Crimes of Moral Turpitude and the Petty Offense Exception - DuPage County Immigration Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
630-932-9100
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Crimes of Moral Turpitude and the Petty Offense Exception

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

IL immigration lawyerU.S. immigration law defines a crime of moral turpitude (CIMT) as being a crime involving conduct that shocks the public conscience, and is “contrary to the rules of morality.” In immigration law, being convicted of a CIMT can render someone deportable. The only way to avoid deportation in such a situation is either to seek a waiver or to avail oneself of what is called the petty offense exception. The exception is not well understood, but it can be very helpful in some immigration cases.

CIMTs Are Subjective

The category of crimes of moral turpitude came into being only within recent memory, and there is no specific written definition of a CIMT within U.S. immigration law. It has been described in various cases as “being inherently base, vile, or depraved” and shocking the public conscience. A variety of crimes from murder to kidnapping to fraud have been classified as CIMTs, and given the vagueness of the law and the definition, it can be quite difficult at times to determine whether you have in fact committed a CIMT or not.

It is important that you not confuse a CIMT with an aggravated felony, as the two have different consequences. Any alien (aside from refugees and asylees) that has been convicted of an aggravated felony is immediately inadmissible to the U.S. and rendered deportable, regardless of immigration status. Aggravated felonies are much more specific (and actually enumerated in law), and there is very little relief to be gained if you are convicted of one. Many aggravated felonies have no waiver possible, which is not the case with crimes of moral turpitude.

The Exception

Normally, if you are found guilty of a CIMT, you will need to apply for a waiver in order to overcome inadmissibility and/or deportability. However, if your crime falls under the petty offense exception, no waiver is necessary. The exception is available for those who fit three criteria, listed in the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA):

  • The maximum possible penalty for the offense is one year or less;
  • You were not sentenced to any jail time longer than six months; and
  • You have only ever committed one CIMT, period.

It is important to keep in mind that whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony is irrelevant; the only criteria that are relevant are the three from the INA. The offense does not apply to any drug conviction, regardless of severity, but for other crimes, it is not unheard of for misdemeanors to have more stringent sentences (over 1 year), depending on the nature of the offense. If this is the case with yours, the petty offense would not apply. It is best to double-check on the information for your conviction before going forward.

Call a Chicago Deportation Defense Attorney

One mistake should not have the power to ruin lives. If you have been convicted of a crime, but you believe the petty offense exception might apply to your case, contacting a dedicated Chicago deportation defense lawyer is a good idea. The experienced attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC will sit down with you and try to help you decide how best to proceed. Call us today at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/eoir/legacy/2012/08/14/3194.pdf

https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-2006.html

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1101

  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyer
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
*
*
*

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted