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Crime of Moral Turpitude
A crime of moral turpitude (CIMT) is deemed as an act that is intrinsically wrong or morally reprehensible. Generally a CIMT involves some kind of scienter – that is willfulness or deliberateness – or malum in se. Even one’s recklessness may even be enough to establish the requisite mental state needed for CIMT.
CIMT and Inadmissibility into the United States
If a person has been convicted of a CIMT crime or admits doing so to a consular/DHS officer, this person is generally inadmissible into the United States pursuant to INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).
A person makes an admission if the individual was provided with the elements of the crime prior to admission and the individual voluntarily admitted conduct constituting the essential elements of the crime. If the person also admits all facts constitute the crime then even if this person was not convicted, he may still be inadmissible. Even an attempt or conspiracy to commit an CIMT may make one inadmissible.
However, under INA 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) the petty offense exception applies and an alien will not be deemed inadmissible if the conviction for the offense does exceed imprisonment for one year and the alien was not sentenced to imprisonment in excess of 6 months.
CIMT and Deportation Grounds
Under INA 237 (a)(2)(A)(i), an alien is generally subject to deportation if he is convicted of a CIMT that was committed within 5 years of admission into the U.S. and is convicted of a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed.
An alien is also subject to deportation if at any time after admission, he is convicted of two CIMTs that did not arise out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct.
Identifying CIMTs and Potential Relief
At first glance, one may believe that the seriousness of the offense or the sentence imposed on a particular conviction is what should be controlling as to identifying whether misconduct is a CIMT. This is not the case.
Let the Law Firm of Kyce Siddiqi help you identify whether a particular act of misconduct constitutes a CIMT and whether you may be eligible for a waiver. Additionally, we may help you determine whether you are qualified for other forms of relief such Cancellation of Removal. Call Attorney Kyce Siddiqi today if you have a CIMT conviction.