In the United States and in California, anyone who violates the law could be deported as punishment for his or her crime. Even if you are in the country legally, if you break the law, you could lose your right to stay in the United States. In particular, domestic violence crimes could be severe enough to warrant deportation – especially if the judge considers your crime to be a crime of moral turpitude (8 U.S. Code Section 1227).
What Is Moral Turpitude?
Crimes of moral turpitude involve any crime that intends to harm persons or things, such as fraud, larceny, assault, or even domestic violence. U.S. law allows for the deportation of any immigrant guilty of a crime of moral turpitude within five years of being admitted into the country. For those immigrants who have been granted a visa, they can be deported for any crime of moral turpitude within 10 years.
U.S. immigration laws state that if the penalty for the crime is less than one year in jail, then it cannot be a crime of moral turpitude. Yet, domestic violence related to immigration is often considered differently because of the act of violence associated with them. Thus, no matter how long you have held your visa or green card, you could still be deported for a domestic violence conviction.
What Is Considered Domestic Violence in California?
Different cultures have different ways of handling domestic disputes and arguments. Yet, in California, if you physically hurt your married or domestic partner, threaten or promise to hurt that person, or harass or stalk that person, then you could be found guilty of domestic violence under the law.
Whether your judge considers your domestic violence charge a crime of moral turpitude depends largely on your defense – and the attorney you choose to represent you. An experienced Oakland criminal defense attorney can build a case that is designed to expose the weaknesses in the prosecution's case and have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed all together. Even if you are convicted of domestic violence, your lawyer may be able to keep you from being deported.
How your domestic violence charges affect your immigration status depends on numerous factors. Let our Oakland domestic violence lawyer provide assistance. Call now.