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When Immigration Proceedings Turn Criminal

Criminal Allegations Can Upend the Immigration Process for Legal Residents & Prospective Citizens

Deportation proceedings are inherently criminal, meaning that deportation is almost always in response to a crime of some sort. It can be triggered by virtually any crime, even those that are not directly related to immigration. Of course, illegal aliens may be deported if they are found living and working in the United States without official permission, and anyone seeking residency or citizenship may be deported for immigration-based offenses such as harboring an illegal alien, engaging in espionage, or violating the terms of their current visa.

Deportation could also become a reality for both legal and illegal immigrants charged with criminal act of virtually any kind, especially if it involves what the Immigration and National Act (I.N.A.) refers to as “crimes of moral turpitude” (CMTs). Though CMTs are not clearly defined in any U.S. immigration statues, they generally refer to crimes that involve larceny, fraud, or intent to harm other persons or property, which include most misdemeanor and felony offenses. If a U.S. immigration court finds you guilty of a CMT, it could block you from obtaining your desired visa and block you from obtaining permanent residency and citizenship.

Crimes that Provide Grounds for Deportation & Inadmissibility in Immigration Proceedings

In addition to CMTs, there are a few other specific crimes that can result in deportation and/or your inadmissibility in immigration proceedings. These may include:

  • Participation or conspiracy to participate in commission of a crime involving controlled substances
  • Participation or conspiracy to participate in trafficking of controlled substances or illicit drugs
  • Participation or conspiracy to participate in prostitution or criminal gambling in the United States or in the past 10 years
  • Participation or conspiracy to participate in aggravated felony offenses of any kind
  • Participation or conspiracy to participate in money laundering

Your continued residence in the United States and your application for citizenship or a visa of any kind could also be denied if you have been convicted of two or more crimes which result in a combined total of at least 5 years in prison.

Criminal Defense Attorney & Immigration Lawyer in Deland, FL

At Williams Legal, we serve people who find themselves at the intersection of immigration and criminal law. We have an in-depth understanding of both the United States immigration system and the criminal justice system, which makes us the perfect advocates for you and your loved ones during this challenging time. Allow us to come alongside you and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Call (386) 277-1166 to speak to a Deland immigration attorney about your claim and schedule your consultation with a member of our team.