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Immigration Law and Crimes of Moral Turpitude—Courtesy of Berd & Klauss, PLLC November 21, 2014

Financial District, Manhattan
Immigration Law and Crimes of Moral Turpitude—Courtesy of Berd & Klauss, PLLC, Manhattan, New York

It’s one of the most important tenants of U.S. immigration law and yet many would-be immigrants do not know the consequences of having been charged with a crime that constitutes a crime of moral turpitude (CMT).

Immigration lawyers of Berd & Klauss, PLLC, provide immigration advice for business immigration, H-1B visas and all other general immigration attorney services. Their immigration lawyers explain that much of the confusion surrounding this part of immigration law is the fact that a person is never actually charged with the crime of moral turpitude, but some other crime instead. However, conviction of a crime that fulfills this description can be responsible for U.S. visa denial and the inability to obtain U.S. permanent residence and citizenship.

Unfortunately, the statutory definition of what constitutes a crime of moral turpitude is not statutorily provided by law. What is clear, however, is that some type of criminal act would have had to be committed first, though a conviction is not necessary. With this in mind, an immigration officer or judge will look at specific things to determine whether a crime of moral turpitude has been committed.

Generally speaking, this is “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.”

Intention to commit a criminal act is one of the most important points determining whether a crime of moral turpitude was committed. Immigration attorneys will try to argue their client did not in fact “intend” to commit a specific crime/s and plead for a judge or officer to be lenient based on the absence of intent.

A good immigration lawyer will also argue that the committed criminal act is not malum in se (bad in and of itself) but rather malum prohibitum (bad because it is prohibited). Central to the issue is the idea that: a crime of inherent moral corruption (malum in se) was not committed by the individual, even though an indiscretion may have occurred.

If you are in need of a respected immigration attorney, Berd & Klauss, PLLC, offers many immigration services and provides legal expertise on all immigration and deportation topics. To reach their offices call (212) 461-7152 or for more information visit them online

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