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What is a crime of moral turpitude?

Immigrants to the United States are held under certain standards of conduct. When these standards are broken, it can lead to a person being deported. A crime of moral turpitude is one standard in which the courts may measure the crime an immigrant commits.

A crime of moral turpitude is one of the oldest grounds for removal of an immigrant. It first appeared in US immigration law back in 1891 and excluded those from the United States who had been convicted of a felony or other crime involving moral turpitude. The definition of what moral turpitude is generally left up to the courts. But they are generally divided into three categories. The first category is crimes against property. These may include arson, burglary, theft, and receiving stolen property. The second category is crimes committed against governmental authority. These may include tax evasion, bribery, among others. The third category is crimes committed against other people. These may include assaults, kidnapping, rape, etc.

Those who are found in violation of crime of moral turpitude may be ineligible for a visa or inadmissible to the United States. These are serious crimes that a person may be facing and consulting with an attorney who specializes in criminal defense may be a good idea. An attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the criminal accusation and help their client tell their side of the story. An attorney understands what is at stake for their client and will work tirelessly to defend them against these serious charges.

Those who are seeking United States citizenship need to understand crimes of moral turpitude and the significance of being accused of such crimes.

Source:, "What is a crime involving moral turpitude?", accessed on Oct. 7, 2017

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