A U.S. resident with legal immigration status who commits a crime may face the possibility of deportation.
Deportable crimes in Colorado include drug offenses, aggravated felonies, weapons crimes, domestic violence and crimes involving moral turpitude.
Examples of CIMTs
A crime of moral turpitude is particularly heinous because it involves dishonesty or depraved conduct that a reasonable person would consider shocking or vile. In Colorado, the following CIMTs are likely to have immigration consequences:
- Intimate partner violence or child abuse
- Murder or manslaughter
- Sexual assault
- Solicitation of prostitution
- Using or carrying a concealed weapon
A single conviction may not result in deportation, but the likelihood is high if the crime is a felony and committed within five years of entering the U.S.
Defendants convicted through a plea agreement or criminal trial generally do not board an international flight following sentencing. While getting convictions overturned is difficult, constitutional rights entitle everyone to due process. Judges may consider 35(c) petitions for relief if there is a chance the verdict is invalid. If the penalty for a crime is unduly harsh, a judge may grant a motion for reconsideration of the sentence. If there are blatant errors in the prosecution, the defendant may ask the court for a new trial. As a last resort, an appeal to the federal court may delay or prevent deportation altogether.
Immigration law is complex, and courts address issues on a case-by-case basis. Non-citizens residing in Colorado should avoid breaking the law, but understand their rights in the event of an accusation.