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Can you be deported for minor crimes? 

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Immigration Law

If you get arrested for a relatively minor crime, you may be worried about your status. Perhaps you’re only in the United States for work or for school. You’re worried that you’re going to be deported when your criminal record comes to light.

This is certainly something that you should keep in mind, as criminal actions are a potential reason for deportation. However, that doesn’t mean that the U.S. government deports everyone who breaks the law. They generally have to commit a crime that involves moral turpitude, which is usually defined written out as the term “CIMT.”

What does it mean?

The problem with a crime of moral turpitude is that it has never been officially defined. A crime like this is one that is thought to be reckless, evil or malicious. It is morally reprehensible, as some sources put it, and contains clear criminal elements.

What this means is that it is often just something more serious. For example, crimes against people, such as assault with a weapon, are crimes of moral turpitude. Crimes against the government, naturally, are also a reason for deportation. Many different sex crimes would count as crimes of moral turpitude.

But there are also plenty of things that people do that are illegal without even realizing it, or without meaning to break the law. There was no malicious intent, and this isn’t something that’s likely to happen again. For these types of minor issues, deportation is generally not used.

What are your options?

That being said, if you’re facing any sort of legal charges and you’re worried about your status, you must know about your options.