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Beware of felony charges if your immigration status is pending

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2022 | Blog, Immigration

The process of obtaining legal status in the United States is already challenging enough without a Mississippi felony on your record. But if that’s the situation you’re faced with, you need to find out what you need to do to move forward and what to expect.

Moral turpitude and aggravated felonies

If you’ve immigrated to the United States and are dealing with a felony charge, it only makes matters worse if the crime involves moral turpitude in the eyes of the law. Moral turpitude is legally defined as exceedingly immoral and deviant acts.

Other crimes are labeled as aggravated felonies. These kinds of offenses are punished severely if you aren’t a legal citizen.

Crimes of this nature are taken so seriously that committing them may result in a permanent ban from ever entering the United States. Even when the consequences aren’t so extreme, they will still often affect your deportation relief eligibility in some way.

Immigration law classifies some acts differently

It’s important to note that laws aren’t always treated the same when it comes to immigration. Aggravated felony sometimes refers to crimes that are normally only classified as misdemeanors in federal or state court. In some cases, an aggravated felony in immigration law might not even be considered a criminal act under normal circumstances.

Aggravated felonies used to be limited to acts like murder or the trafficking of drugs or firearms. But over time, the list has been amended to include additional crimes. For example, all of the following now count as aggravated felonies:

  • Failing to appear in court
  • Tax fraud
  • Theft
  • Simple Battery

Common crimes of moral turpitude include:

  • Tax evasion
  • Child abuse
  • Wire fraud
  • Perjury

The crimes that are considered removable offenses under U.S. immigration law encompass a broad range of acts. This means when you have a pending immigration status, it’s a good time to be careful that you stay within the bounds of the law.

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