Shoplifting is considered a crime of moral turpitude hence one of the possible consequences of being convicted of this crime is Deportation.
Even if you are a permanent resident, a shoplifting conviction can result in the individual being served with a notice to appear in immigration court for removal proceedings.
Here are a few things to take into consideration here:
- You may be deported if you are caught shoplifting or committing any other crime within five years of becoming a permanent resident (green card holder) and the crime committed was one that could result in a sentence of imprisonment for longer than a year.
- If you entered the United States illegally or are out of status, your shoplifting arrest will almost certainly draw the attention of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). You may be detained, arrested, and deported even if you are not convicted of shoplifting. You might be subject to deportation procedures based on your illegal immigration status and your encounter with law enforcement.
- You will also be deportable if you have a multiple crimes of moral turpitude (CMT) convictions, regardless of how long you have been a green card holder.
If you are not a U.S. citizen and have been charged with shoplifting or theft, you must consult an attorney before speaking to the cops or prosecutors. Depending on how you respond to the charges, you may or may not be able to stay in this country legally. Defending against criminal charges is always important, but especially if there may be underlying immigration concern.
Whenever you are charged with a crime, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, it is important to understand the possible criminal consequences and immigration consequences. You should speak to an experienced Lawrenceville criminal defense attorney who also knows immigration consequences to criminal convictions in order to fully understand what you are facing.