The United States holds a strict stance on immigration laws, especially in recent years. In particular, all immigrants can be deported from the country after being convicted for a criminal offense, even for crimes that prosecutors consider to be minor. There are no immigrants immune to this potential penalty, either. Whether you are not officially documented or a holder of a visa, deportation can be considered in criminal sentencing against you for a wide variety of criminal violations.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
The Department of State has a generalized definition of crimes that can be penalized with deportation, calling them “crimes of moral turpitude.” If a criminal action is fraudulent, malicious, meant to harm someone, or meant to steal an item, it could be labeled as such a crime. The truth of this legal definition is that it is incredibly vague, allowing criminal court judges to decide almost any crime is one of moral turpitude.
However, most courts will only consider deportation for a crime if:
- You are convicted for a crime within the first five years of arriving in the U.S.
- You are convicted two or more times after your arrival.
- You are convicted of a serious felony and will be deported after completing sentencing requirements.
Arguing Against Your Deportation
As the definition of a “crime of moral turpitude” is generalized, it can make defending yourself against deportation difficult. If you cannot simply avoid conviction due to overwhelming evidential circumstances, then your next option could be to argue that you had no cruel intent behind your actions. For example, being convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) may show you were negligent behind the steering wheel, but it does not show you meant to cause anyone any harm.
Do you need assistance in fighting a criminal charge and arguing against deportation? Our Minneapolis criminal defense lawyers from Meshbesher & Associates, P.A. are here to stand up for your rights as a proud immigrant to our country. Contact our law office today by calling (612) 200-1526 to request a free initial consultation.