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What are crimes of moral turpitude?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Deportation Defense |

Criminal actions are a potential reason for deportation in the United States. Those who come to the U.S. as immigrants are expected to follow the laws of the land. Even if they have an educational visa or an employment visa, that visa could be rescinded and they could be deported from the United States if they break the law.

That said, not every crime is going to have this type of drastic impact. Immigrants aren’t going to get deported for civil issues, such as breaking the speed limit. Even minor crimes, such as shoplifting or driving under the influence, may not result in deportation. The government usually reserves this process for crimes of moral turpitude.

Criminal acts

A crime of moral turpitude is generally just something serious that violates the accepted standards in the community. The person has acted recklessly or intentionally to cause harm to others, for example, and shown that they have rejected the basic standards that society has put in place.

For example, crimes like murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault or sexual assault could all be considered crimes of moral turpitude. It often depends on the specifics of the situation. If there were serious ramifications – such as someone else passing away or suffering life-altering injuries – then it’s much more likely that the government will consider deportation as an option.

This is just one reason why it’s so important for immigrants to take criminal matters seriously. It can affect their entire future, going beyond just fines and jail time. They could find themselves separated from their family and the life they’ve created in the U.S. Those who are facing such allegations, therefore, must be well aware of all of their criminal defense options.


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