of immigrant cases, from green card petitions to removal defense. Our approach to legal representation is defined by compassion and personalized service.

If you need a Charlotte immigration lawyer that puts the client first, contact Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC today at 919-533-7000 for a free initial consultation.

Source: 

 

https://fam.state.gov/fam/09FAM/09FAM030203.html

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