Petty Offenses and Immigration

Criminal and Immigration Lawyer

Depending on certain penalties and prison sentences, specific crimes are considered “petty,” which means that it does not involve moral turpitude. This means that a petty offense would be considered an exception to immigration violations. If any immigrant has committed a crime that involved moral turpitude, then he or she will be deported

from the United States or denied entry. It is important to know that not every crime is considered morally wrong, though. Based on the certain crime that was committed, even if it involved moral turpitude, there is a chance that you still may be eligible for a visa if it qualified for a “petty offense.” If you are able to prove that your crime was a petty offense, then you will need to request special legal forgiveness.

How to Determine If Your Crime Was a Petty Offense
A crime that involved moral turpitude is considered to be a petty offense if the following applies:

  • 1 The maximum penalty that you received for the crime you committed was for one year or less, and
  • 2 The maximum penalty that you received for the crime you committed was for one year or less, and

Many times, people make the mistake of assuming that a misdemeanor will qualify for a petty offense and a felony will not. However, no matter what type of crime was committed, it is imperative that the two rules listed above apply to your case, otherwise, it is not considered to be a petty offense. For example, some felonies may apply to the petty offense exception, and some misdemeanors may not.

How to Prove That the Petty Offense Exception Applies to Your Case

In order to prove that your offense is considered an exception, you will need to provide the U.S. government authoritative figure who is in charge of ruling your immigration application with the following:

  • 1 Certified disposition from the court that sentenced you
  • 2 A copy of the statute that convicted you, which shows the maximum sentence for that crime

The protocol needed in order to obtain any certified information varies from court to court. It is important that you discuss this matter with your criminal and immigration lawyer, as he or she will be able to contact the court clerk at the place in which you were convicted. Keep in mind that the petty offense exception only applies to crimes that are considered to have moral turpitude. An offense such as a controlled substance violation would not be considered an exception. In addition, a petty offense exception can only apply to one offense. Let’s say that someone committed two or more crimes that involved moral turpitude--in this case, you will not meet the exception rule.

When it comes to the petty offense exception rule, it gives immigrants who have been convicted of a petty offense crime involving moral turpitude the opportunity to remain eligible for admission if they wish to enter the United States or avoid getting deported. It is important to remember the petty offense exception rule can be very complicated, and no one should simply assume that it will apply to them without speaking to a criminal immigration attorney Pasadena first. By speaking to an experienced criminal immigration attorney, you will be able to get a thorough explanation on these types of cases and what needs to be done in order for it to work in your favor. Luckily, our team at Alami Law has represented several people who wish to enter the U.S. or want to avoid deportation if they have committed a crime involving moral turpitude. You can trust that our knowledgeable team will be there for you every step of the way, so you are never left questioning you case. If you or someone you know is in need of an immigration lawyer Pasadena, we have the knowledge and resources to get you the legal help you need. We handle an abundance of immigration legal matters and are extremely successful at doing so. We take pride in representing those who wish to remain in the U.S. and will do everything we can to make your case and experience with us as seamless as possible.