Contemplating your future in the U.S. may leave you wrought with fear and anxiety. Criminal charges are serious for anyone but become even more serious when your legal status is in question.
If you are currently going through the immigration process, matters will complicate further and is why you will want to speak with an attorney rather than attempt to handle the defense on your own-especially because there are a number of offenses one can be charged with that pose a threat for deportation. The following are categories for deportable offenses.
The 4 types of charges
Aggravated felonies: These offenses are the most egregious and have severe penalties for immigrants. Examples of crimes that fall under this category are:
- Murder, rape, sexual abuse
- Drug trafficking
- Illicit trafficking
- Firearms trafficking
- Money laundering
- Crime of violence
- Theft or burglary
- Commercial bribery
- Obstruction of justice
- Falsifying or using false documents
- Failure to appear
- Demand for ransom, child pornography, anything related to national defense, running a business involved in prostitution or slavery, treason, etc.
- An attempt to commit any of the above offenses or conspiracy to commit
Moral turpitude crimes: The courts have not clearly defined moral turpitude. However, despite the vagueness, the Supreme Court has determined the charge is still valid. Examples of crimes typically charged under this category include the following:
- Fraud, when it is the key factor of the crime
- Structuring transaction offenses
- Theft when permanent deprivation was the intent
- Driving under the influence
Firearms and explosives: Those accused of buying, selling, using, owning or possessing either of these devices illegally are at risk for deportation.
Domestic Violence: A non-citizen is also at risk when charged with domestic violence against a spouse, former spouse or other family member or person you live with. This also includes violating a protective order, stalking, child abuse and child neglect or child abandonment.
When searching for an attorney, you will want to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who also has expertise in immigration matters. A knowledgeable attorney will determine what potential defenses you may have and advocate for your rights as they guide you through the system.