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Criminal convictions and immigration status

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Facing criminal charges can be a serious matter for anyone. Defendants who are not U.S. citizens may also face immigration concerns in addition to other consequences in the event of a conviction.

Generally, an immigrant may face deportation and bans on future entry into the country based on convictions for so-called crimes involving moral turpitude. While the statute itself does not define a CIMT, rulings by federal courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals have clarified this issue in some respects, leaving others open to argument.

Fraud and violence

Broadly, CIMTs tend to include crimes that involve fraud and/or intentional serious bodily harm to someone else. Thus, the specific wording of a particular Texas criminal statute can make a great difference in terms of how immigration authorities may view a particular conviction.

Defining necessary level of intent

If the definition of a particular violent crime includes intent, it is more likely to be a CIMT. Murder, kidnapping and domestic violence are some examples of CIMT. On the other hand, a typical DWI, without additional factors, is generally not a CIMT as it does not involve intentionally violent conduct.

Fraudulent crimes likely to fall under CIMT include presentation of fake documentation to employers or authorities, various types of theft crimes and other conduct that includes intentionally misleading someone.

Gray areas may exist when a statute includes reckless, rather than intentional, conduct. Criminal recklessness has a greater chance of leading to a CIMT finding than criminal negligence.

Complications and exceptions

While these are just a few of the broad rules, there are many complex considerations that can affect a court's ruling. For example, although most violence-based CIMT involve serious bodily harm, if the victim belongs to a protected class (such as a minor below the age of 17), a far lower degree of harm may suffice.

Do not wait until after conviction to confront this issue

Immigrants facing criminal charges can benefit from the help of a defense attorney with a thorough knowledge of potential immigration issues. An experienced lawyer can explain options and look for ways to avoid a conviction that may trigger immigration consequences.

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  • Thank You For Ending My Nightmare

    Family Law Ladies: Bianca, Adelina, Julia and Clarissa: I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have had you in my corner yesterday... Marco: You are blessed to have such skilled and hard-working professionals working for you! Thank you so much also!

  • Eternally Grateful For Their Service!

    Fully satisfied client! Mr. Rivera advised me regarding renewing my expired legal permanent resident card. From the first day we met he guide me and answered all of my questions. I highly recommend The Gonzalez Law Group.

  • dad's In Texas Can Win Custody

    Everyone knows in Texas its very hard for the dad to be granted custody, but Attorney Bianca Flores made it look so easy, her and Paralegal Julia kept us informed and updated all the time about how everything was going. We would very highly recommend The Gonzalez Law Group for any case. The Best in Texas.

  • "thanks For Having The Best"

    I personally want to thank Mr. Saenz and Mr. Gonzalez for their honesty and support, from the first impression to the serious questions, it was so professional. They went the extra mile with their advice and support.

  • best Lawyer Experience I Have Ever Had

    I was extremely satisfied with the work that Raul Saenz and his paralegal, Rosary, did on my behalf with the Probate of my Mother's estate. They made a very complicated process look and feel easy.

  • aggressive And Affective

    I’m very pleased with the services provided by Attorney Bianca Flores and Adelina Sanchez and their Paralegal Julia Rivera From the Gonzalez Law Group, MY LEGAL TEAM FOR LIFE. My divorce got complicated and the Attorneys fought to protect my rights and property rights and finalized my case in a short time frame. I would highly recommend them to any one looking for quick results.

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