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Crimes That Can Lead to Deportation

McCready Law Group March 14, 2023

Facing criminal charges is always an intimidating and anxiety-inducing experience, but even more so if you are an immigrant facing criminal charges that could lead to your deportation. It is true that certain categories of crimes can cause you to be placed into removal proceedings, but what are these crimes?  

As a criminal defense attorney at McCready Law Group, I represent non-citizens facing criminal charges in Long Beach, California, and surrounding areas, including Lakewood and Cypress Hill. I can work on your case and help you fight the charges to protect the life you have worked so hard to build in the United States.  

Aggravated Felonies and Other Crimes Leading to Deportation 

An aggravated felony is any crime that is classified as a felony under federal law, regardless of whether it is also classified as a felony under state law. Some examples of deportable aggravated felonies include but are not limited to:  

  • Murder 

  • Rape 

  • Drug trafficking 

  • Sexual abuse of a minor 

  • Illicit trafficking of firearms 

  • Fraud crimes that cause the victim to lose at least $10,000 

In addition, if you are convicted of any drug offense—including possession of a controlled substance—you could be deported as well. However, it is important to note that not all drug crimes are considered deportable offenses. For example, a first-time offense for simple possession of marijuana is not typically considered a deportable offense.  

If you have been convicted of an aggravated felony or drug crime, you will almost certainly be deported. That is why it is so important that you retain legal counsel when facing any of these crimes to protect your future in the United States.  

Understanding Crimes of Moral Turpitude 

Crimes of moral turpitude are offenses that are considered to be morally reprehensible. Some examples of crimes of moral turpitude include larceny, robbery, spousal abuse, fraud, and driving under the influence, among others. While many crimes can be classified as both an aggravated felony and a crime of moral turpitude, there are some offenses that fall into one category but not the other. For example, certain types of theft (e.g., grand theft auto) are considered aggravated felonies but are not necessarily considered crimes of moral turpitude. 

When Crimes of Moral Turpitude Lead to Deportation 

If you have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude within five years of your most recent entry into the United States and the offense carries a potential sentence of one year or longer in prison, you could be deported. Additionally, if you have been convicted of two or more crimes of moral turpitude at any time (regardless of whether they occurred within five years of your most recent entry into the United States), you could also be deported. 

Considerations During Your Case 

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, more than 70,000 immigrants were deported by immigration judges in Fiscal Year 2023 (through January). If you have been charged with a crime as a non-citizen, you need to take certain factors into consideration before it is too late: 

  • Accepting a plea bargain. One of the most important considerations for immigrants facing criminal charges is whether accepting a plea bargain can affect deportation proceedings. The answer is yes—plea bargains can have serious consequences for non-citizens who are accused of a crime. Depending on the type and severity of the crime, accepting a plea bargain could result in mandatory detention or even deportation from the United States. Therefore, it is essential that anyone facing criminal charges as an immigrant understands how their decisions will affect their immigration status before signing any plea documents. 

  • Hiring an attorney. Another important consideration for immigrants facing criminal charges is when they should hire a criminal defense attorney to represent them in court proceedings. If you are an immigrant who has been accused of a crime, then it is highly recommended that you seek out legal advice as soon as possible. 

Your attorney will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed with your case while also taking into account any potential immigration consequences that may arise due to accepting or rejecting certain options such as plea bargains or going to trial. 

Protect the Life You’ve Built 

If you are a non-citizen facing criminal charges, you need to understand which crimes could lead to your deportation. As a criminal defense attorney at McCready Law Group, I can help ensure that your rights are protected and make sure that your case proceeds in the most favorable manner possible given all relevant circumstances. Do not let your criminal charges ruin your American Dream. Contact my office today for a free consultation. 

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