What Crimes are Eligible for Deportation


For immigrants in the United States, navigating the complex legal system can be challenging, particularly when it comes to understanding how criminal convictions may affect their immigration status. This guide will break down the different categories of deportable offenses and provide practical tips for maintaining a strong legal standing. By understanding the potential consequences of criminal convictions, you can take the necessary steps to protect your future in the United States.

1. Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)

Crimes involving moral turpitude are offenses that demonstrate a lack of good moral character. While there is no comprehensive list of CIMT, they typically involve fraud, theft, or offenses with an intent to harm others. Some examples include:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Burglary
  • Domestic violence
  • Fraud or forgery
  • Sexual offenses

Conviction of a single CIMT within five years of admission to the U.S. may result in deportation. Additionally, two or more CIMT convictions, regardless of when they occurred, can also lead to deportation.

2. Aggravated Felonies

Aggravated felonies are a category of offenses that carry severe immigration consequences. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) lists 21 types of crimes that are considered aggravated felonies, including:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Drug trafficking
  • Firearms trafficking
  • Money laundering

Conviction of an aggravated felony will almost certainly result in deportation, and individuals with such convictions are ineligible for most forms of immigration relief, including asylum and cancellation of removal.

3. Controlled Substance Offenses

Convictions for drug-related offenses, such as possession, sale, or trafficking of controlled substances, can lead to deportation. However, there is an exception for a single conviction for possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana for personal use. It is essential to understand the specifics of drug laws and how they may impact your immigration status.

4. Firearms Offenses

Convictions for offenses related to the purchase, sale, possession, or use of firearms can result in deportation. This includes both state and federal firearms offenses.

5. Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Child Abuse

Convictions for domestic violence, stalking, or child abuse, neglect, or abandonment can lead to deportation. This includes convictions for violating protective orders related to these offenses.

How to Protect Your Immigration Status

While understanding the types of crimes that can lead to deportation is crucial, it is also essential to take proactive steps to protect your immigration status:

  • Seek legal counsel: If you are facing criminal charges, it is vital to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the potential immigration consequences of a conviction.
  • Understand your rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights as an immigrant, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney if detained by immigration authorities.
  • Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with changes in immigration laws and policies by following reliable sources, such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

At Peek Law Group, we understand the complexities of immigration law and the potential consequences of criminal convictions. Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate the legal system and protect your immigration status. Contact us today to discuss your situation and learn how we can assist you.

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