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Can I Be Deported for Domestic Violence?

Can I Be Deported for Domestic Violence?

Oakland and the rest of the East Bay are notorious for having a large immigrant population, which undoubtedly enriches our culture in more ways than one. If you’re an immigrant or a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) and you violate any of the U.S. immigration laws, you can be subject to deportation.

One of the main reasons why people are placed in removal proceedings is because they are found guilty of a state or federal offense. Specifically, Green Card holders dramatically increase their risk of being deported whenever they commit a “crime of moral turpitude.” What is a crime of moral turpitude? Crimes of moral turpitude include aggravated felonies, and crimes that go against the “mores of society,” such as child abuse, spousal abuse, and identity theft.

Domestic Violence is a Deportable Offense

In many countries throughout the world, it is not illegal to use physical violence against one’s spouse or child, but in recent decades the laws of the United States have become less tolerable of family violence, also known as “domestic violence.” Not only is domestic violence a crime in California, Green Card holders can be placed in removal proceedings for abusing their family and household members. Learn more about domestic violence and immigration here.

Other crimes “of moral turpitude” that can lead to deportation, include:

  • Sexual assault (rape)
  • Immigration fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Drug-related crimes
  • Felony DUI
  • Theft-related crimes

Not all crimes committed by immigrants lead to removal proceedings (deportation). Generally, petty offenses, such as simple assault, misdemeanor DUI (that does not involve driving without a valid driver’s license), and shoplifting do not lead to deportation. Child abuse and spousal abuse on the other hand, can definitely trigger deportation proceedings, especially if the violence resulted in documented injuries, such as serious bruising, broken bones, black eyes, and other proven injuries upon the victim.

To learn more about California’s definition of domestic violence, click here.

Are you an immigrant who’s accused of domestic violence? If so, contact our firm immediately for a consultation with an Oakland criminal defense attorney!

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