DUI arrests don't always lead to convictions in court. Police officer mistakes, faulty breathalyzers and crime lab errors may get your charges reduced or dismissed. Visit our California DUI page to learn more.
What California criminal convictions lead to deportation?
Certain criminal convictions in California can lead to deportation if you are not a United States citizen. It often does not matter how long you have been in the country. Known as “deportable offenses,” these are:
crimes of moral turpitude,
firearms offenses, and
crimes of domestic violence.
1. Crimes of moral turpitude
Serious convictions for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) are deportable under the Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, a major federal law concerning U.S. immigration.
California and federal courts have interpreted “moral turpitude” to mean vileness in the private and social duties owed to others or to society in general. California courts have found the following offenses to be crimes of moral turpitude under California law:
Who is subject to deportation after a criminal conviction in California?
Non-U.S. citizens are subject to deportation after a conviction for a deportable offense. This includes any type of immigration status, such as:
lawful permanent residents, also known as green card holders,
holders of any type of visa, like a work or student visa, and
refugees who have already been granted asylum.
Importantly, your connection to the U.S. does not matter. You can be deported after the conviction even if you:
have a child who is a U.S. citizen,
have lived in the U.S. for decades, or
have established a steady life in the U.S., such as by owning a home or business or starting a family.
Convictions for some serious crimes also make you inadmissible to return to the U.S.
Non-citizens suspected of a deportable crime should strongly consider establishing an attorney-client relationship with a criminal defense attorney and potentially an immigration attorney from a reputable law firm, as well.
Defending against these criminal offenses may require a different strategy. A guilty plea or a plea bargain may reduce the penalties while also leading to deportation proceedings in immigration court. Your defense lawyer’s legal advice should keep this possibility in mind.
 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 237(a)(2)(A)(i).
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.