We all make mistakes, some more serious than others. For example, plenty of people in the United States are charged with a crime and ultimately convicted. They serve their sentence and go back to their lives.
But if you are a noncitizen and are convicted of an “aggravated felony” the situation is much more serious. You could face deportation, amongst other enhanced penalties.
With so much at stake, if you are a noncitizen charged with a crime you will want to know whether it constitutes an aggravated felony.
What is an aggravated felony?
Surprisingly, a criminal offense need not be labeled in statutes as aggravated or a felony for a noncitizen to have committed an aggravated felony. Congress decides what is considered an aggravated felony for immigration purposes.
Aggravated felonies include certain violent crimes, but also certain non-violent offenses and misdemeanors. The list of aggravated felonies keeps growing.
In addition to crimes such as homicide and drug trafficking, white-collar crimes such as tax evasion, illegal re-entry and even failure to appear in court for a felony charge are all aggravated felonies.
Can noncitizens face deportation for other criminal offenses?
Noncitizens can be deported for criminal offenses other than aggravated felonies. Noncitizens can be deported if they commit a crime of moral turpitude. To make matters more confusing, there is no exact list of what constitutes a crime of moral turpitude.
Most aggravated felonies are also crimes of moral turpitude. In addition, crimes including the intent of bodily harm, fraud, theft of recklessness can be considered crimes of moral turpitude. Having multiple convictions can also be a crime of moral turpitude.
Forever barred from re-entry
Noncitizens convicted of an aggravated felony or crime of moral turpitude face more than just deportation. They could be barred from re-entering the United States forever, amongst other enhanced penalties.
Deportation can tear families apart. Noncitizens must watch their actions and avoid committing any criminal offense that could result in their removal from the United States.