Is it Possible to be Deported for a Domestic Violence Conviction?
You’ve been in the states for a number of years. With all the crackdowns on immigration, you are already worried. In one sense, you feel protected. After all, you do have your green card. Notwithstanding, your cause for concern might be very valid. A domestic violence conviction could warrant the start of deportation proceedings.
In many cases, domestic violence complaints arise because of emotions running high. Here’s an example. You live with your brother, who decided to run off with your car. The fact that you were without transportation to get to work has you seething with anger.
When your brother finally waltzes through the entrance to your house, you decide to let him have it. You don’t physically touch him, but your demeanor is more than intimidating. In your rage, you threaten to knock him out for inconveniencing you. Your brother takes a step back and appears very frightened.
There’s a good chance you were never planning on acting on your word. Nonetheless, you are stunned when you are served with a temporary restraining order. Apparently, your brother was scared and marched over to the local police department. (Or, he was just feeling vengeful.)
In any case, you are now faced with a fear yourself. Apparently, the courts could consider your words a terroristic threat. Your brother got the restraining order because you live in the same household and your confrontation might be regarded as an act of domestic violence. Does this mean you have to worry about deportation?
Deportation and Domestic Violence
There are many reasons non-citizens could already fear the prospect of deportation. The most obvious are individuals who are commonly referred to as undocumented immigrants. They may have illegally passed over the border or overstayed a visa. Some younger people currently have some protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). However, they and even those with green cards can still be at risk for deportation.
As you may already know, it’s somewhat standard to be returned to the country of origin for serious offenses. Under federal law, any non-citizen can be deported for one of two reasons. One is committing an aggravated felony; the other is a conviction of a crime of moral turpitude.
First, things first. You should know that New Jersey doesn’t use the term felony to classify crimes. However, it does equate felony convictions with higher level crimes known as indictable offenses. However, what is a crime of moral turpitude?
Good question, and one that is important to your defense. According to the federal statutes, some examples of moral turpitude include the following:
- Intent to Hurt Someone Else
- Crimes involving Sexual Morality
Of course, these are just some examples of acts of domestic violence that suggest a crime of moral turpitude. Interestingly enough some courts may decide that a simple assault does not fall into this category. Thus, you would not necessarily have to be concerned about deportation for simple assault. However, you should note that the courts could still see otherwise.
For a moment, think about the story we presented. Could proof a terroristic threat be a reason for deportation? In its definition of a crime of violence, 18 U.S. Code 16 includes the “threatened use of physical force.” Once again, it will be up to the court to determine whether your domestic violence conviction merits notifying immigration authorities.