Atlanta Immigration Attorney
Several years ago, few offenses resulted in deportation, today, the U.S. government is taking a stricter stance against illegal immigrants. In America, citizens who are convicted of various crimes get to remain in their country, but for non-citizens, a criminal charge can result in a visit to immigration court. If such is the case for you, Atlanta criminal lawyer Judy Kim can represent your case before the judge.
Crimes of “moral turpitude”- drug crimes, DUI, assault, theft, weapons charges and so forth – can result in deportation. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security could say that you do not deserve immigrant privileges if you get a mark on your criminal record. Even legal aliens can get deported if they are convicted of an aggravated felony (murder, rape, child sex crimes, or aggravated theft or fraud crimes).
Why does moral turpitude matter?
Throughout the U.S., communities have established set ways of behaving, and many of these beliefs have since been defined by local laws; some, in fact, have even been regulated by federal law. Crimes of moral turpitude specifically relate to conduct that is interpreted as contradictory to the community standards that have been set forth for its members. A violation of the justice, honesty, or moral behavior that is expected of community members is recognized as an act of moral turpitude and punished as such. This type of criminal offense has also been identified as an act of baseness and / or vileness that is displayed by a person’s depravity, thus resulting in a lack of the private and social duties that are expected of each societal member of a community. Even behaviors that contradict the accepted norms or customary rules associated among fellow members of a society can be penalized as acts of moral turpitude.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, a conviction of a crime of moral turpitude causes a person to be inadmissible to the United States. The first question that a visitor must answer on an I-94W form is, “Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?” The most common elements involving moral turpitude are fraud, larceny and intent to harm persons or property. Crimes that could involve moral turpitude include:
- Destruction of property
- Tax evasion
- Black market violations
- Assault- with intent to kill, commit rape, commit robbery, commit serious bodily harm, or assault with a dangerous weapon
- Gross indecency
- Drug trafficking
There are also crimes involving moral turpitude which include an attempt to commit a crime involving moral turpitude, aiding and abetting the commission of a crime involving moral turpitude, being an accessory in the commission of a crime involving moral turpitude and taking part in a conspiracy to commit a crime involving moral turpitude.
Crimes that do not involve moral turpitude include simple assault, incest, involuntary manslaughter, libel, mailing an obscene letter, rioting, and violations of the Mann Act (involving interstate transport of females for “immoral purposes,”- as long as coercion wasn’t present).
In the event of a more serious crime, if intent can be shown, this normally results in an aggravated felony conviction. Other than possession of marijuana for personal use, almost all drug crimes are deportable offenses.
Why should you hire an attorney?
If you are a noncitizen who has been charged with a crime, you could face devastating consequences such as hefty fines, prison time and deportation. Exclusion, loss of a visa or green card status and denial of United States citizenship are not penalties you should just succumb too, however.
By securing a competent criminal defense attorney on your side, you can fight to avoid jail time and deportation. In the words of one legal expert, “Non-citizens always require an extra careful criminal defense strategy because the stakes are so high. A good lawyer won’t let you plead guilty to a crime that could later get you deported from the United States.” Contact Attorney Judy Kim today to get the aggressive legal representation you deserve on your side!