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Will a misdemeanor theft jeopardize my immigration status?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Immigration |

There are few issues more important to a green card holder than their status. Jeopardizing it by committing a crime is the last thing many want to do because a criminal conviction can result in deportation, leaving family and friends behind, and even a permanent ban from reentering the United States.

While different presidential administrations will have different agendas, not all criminal convictions will lead to deportation or revoked status. Some will be surprised to learn that the issue may be the type of crime rather than the severity of the charges.

Grounds for deportation

Some common convictions that lead to deportation include aggravated felonies like murder, drug trafficking, rape, sex crimes, or violent crimes. Crimes of moral turpitude also can lead to deportation. These can include fraud, embezzlement, assault, or shoplifting.

What crimes do not qualify for deportation?

Many offenses do not make a non-citizen deportable. There are also lesser offenses and exceptions to crimes of moral turpitude, which generally would not lead to deportation. However, the type of offense is important as even misdemeanors can result in deportability. Multiple minor offenses can have the same result.

Fighting the charges is essential

The stakes of a conviction are incredibly high, so immigrants need to work with an attorney who handles these types of charges. The lawyer often can argue for reduced charges that do not automatically lead to deportation. Even when the prosecution is offering a deal to lesser charges, it is still wise to have an immigration attorney review the charges and deal and determine their impact on your green card status.