Crimes of Moral Turpitude and Immigration Status

How Crimes of Moral Turpitude Affect One’s Immigration Status – Utah Criminal Defense and Immigration Lawyer

Many nonresident immigrants do no understand the consequences of committing a crime, no matter how insignificant, on one’s immigration status.  Federal law makes anyone who has committed a crime of moral turpitude inadmissible to gain resident status.  Such persons will also likely be deported.  If you are a nonresident alien who has been charged with any crime it is important to get legal advice from a law firm that understands both the criminal and immigration aspects of a case.  That firm is Utah Defenders.

What is a Crime of Moral Turpitude?

A crime of moral turpitude has a number of different definitions, but generally speaking it is the seriousness of the crime that will determine if it is morally turpitudinous.  Crimes that are considered “petty” or insignificant can still be considered crimes of moral turpitude of they involved fraud.  Thus, any crime that involves a voluntary or willful crime against a person is generally considered a crime of moral turpitude while small crimes will not be so considered unless they involve fraud.

Are there Exemptions to Being Deported for a Crime of Moral Turpitude?

Even if you have been charged with committing a crime of moral turpitude you may still be exempt from deportation or inadmissibility into the country.  The primary exemption is if you committed a single offense that carries a maximum possible prison sentence not to exceed one year and you were not actually sentenced to more than six months in prison. This is known as the “petty offense” exemption.

There are two other exemptions but neither apply as often as the petty offense exemption.  Those exemptions include crimes committed as a juvenile and political offenses.

Utah Defenders will Protect you

It is important that you contact a Utah criminal defense attorney who understand Utah criminal law and federal immigration law.  The lawyers at Utah Defenders are ready to help if you are a nonresident alien who has been charged with a crime.  Call us at 801.618.1334 or email us to speak to one of our attorneys.

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