August 10, 2022

The severity of a crime may impact your immigration status

Those who have immigrated to the United States are often worried about their immigration status, and with good reason. Getting into the country can be difficult, and returning after being deported is sometimes impossible. Someone who has achieved their goal of obtaining a green card or who has gotten a visa does not want to risk losing that status if they’re accused of a crime.

It’s wise to be concerned about this, and it is true that people do get deported after committing crimes. One thing that really makes a difference is the severity of that crime. The United States certainly doesn’t see every accusation as equal, and people are not going to be deported for every single breach of the law.

Moral turpitude

When the courts are determining if a deportation is necessary, they often consider the legal concept of moral turpitude. This is the type of crime that is “immoral, depraved, and contrary to justice.” It is much more likely that someone will be deported for a crime of this nature.

For example, if you have one too many drinks when you’re out to dinner with your family and you get pulled over for a DUI, you are unlikely to be deported. It’s technically possible if there are aggravating circumstances, but it is rare.

On the other hand, if you are charged with an aggravated DUI after driving with children in the car or recklessly causing a fatal accident, that’s far more serious. Deportation could certainly be an option, although criminal charges of this nature can also lead to a long prison term.

You can see that it is important to understand your rights, and it’s doubly important to know what legal options you have if you’re facing criminal charges or other immigration issues.