Removal or Deportation for Criminal Activity Is Serious

Immigrant visas are granted based on a number of criteria. If, however, there is evidence that an immigrant has been convicted of or even involved in a crime, they may no longer be eligible to remain in the United States. In short, immigrants may face deportation for criminal activity. Deportation – now referred to as removal proceedings –typically include a hearing before an immigration judge.

Grounds for Deportation from the United States

There are several grounds for immigrant deportation, or removal, from the United States. Not all criminal convictions are grounds for deportation. The most common types of criminal convictions that may result in deportation include aggravated felonies, drug or firearm convictions, and crimes of moral turpitude. Additionally, an immigrant may also be deported for a conviction of domestic violence.

Common Types of Aggravated Felonies

Aggravated felonies are typically serious crimes that often result in jail sentences. Some of the most common aggravated felonies include:

  • Murder
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Burglary or Theft (with a sentence of at least 1 year)
  • Rape or Sexual Abuse of a Minor
  • Violent Crimes (with a sentence of at least 1 year)
  • Gambling or Racketeering
  • Fraud, Deceit, or Tax Evasion of $10,000 or more
  • Illegal Entry After Deportation
  • Document Fraud
  • Obstruction of Justice, Perjury, or Bribery

It is important to note that not all crimes listed above are considered felonies, unless they are serious enough to warrant a prison sentence of one year or more. Crimes that fall under the category of moral turpitude – such as rape, murder, and others – do not require a minimum jail sentence to qualify an immigrant for deportation.

Criminal Activity without a Conviction

Some criminal activity is considered grounds for removal. Some of these activities are related directly to immigration issues. Overstaying your visa, for example, will result in removal proceedings. Treason, espionage, and terrorism are all examples of criminal activity that does not require a conviction for deportation.

Those accused of these crimes will be deported. Removal typically occurs after a determination or hearing. The immigrant has the ability to defend the charges and present his case, often with help from an experienced attorney.

Removal or deportation charges are serious and require you to take action. You will likely be required to attend a hearing. Your failure to respond to the request will result in immediate steps for removal. If you have been charged with a serious crime, contact the experienced immigration lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation as soon as possible.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Deportation for Criminal Activity, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.