If you are an immigrant or other non-citizen residing in Nevada, you may be removed from the United States for having committed a CIMT-crime involving moral turpitude. On this page, our Las Vegas Immigration Criminal Defense attorneys discuss what CIMTs are and how they may endanger your resident status.
Crimes involving Moral Turpitude in Nevada
CIMTs-crimes involving moral turpitude-are a category of felonies and misdemeanors that courts consider to be especially depraved and malicious such as theft crimes, violent crimes, and fraud crimes. Because of the seriousness of CIMTs, an immigration judge may remove you from the United States if you have committed one.
One factor most CIMTs have in common is that they require a deliberate intent to do ill--you have to intend to carry out the CIMT in order to be guilty of it. For example, shoplifting in Nevada is a CIMT since you have to intend to steal something in order to be convicted of shoplifting. If you merely forgot to pay for something in a store, then you are not guilty of shoplifting in Nevada, and you did not commit a CIMT.
CIMTs do not include such non-intent crimes as DUI in Nevada: Since you do not have to mean to drive drunk in order to be found guilty of driving drunk, DUI in Nevada does not have the 'deliberate' factor CIMTs require. Similarly, involuntary manslaughter in Nevada is not a CIMT either precisely because it is a unintentional offense.
Examples of Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude in Nevada
States differ about which crimes are considered CIMTs. In Nevada, the more common CIMTs include the following:
- murder in Nevada
- voluntary manslaughter in Nevada
- kidnapping in Nevada
- rape in Nevada
- prostitution in Nevada
- perjury in Nevada
- some theft crimes in Nevada
- possibly burglary in Nevada
- carrying a concealed weapon with intent to use in Nevada
- Casino marker crime in Nevada, especially if the amount owed is $10,000 or more
- some larceny crimes
- Lewdness with a minor under 14
How Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude affect resident status.
Having been involved with CIMTs may cause removal proceedings to be initiated against you, but rules differ depending on whether you are a legal alien or an undocumented alien:
Legal aliens who have been convicted of only one CIMT may be deported if the CIMT allegedly took place within five years after they have been admitted to the U.S. AND the crime's maximum sentence was at least a year, regardless of how much time was actually served.1 And if an alien has two or more CIMT convictions, they may be deported despite their sentences or how long ago they allegedly took place.
Meanwhile, undocumented aliens who have committed only one CIMT are automatically inadmissible into the U.S. The only exception, called the petty offense exception, applies when the CIMT's maximum sentence was one year and the actual sentence the judge imposed was six months or less.2
Undocumented aliens who merely admit to having committed a CIMT are inadmissible as well, even if there is no proof, but the judge does have to verify the following factors before you can be removed:
- the CIMT in question is a crime in the location where it allegedly occurred, and
- the alien understands the CIMT's elements, and
- the alien states his/her guilt for committing the CIMT, and
- the alien's admission was totally voluntary.
Call us if you need help . . . .
All immigrants and non-citizens who have been arrested, charged or convicted of criminal offenses in Nevada are encouraged to call our Las Vegas immigration criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). We can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and your rights.
Click here to learn about Deportable Crimes in Nevada.
Click here to learn about Inadmissible Crimes in Nevada.
Click here to learn about Ways to Modify or Vacate Past Criminal Convictions in Nevada.
Go back to our Criminal Defense of Immigrants in Nevada main page.
2INA � 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) In addition, if an undocumented alien was a juvenile when the CIMT was allegedly committed, he/she may still be admissible if the jail sentence was finished more than five years before he/she applied to the U.S for admission.