Will your misdemeanor conviction lead to deportation?

It goes without saying that if you are an immigrant to the U.S., whether documented or undocumented, you should do your best to stay out of trouble. Some kinds of trouble could lead to your deportation, especially those where you receive a criminal conviction. 

Virtually all U.S. states divide crimes into misdemeanors, the less serious ones, and felonies, the more serious ones. FindLaw explains, however, that deportation courts generally do not look at the classification of the crime for which you received your conviction, but rather at the crime itself. If the court deems you committed and became convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, your conviction, even though for a misdemeanor, could result in your deportation. 

Moral turpitude crimes 

While no definition exists as to what constitutes a crime of moral turpitude, courts generally consider whether the crime breached someone’s trust. Consequently, the following misdemeanors fall under the heading of crimes of moral turpitude: 

  • Shoplifting 
  • Perjury 
  • Assault 
  • Fraud 
  • Embezzlement 

Nevertheless, even conviction of a crime of moral turpitude will not automatically lead to your deportation. The court will also look at the penalty associated with that crime. One conviction of a moral turpitude crime with a penalty not exceeding one year of jail time will not get you deported because this situation represents a deportation exception. On the other hand, even charges of multiple misdemeanors, let alone conviction thereof, may well result in your deportation regardless of what penalties attached to them. 

Additional deportable crimes 

Conviction of any of the following crimes undoubtedly will result in your deportation: 

  • Child abuse or neglect 
  • Domestic violence 
  • Stalking or cyberstalking 
  • Human trafficking 

Furthermore, conviction of an aggravated felony such as murder or other violent crimes most assuredly will cause your deportation.