Undocumented immigrants and legal permanent residents with green cards alike can be deported if they are convicted of certain federal crimes. Two major classes of crimes that can lead to deportation are either aggravated felonies or “crimes of moral turpitude.” Essentially, committing these types of crimes can be enough for the United States to deny you any chance of continuing to live within its borders.
What is a Crime of Moral Turpitude?
Federal immigration laws do not define “crimes of moral turpitude” with much clarity, which leaves the chance to deport a convicted immigrant up to an immigration judge’s discretion in evaluating murky case law. Some classic examples of a crime of moral turpitude involve some sort of violence, intent to cause harm, fraud, or theft. Certain high-level or multiple drunk driving convictions – be it a DUI, DWI, or OVI – have also been interpreted as crimes of moral turpitude in the past.
On the other hand, if your crime was a petty offense, then you could potentially argue it is not a crime of moral turpitude. Working with an immigration law firm that also handles criminal defense cases can give you an advantage when challenging a deportation order against you due to a criminal conviction.
Aggravated Felonies That Cause Deportation
If you are convicted of an aggravated felony or federal crime as an immigrant, then there will be a high chance that you will be deported or removed from the country, even if you have a green card. You will also have less room for argument in your defense by trying to claim your actions were not severe enough to warrant deportation since they were apparently severe enough to warrant a felony conviction or federal charge.
Crimes that will almost-always trigger deportation include:
- Rape or aggravated sexual assault
- Drug, firearm, or human trafficking
- High-value tax evasion
- Child sex abuse
Furthermore, many crimes that carry a prison sentence of a year or longer may be considered aggravated felonies. It is also important to note that you can complete your sentencing requirements and then be deported. For example, you could spend two years in prison and pay $10,000 in fines for felony theft, and be served a notice of deportation the day after your release. Completing your sentence does not make you immune from deportation since the immigration process is civil.
Facing Deportation? Call Carlson & Burnett
If you are at risk of deportation after being convicted of a criminal violation in Nebraska or any state, call on our attorneys of Carlson & Burnett. From our law office in Omaha, we can manage immigration and criminal defense cases simultaneously. Dial (402) 810-8611 if you would like to schedule a consultation with our legal team today.