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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
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in aggravated felony

IL deportation lawyerThe immigration process can be long and complicated. However, if an individual who is trying to immigrate to the United States commits certain crimes, he or she might be deported. Even if the immigrant possesses a green card, he or she is subject to deportation if he or she violates U.S. immigration laws. If there is substantial evidence that a crime has been committed and the person was convicted, an immigrant can be subject to removal proceedings. It is important to understand the immigration criminal defense proceedings if you or a loved is charged with a crime that is classified as “deportable.”

Types of Crimes that Warrant Deportation

Immigrants face the risk of being deported if they are convicted of specific types of crime. A “crime of moral turpitude” (CMT) or is not defined very well under U.S. immigration law. It is important to note, however, the Department of State states that the typical conditions of a moral turpitude crime include “larceny, fraud, and intent to hurt persons or things.” Crimes that involve theft and dishonesty are considered this type of crime. Other examples include assault with intent to kill or rob someone; aggravated DUI or DWI; and spousal abuse.

An “aggravated felony” under immigration law differs from criminal law. The list of these types of felonies can be found in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Some of these crimes include:

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IL immigration lawyerIf you are an immigrant in the United States, even if you have legal status, you must be especially careful never to be associated with crime or even the smallest mistake may be enough to render you deportable. As such, if you find yourself in criminal court or charged with an offense, it is critical to find an attorney to represent you who understands both criminal law and immigration. If your attorney is not well versed in how the two interplay, you may find yourself plea-bargained into a sentence that will render you deportable even though that may be exactly what you seek to avoid.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude and Aggravated Felonies

U.S. immigration law distinguishes two types of criminal convictions as being relevant for immigration purposes. Crimes of moral turpitude (CIMTs) are offenses that are perceived to have an element of fraud or dishonesty, such as theft, but violent crimes like murder will also count because they are so far outside the realm of ‘acceptable’ moral conduct. It can be difficult to assess whether your offense is a CIMT, however, because the term is not explicitly defined. It has been clarified through past cases, but there is a healthy amount of debate over whether many crimes do in fact count as CIMTs.

Similar issues surround the other type of crime that can be problematic, known as an aggravated felony (AF) - though, paradoxically, a crime need not be ‘aggravated’ or even a felony under criminal law in order for it to count as an AF under immigration law. The classification was created in 1988 and at the time, only encompassed a few offenses, but with the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), the category was expanded significantly. A violent crime is almost always guaranteed to be an AF, but if a person commits a crime that does not involve any violence, it can be hard to say.

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Chicago deportation defense lawyers, Immigration law, deportation, deportation order, aggravated felonyIt is generally understood that when someone commits a crime, he or she is tried, convicted if enough evidence exists, and then goes to serve his or her sentence. However, if the defendant is an immigrant (documented or undocumented), then a criminal conviction can have further consequences which can, in certain circumstances, impede his or her ability to remain in the country. If you are a non-citizen accused of a crime, it is absolutely critical that you and your attorney understand what not to do in criminal matters.

Immigration Law is Severe

United States immigration law holds that in all but unusual situations, those who commit certain crimes are immediately rendered removable from the country. There are two types of crimes that will render a person removable. The first is called a crime of moral turpitude (CIMT), and the Immigration and Nationality Act holds that if a person commits two CIMTs in the period since his or her admission to the country, or if he or she commits one in his or her first five years in country where the maximum sentence is more than one year. It is important to understand that the maximum must be more than one year — it does not matter if the defendant received a lesser sentence; if the maximum is over 365 days, the defendant is deportable.

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Chicago immigration attorneys, aggravated felony, deportationImmigration attorneys are very familiar with the concept of the aggravated felony; yet, the layman will likely not understand. The term is an arcane one, taking two words familiar to average people and making them into a new phrase. However, if you are an immigrant, aggravated felony is a term that is imperative you know. If you commit what is adjudicated to be an aggravated felony, you may wind up subject to deportation.

Where Did the Term Come From?

The first appearance of the term ‘aggravated felony’ was in 1988, under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. At this point, the term was construed only to include three disparate crimes: murder, drug trafficking, and illegal trafficking of firearms. Over time, approximately 50 more crimes have been added to the list, to the point where the term has been redefined and redefined again. As of this writing, the list contains any crime that can be said, in any way, to relate to fraud or dishonest character, but there are many exceptions.

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DuPage County deportation defense attorneys, crimes of moral turpitudeIf you are an immigrant in the United States, you have likely heard of an aggravated felony, or are at least aware that committing a crime described as an aggravated felony can have serious immigration consequences. However, depending on your circumstances, you may not have heard of crimes of moral turpitude (CMTs). Until you obtain citizenship, if you so desire, committing a CMT can still have serious consequences for your immigration status.

Definitions and History

The designation of crimes of moral turpitude appeared in U.S. immigration law for the first time in the late 19th century, where it was defined as a crime involving conduct that is inherently dishonest or otherwise wrong; a crime that involves malice (‘malum in se’) rather than being wrong simply because there is a law against it (‘malum prohibitum’). For example, pedestrians crossing the street outside the confines of a crosswalk is not an inherently wrong act, but rather it is unlawful (‘malum prohibitum’). Conversely, deliberately striking a pedestrian with your automobile is inherently wrong and immoral (‘malum in se,’ which would qualify as a crime involving moral turpitude).

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