Protecting Your Immigration Status if You Are Accused of a Crime

Many immigrants who face criminal charges don’t understand the effect that a guilty plea could have on their immigration status. You could face deportation for a criminal conviction even if you end up pleading to a misdemeanor offense or serve no jail time.

What Criminal Convictions Subject a Non-citizen to Deportation?

There are many crimes that would subject a non-citizen to deportation. Here are some examples:

  • Fraud or theft crimes with loss greater than $10,000 (sometimes fraud or theft offenses are called “crimes of moral turpitude,” since they reflect on your moral standards);
  • Murder;
  • Rape;
  • Gun charges;
  • Drug offenses;
  • Money laundering;
  • DUI that results in injury of another person;
  • Felony assault and battery;
  • Crimes of domestic violence, even if the charge is misdemeanor battery.

The following chart (PDF) attempts to show the immigration consequences of select offenses.  Please note that Immigration law is unpredictable and constantly changing.  The following chart is no guarantee of  how individual cases will be affected.