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Immigration Consequences for Certain Crimes

Immigrants have particularized need with regard to their criminal defense needs, notes Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney William Moore. Unfortunately, deportation can be a very real consequence of entanglement with the criminal justice system. Convictions for (or admissions of) certain types of crimes can result in actual physical deportation, the loss of a green card, and the inability to obtain or maintain lawful immigration status. In any instance, an immigrant who has been arrested or charged with a crime should consult with an immigration attorney to ascertain the possible effects. Broward criminal lawyer Moore is aware of the collateral and direct consequences of criminal convictions.

Crimes involving moral turpitude are those which are traditionally considered to be particularly foul or base, in terms of a person’s moral character. This finding is based on an old-fashioned perspective and does not necessarily comport with a modern person’s views on the matter, but the law maintains that these types of crimes frequently have adverse effects on immigration status. Theft, robbery, and burglary, although with other crimes of “dishonesty,” tend to be classified as crimes involving moral turpitude. The commission of certain crimes, like grand theft, even seriously hampers an individual’s ability to become a lawful permanent resident, or green card holder.

Aggravated felonies are among the most serious offenses within the realm of immigration law. They are construed more harshly than, say, a felony with aggravating circumstances. A crime can be classified as such simply based on the sentence imposed, even if it was not violent, and often leads to the deportation of even long-time permanent residents. Similarly, crimes of violence, firearms-related crimes, and domestic violence crimes can have these effects. As always, consulting with an attorney familiar with the complexities of immigration law, as well as a criminal defense attorney, is the best way to handle the situation.

This blog post is not intended to be a representation of any particular position; instead, it acknowledges the criminal defense lawyer’s affirmative duty (particularly in light of recent Supreme Court case law) to be aware of clients’ immigration potential consequences.

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