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What is a crime of moral turpitude?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2017 | Criminal Defense

Any criminal conviction will have a lasting effect on your life and the opportunities you can enjoy. Even a misdemeanor can disqualify you from certain jobs and make it difficult to find housing. Some crimes are particularly problematic when they appear on your record. These offenses — crimes of moral turpitude — reflect actions that violate generally accepted social mores.

According to the Office of the United States Attorney, robbery, kidnapping, assault and murder are just a few of the crimes that qualify. If you are facing charges of these or any other offenses that qualify as moral turpitude, you should be aware of the potential consequences you face, including the following.

You may have trouble finding a job

Potential employers who conduct background checks are unlikely to hire a person who has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude. Because of the nature of these offenses, the public may view you as unreliable and even potentially dangerous. No employer will want to hire somebody who may put the business and the rest of the staff at risk. 

Multiple offenses may lead to deportation

Two or moral convictions of moral turpitude — not stemming from a single incident — will render an alien in the United State deportable. This is true even if the convictions are both misdemeanors, and in some areas, one conviction and an additional charge is enough justification for deportation. Avoiding convictions is vitally important for immigrants, aliens and residents alike.

Classification may be ambiguous

One of the most common criticisms of so-called moral turpitude crimes is the typically ambiguous phrasing applied to their qualification. The definition varies from state to state, and this means that many offenses could potentially be classified as such. No matter what kind of charges you are facing, you should consider investing in legal representation in order to protect yourself and your future.