When can committing a crime lead to deportation?

Sometimes mistakes are made, and a non-citizen in Kentucky or elsewhere in the nation commits a crime. However, particularly if the crime they are convicted of is a felony (or even certain misdemeanors), the consequences could go far beyond the fines and jail time that citizens would expect — the person may face deportation and removal. Whether this happens depends on the person’s status, what crime was committed and the specific facts of the person’s case.

Specifically, the most egregious penalties for non-citizens are for those who commit aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude. These individuals may not be able to pursue relief from deportation and may also be banned from the U.S. Thus, they will not be allowed to reenter the country in the future.

When it comes to deportation, an aggravated felony includes not just felony crimes, but also certain misdemeanors and even some acts that are not against the law at all. Of course, aggravated felonies include crimes such as homicide and the trafficking of drugs or firearms. However, theft, simple battery, filing fraudulent tax returns, failing to appear in court when called to and sexual acts between people ages 16 and 17 are all aggravated felonies. This list is not all-inclusive. A conviction of these crimes will result in immediate deportation.

Crimes of moral turpitude are those that are considered a violation of community moral standards. Whether a crime is one of moral turpitude depends on the opinion of the court — there isn’t a specific list of crimes that fall under this category. However, in general, perjury, tax evasion, wire fraud and child abuse may be considered crimes of moral turpitude.

This is only a brief overview of how certain crimes in the U.S. can lead to deportation and removal. It is disturbing to think of how great the consequences are when a non-citizen commits a crime. Therefore, those who need more information about aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude will want to consult a legal professional who can help them determine how to best move forward with their case.



FindLaw Network