One of the most severe consequences of criminal convictions is deportation. People in California can face serious consequences if they are convicted of certain crimes. There are many different penalties, depending on the crime and a number of other factors. These penalties can include jail time, fines, probation, and other types of punishments. However, those are only criminal consequences for convictions.
There are also what are known as collateral consequences. These include losing a professional license, being disqualified from working with certain individuals, losing housing, and others. However, one of the most serious collateral consequences is that undocumented residents, and depending on the crime, even legal permanent residents can be deported for committing certain crimes. There are many deportable offenses, but there are three main categories.
Crimes Of Moral Turpitude
There is no easy definition of what exactly a crime of moral turpitude is, but in order for one to be deportable, the potential punishment must include at least a year in jail. It is still a deportable offense even if the one year in jail is stayed or suspended as part of a plea deal. However, if a jail sentence of less than a year is imposed or stayed, it is not a deportable offense. The crime also has to occur within the first five years of the person being in the United States.
Crimes that could be considered crimes of moral turpitude include aggravated assaults, robberies, murder, and other serious and violent crimes. However, simple assaults, attempted crimes, being an accomplice, and crimes in which someone is defrauded can also be considered crimes of moral turpitude, depending on the circumstances.
Foreign nationals can be deported if they commit two or more crimes of moral turpitude regardless of when the crimes occurred or how long they may have been in the country. It does not matter whether the punishment involved a jail sentence of at least one year. Two lesser crimes could be sufficient. However, they have to separate crimes that occur at different times. It does not count as multiple crimes if the individual is charged with multiple crimes for one single act.
A noncitizen convicted of an aggravated felony could be deported. There are a number of crimes that are considered aggravated felonies. They include murder, dealing drugs or guns, theft, and violent crimes, which resulted in a five-year jail sentence or more, fraud if the amount involves $200,000 or more, and many other more serious offenses.
Noncitizens who commit the crimes listed above could face serious consequences in the United States, but could also be deported as a result. That is sometimes the most serious consequence. It is important to understand the consequences and potential defenses. Here, at Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office, we have helped advise many foreign nationals on the consequences of their criminal convictions and avoid deportation. Consulting with an experienced attorney could be very beneficial.