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Can you be deported for a minor offense?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2022 | Immigration Law |

It was your lifelong ambition to move to the United States, and you made it happen. You’re settled now and have a family as well as good career prospects.

Unfortunately, you’ve found yourself in some legal trouble and are worried that it may impact your residency status. If the offense is minor, could you still face deportation?

State laws vary

Generally, you shouldn’t face deportation for petty offenses. Petty offenses typically consist of things like driving tickets or jaywalking. However, the nature of these offenses can also vary and it may depend on whether there are any aggravating factors. Additionally, if you have shown a repeated pattern of criminal behavior, this could factor into your immigration status. It’s also important to note that the law is different between states. What may be considered a minor offense in Colorado could be deemed more serious in California.

Crimes of moral turpitude

Severe offenses are much more likely to impact your residency status. There is no single definition of crimes of moral turpitude, however, it is widely agreed upon that they consist of fraudulent behavior and an intent to cause serious harm to a person or property. One of the more notable crimes of moral turpitude would be murder.

If you have been accused of a criminal offense then it’s vital to seek some legal guidance. Doing so could help you beat the charges and keep your immigration status intact. If you have been convicted of an offense, then this will also provide you with a clearer picture of your rights.