You could get deported if you have a misdemeanor. It does matter what kind of misdemeanor you have. At this moment, there is no law which means that if you have a misdemeanor, you are immediately deported.
An immigrant can be deported for committing a deportable offense, which includes aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
As of this writing, crimes involving moral turpitude are not clearly defined. As mentioned in a blog we wrote in 2013, a crime of moral turpitude (according to the Board of Immigration Appeals) is:
[An] act that is inherently base, vile, or depraved, and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed between persons or to society in general.
This can include, but is not limited to:
- Assault with malicious intent
- Gross indecency
- Tax evasion
- Transporting stolen property
If you are found to have committed a crime of moral turpitude within your first 5 years in the U.S., you could be deported. Also, if you have committed 2 or more crimes of moral turpitude, you may be deported. Even if you have a green card, crimes of moral turpitude can revoke your residency in the U.S..
There are some instances where crimes of moral turpitude cannot count against you. If a crime of moral turpitude would result in less than 1 year of imprisonment and if you actually served less than 6 months in prison, your crime is known as a petty offense.
Crimes that are not classified under violation of moral turpitude include drunk driving, disorderly conduct, assault without malicious intent, firearm violations, and more. However, some crimes, such as those involving firearms, drugs, child abuse, and domestic violence can also be deportable, even if they are not an aggravated felony or crime of moral turpitude.
Also, crimes where the possible deportee was under 18 years old (and not tried as an adult) do not qualify as crimes involving moral turpitude.
Just because you are deportable does not necessarily mean you will be deported. There are often defenses available to stop a deportation from happening.
Do You Need Help With A Possible Misdemeanor and Your Status?
It is very important to be careful about plea bargains if you are an immigrant, even for misdemeanors. The immigration attorneys at Salmon and Haas can help you get the information you need, and can help you try to stay in the United States if you are facing deportation.