Criminal Records and Deportation

By Attorney Yifei He

Imagine the following situation: you are a non-citizen in the United States and have just gotten a notice from the United States Citizenship Immigration Service (USCIS). The notice states you will be deported from the U.S. because of your criminal background. Now, what are you going to do? How are you going to handle this complicated situation?

Once you enter the U.S. with any legal status, your five-year clock for the Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude starts (I.N.A. § 237(a)(2)(A)(i)). A crime of moral turpitude is defined as any crime with a potential sentence of a year or more. For example, misdemeanor petit larceny, defined as a class A misdemeanor in New York, is considered a crime of moral turpitude. It carries a maximum potential sentence of one year. If you commit any crimes involving moral turpitude within your five-year period of admission, the USCIS can deport you back to your country.

On the other hand, your situation would be completely different if you committed an aggravated felony. According to U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), the USCIS can deport “[a]ny alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission.” If you receive a deportation notice in this situation, it will be more difficult to appeal the decision of the USCIS. You could try to appeal your deportation by arguing against your conviction. And in that case, you will definitely need a skilled attorney on your side.

Given the collateral consequences of any criminal offense, you need to determine the effect of any criminal disposition on your immigration status. If you or anyone you know is in the situations I discussed, please contact me for legal assistance. I have handled many successful cases in the past. I will eliminate remaining concerns about your immigration status and your criminal records. Schedule your initial consultation with me today, so I can help you solve your problem!