A recent petition denial by the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, has established that robbery under California Penal Code 211 is a crime involving moral turpitude for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This means that a non-citizen immigrant can be deported or deemed inadmissible into the county if convicted of robbery.
Luis Mendoza, a native and citizen of Mexico, entered the United States as an undocumented alien in 1983. In 2005, Mendoza was convicted of robbery and sentenced to one year in prison.
Based on this conviction, the Department of Homeland Security issued Mendoza a notice to appear (NTA) charging that he was subject to removal from the country because he had been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude for the purposes of the INA.
The Immigration Judge found that Mendoza was in the country illegally and was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. The judge then ordered for Mendoza’s removal to Mexico. Mendoza appealed the matter to the Board of Immigration Appeals, but they found no error in removal order.
Robbery is defined in PC 211 as the felonious taking of personal property of another individual from their immediate possession by use of force or intimation. For purposes of current immigration law, robbery is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), or a crime that is “inherently base, vile, or depraved, and contrary to accepted rules of morality and the duties owed between persons or to society in general.” Other crimes that may constitute CIMTs include murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, prostitution, burglary, fraud, etc.
A robbery conviction can result in a sentence that includes imprisonment for a period ranging from two to nine years in state prison. The INA subjects non-citizen immigrant to deportation if they are convicted of a CIMT committed within five years after being admitted into the country and if the underlying crime imposed a prison sentence of at least one year. A non-citizen immigrant is also subject to deportation if convicted of two CIMTs not arising out of the same criminal scheme (time of commission is irrelevant).
If you are being charged with a crime of moral turpitude and face the possibility of deportation if convicted, it is imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid a conviction. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling criminal cases and will diligently work to help you raise the best possible defense in your case. Call us today at 888-280-6839 or visit us online at www.wklaw.com. We will be there for you when you call.