America’s immigration laws are complex and hard to navigate for most people. Yet, not knowing the ins and outs of the law can lead to tragic consequences for individuals and their families. This can be especially true when it comes to how the criminal law interacts with immigration law.
Crimes involving moral turpitude
The immigration law has several mentions of crimes involving moral turpitude. In many instances, those who are convicted of these offenses and sentenced to a certain length of imprisonment can be rendered inadmissible or deportable. For example, a crime involving moral turpitude that carries a potential maximum sentence of a year or more, was committed within five years of the date of admission, and results in a conviction is justification for the government to seek deportation.
When it comes to inadmissibility, individuals can be deemed inadmissible even if they admit to acts that would be considered a crime involving moral turpitude. However, those who commit a crime involving moral turpitude may avoid inadmissibility if they can show that they fall within certain exceptions, such as that they have only ever committed one crime, the maximum sentence possible did not exceed one year, and the actual sentence imposed did not exceed six months. This is known as the petty offense exception.
Have knowledge on your side
All of this is to say that criminal activity can cause entanglements in the immigration system. But those who face this reality may have exceptions and defenses at their disposal, both in their criminal cases and their immigration cases. That’s why being knowledgeable about the law is powerful and can be a huge advantage to your case. So, if you’d like to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your family, then it might be time to contact an attorney who knows the law and can help you navigate the process.