How are crimes of moral turpitude defined in Georgia?

Atlanta, GA – All immigrants can be deported from the US if they commit certain types of offenses, including crimes of moral turpitude. It’s not just undocumented aliens that need to be careful, but also legal permanent residents. Contrary to what you may think, a Green Card doesn’t shield you from removal. A US citizen may go to jail for a certain time, after which he’ll go on with his life, while an immigrant may find himself on a plane back to his native country with little chance of ever coming back. At least not legally.

List of offenses that make you deportable 

An immigrant can be placed in removal proceedings if he or she is found guilty of:

  • Aggravated Felony
  • Crime of Moral Turpitude 
  • Domestic Violence, Stalking, Violation of Protection Order, and Child Abuse
  • Controlled Substance Offenses
  • Firearm Offenses

What is the definition of crime of moral turpitude?

The US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the first to admit that there is “no statutory definition” of crime involving moral turpitude (CMT). Rather than attempt to provide a definition, the USCIS refers to what US courts have to say on the issue. Broadly speaking the term moral turpitude “refers generally to conduct that shocks the public conscience as being inherently base, vile, or depraved, contrary to the rules of morality and the duties owed between man and man, either one’s fellow man or society in general.

One thing the immigration judge presiding over a hearing will be looking at is whether the offense involved “willful conduct” or reckless, evil, or malicious intent. Basically, the immigrant who committed the offense knew what he was doing was wrong. 

The USCIS defines four major categories of CMT:

  • Crimes Against a Person 
  • Crimes Against Property 
  • Sexual and Family Crimes
  • Crimes Against Authority of the Government

To complicate matters even further, US states use different classifications for CMT so an offense that makes you deportable in Georgia may be excused in Virginia or Texas.

 Is DUI a crime of moral turpitude?

In Georgia, driving while intoxicated doesn’t count as a crime of moral turpitude. Not in itself anyway. If you get a DUI, you may pay a fine and lose some points, but it doesn’t make you deportable. On the other hand, if you’re involved in a drunk-driving accident resulting in injury or death, that may be serious enough to put you at risk of removal.

What about petty theft?

Theft is considered a CMT, but there’s the so-called petty theft exception. Under Georgia law, petty theft involving items with a value of $1,500 or less is classified as a misdemeanor. It is punishable by fines and/or up to one year in prison.

Is tax evasion a crime of moral turpitude?

In Georgia, crimes involving tax evasion or failure to pay taxes are considered a crime of moral turpitude. Whether you plead guilty or you’re convicted in a state or federal court, it counts as moral turpitude and you risk being deported. 

For certain crimes, you may obtain a waiver, which means you may be allowed to stay in Georgia. 

If you fear you may be placed in removal proceedings, schedule an appointment with a trustworthy lawyer at Kuck | Baxter Immigration LLC in Atlanta or their South Georgia office and get legal assistance as soon as possible. Your hearing may be only a few weeks away.  

Contact info:

Kuck | Baxter Immigration LLC

365 Northridge Road

Suite 300

Atlanta, GA 30350

Tel : (404) 816-8611

Source: US Customs and Immigration Services

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