Criminal Defense

What Crimes are Deportable in California?

September 23, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense  Rights   Leave a Comment
Thumbnail for: What Crimes are Deportable in California?

What crimes are “Deportable Crimes”?

When it comes deporting an immigrant out of the United States, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities are guided first and foremost by security concerns. So, what exactly is the basis for a person to be deported from the country?

List of Deportable Crimes

Here is the list of the crimes that are considered ‘deportable crimes’ in California:

  • Kidnapping or smuggling by people, facilitating illegal immigration to the United States (PC 207).
  • Entering a fictitious marriage with immigration intentions. [1]
  • Committing a criminal offense under aggravating circumstances or committing 2 immoral crimes. (A criminal offense aggravated by physical violence is always a reason for refusing political asylum and makes it impossible to obtain citizenship if it was committed after October 28, 1990).
  • Committing a crime related to the transportation and sale of drugs (The exception is marijuana “for own use”, if detected no more than 30 grams) and weapons (CA HSC 11352).
  • Burglary (PC 459).
  • Committing a crime related to domestic violence and abuse of child (PC 11164-11174.3).
  • Fraud or the forgery of documents, in particular, in order to obtain immigration privileges, the right to work in the US and other privileges.
  • Participation in terrorist activities, membership in a terrorist organization, as well as espionage, illegal export of goods, technology and information, as well as other activities that threaten public security.
  • Rape (PC 261).
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon (PC 245(a)(1))
  • Murder or Attempted Murder (PC 187).
  • Child pornography (PC 311) or sexual violence against a child.
  • Prostitution (PC 647(b)) and pimping (PC 266h).
  • DUI with aggravating factors (VC 23153).
  • Hit and Run (VC 20001, 20002).
  • Vandalism (PC 594).
  • Receiving Stolen Property (PC 496) and Robbery (PC 211).
  • Extortion (PC 518-527).
  • Money Laundering crimes (18 U.S.C. 1956 and 1957).
  • Bribery, Counterfeiting, Forgery.
  • Spying.
  • Crimes of a “morally vicious character”, which in general constitute crimes committed with the intent of theft or deceit; crimes with causing or threatening physical harm; crimes in which the infliction of physical harm is a consequence of reckless behavior, as well as crimes of a sexual nature.

These are just some of the most applicable grounds on which a citizen of another country who is in the United States, both in status and without status, can be deported from the country.

How is the Deportation Determined?

For a person to be deported from the country, there must be justification.

ICE Immigration Deportation

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Currently, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would be prioritizing deporting non-citizens who “posed a serious threat to public safety or national security”.

Specifically, immigrants convicted of an “aggravated felony” (attempting to illegally cross the border included) or a “crime of moral turpitude” (especially within the first 5 years of residence, or their 2nd conviction).

It should be noted that charging an alien with a deportable immigration violation is paperwork-intensive. ICE agents must fill out roughly 20 forms:

  • Immigration Detainer
  • Report of Removable Alien (like a police arrest report)
  • Advice of Rights (advice of the right to notify consular officials from the alien’s home country)
  • Sworn Statement
  • Notice to Appear/Bond/Custody Processing Sheet (used to obtain supervisory approval to move forward with a charging document and custody decision-making)
  • Notice to Appear (or other charging document, such as Notice and Order of Expedited Removal)
  • Warrant of Arrest
  • Notice of Custody Determination
  • Immigration Bond Form (for those who will be posting bond in lieu of detention)
  • Order to Detain (or, alternately, Order of Release on Recognizance)
  • Alien Booking Record
  • Property Receipt Form
  • Notice of Action (for voluntary return cases)
  • Notice of Visa Cancellation
  • Information for Travel Document or Passport (prepared for foreign consular officials for aliens who do not have the documents required by their countries of origin for repatriation)

Recently there has been a tightening of the system with the new administration’s policies, which feels that too many criminal aliens were exempted from deportation based on family ties. However, some local law enforcement officials ignore ICE requests to detain people without a court order.

U.S. Immigration Court

Immigration Court is an administrative court controlled by the U.S. Department of Justice. Over 200 Immigration Judges preside over 50 Immigration Courts nationwide. Their duties include determining whether convicted criminal foreign nationals will be removed from the country.

Do you need a Defense Lawyer for Immigration Court? Very much so. Without a lawyer, your chances are slim to none.

Board of Immigration Appeals

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) reviews the verdicts of the U.S. immigration courts and the immigration violation arrests by U.S. Customs, Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The BIA decisions are the final administrative action in all cases. The next stage is usually in the United States court of appeals (if allowed by statute).

Non-Citizen Felonies are Statistically Rare

Despite the number of immigrants being targeted and detained for possible deportation, research by “The Migration Policy Institute” indicates that serious crimes committed by non-citizens are actually rare.

It is estimated that out of nearly 2 million non-citizens who are eligible for deportation based on their criminal history. 820,000 of those are illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants).

Only about 300,000 of the almost 2 million were convicted of a felony (ranging from serious crimes like murder, to minor crimes like attempting to re-enter the country illegally).

Another 390,000 were convicted of a ‘significant misdemeanor’, such as drunken driving. But what constitutes a misdemeanor can vary greatly from state to state, and can be anything from shoplifting to a small marijuana possession offense.

Looking at the ‘Detainer’ Details

Half of the 95,085 immigrants targeted by ICE for possible criminal deportation in 2015 did not have criminal convictions!

Detainers are requests by ICE to local, state and federal law enforcement to hold non-citizens for possible deportation. By analyzing the numbers and statistics of these detainers, it’s clear that the ICE authorities are taking a dragnet approach to targeting aliens for deportation.

Half of the 95,085 immigrants targeted by ICE for possible criminal deportation in 2015 did not even have criminal convictions! [2]

The rest had convictions for minor violations such as drunken driving (6.7%), assault (4%), drug trafficking (2.1%), burglary (1.8%), sale of marijuana (1.7%) and traffic offense (1.6%). Even fewer had convictions for illegal entry, domestic violence and larceny.

All the evidence shows that serious crimes committed by non-citizens are extremely rare. However, ICE says about 85 percent of people in detention facilities are there because they were considered “top priority” for removal — either they were a threat to public safety or national security, or they were attempting to cross the border illegally, or they were members of a criminal gang, or they had been convicted of a felony, or they were considered “aggravated felons”.

Laws Regarding Deportation and Criminal Charges

How can you avoid deportation or inadmission for a removable crime?

You have the right to know if your charge is a deportable offense before you are convicted. The consequences to a deportable offense is often of much greater concern to an alien than any criminal punishment he or she faces.

If you are a non-citizen facing deportation or inadmission after a criminal conviction, options are available to you that may prevent you from being removed from or denied entry into this country.

If your attorney failed to advise you of the possible consequences of removal by pleading guilty to a deportable crime, there is a good chance you can have your plea withdrawn.

Conclusion

A large percentage of aliens flee from removal proceedings (approximately 59 percent) after being released to await hearings for fear of being whisked away on a bus or plane to their country of origin. However, this is not how it works. There are formal procedures, and immigrants are given their “due process” in court.

There are many defenses against removal of an alien, including family reasons, and ‘legal forgiveness’ in the form of a “212(h) waiver”. It’s important to note that in order to qualify for a 212(h) waiver, you cannot be a “threat to national security”.

As always, you should speak to a qualified defense attorney about the specifics of your situation. Cancellation of deportation of a foreigner is possible in many instances with an attorney by your side.

We’re Here to Help

If you have recently been arrested for any criminal offense or are in fear of being deported for any criminal defense, or please don’t hesitate to call us for a free, no-obligation consultation with Seppi Esfandi. During your call, Mr. Esfandi will hear the details of the case and advise you on the best approach to defend yourself.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an expert in Criminal Law who has over 17 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

Read our Client Reviews

References:

[1] https://www.ice.gov/marriageFraudBrochure.pdf

[2] http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/

[2] http://www.migrationpolicy.org/

Criminal Defense Help

  • Reminder to Graduates:  Please Don’t Drink and Drive

    Reminder to Graduates: Please Don’t Drink and Drive

    Drinking and Driving Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens. Graduation is a time for celebration, but this also brings in the loss of rational decision making. Couple this with reckless, wild behavior, lack of experience driving, impaired motor skills, and distraction from a carload of friends, and you have a perfect... Read More »
  • How to Reduce a Felony to Misdemeanor

    How to Reduce a Felony to Misdemeanor

    We are commonly asked at our offices if it’s possible to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, and the answer is commonly yes. I say commonly because there are some limitations to the types of crimes that are eligible for such treatment. The two most important factors that determine if your crime is eligible... Read More »
  • Will a California DUI Impact My Life in the Long Term?

    Will a California DUI Impact My Life in the Long Term?

    Most people think of a DUI as something that is not serious, when in fact, a California DUI is a very serious offense. It is not something that will result in a slap on the wrist. You are better off obtaining an experienced DUI attorney if you want to protect your future, and your reputation.... Read More »
  • How to Avoid Getting Your Drivers License Suspended for a DUI

    How to Avoid Getting Your Drivers License Suspended for a DUI

    Driving Under the Influence in California requires that the defendant attend 2 hearings. In this article we will be discussing the DUI DMV hearing. A DMV DUI hearing in California is an administrative hearing held at the DMV office, and is completely separate from the hearing held in criminal court. Ten Days to Request a... Read More »
  • Hit and Run Statistics in Los Angeles

    Hit and Run Statistics in Los Angeles

    Nationwide vs. Los Angeles Hit and Run accidents in Los Angeles have been steadily rising over the last decade. In fact, a whopping 50 percent of all traffic accidents reported in Greater Los Angeles are categorized as “hit and run”. Compared to the rest of the nation’s 11 percent, it is safe to say it... Read More »
  • Driving on Drugs:   DUID Fatalities Surge

    Driving on Drugs: DUID Fatalities Surge

    Nationwide Drugged Driving Fatalities For the first time, there are now more drivers killed that are positive for drugs than those who were positive for alcohol. Nationwide, 43% of drivers that were tested in fatal crashes had used drugs, eclipsing the 37% who tested above the legal limit for alcohol in 2015, according to a... Read More »
  • Possible Defenses for a California DUI, DUID

    Possible Defenses for a California DUI, DUID

    Below we will discuss a few popular defense strategies for winning a California DUI case. Please bear in mind that every DUI case is unique regarding the circumstances, and should be discussed in detail with an experienced DUI defense attorney. Were You Actually Driving a Motor Vehicle? One of the first things that must be... Read More »
  • Criminal Defense Attorney Fees:  Why Such Disparities?

    Criminal Defense Attorney Fees: Why Such Disparities?

    Criminal Defense Lawyers: The Good and The Bad After being arrested, you may find yourself going through the arduous task of hiring a criminal defense attorney. After contacting several, you may be asking yourself “How can some attorneys charge as little as $699 while others charge as much as $10,000?” Unsurprisingly, the answer is the... Read More »

Gerardo C.

Seppi was amazing, one of the nicest persons I've met. He was very professional and handled my case like so. He assured me from the beginning what he was going to be able to do for me and always was truthful. He always answered my phone calls and when he didn't he would respond to my voicemails promptly as well communicate via text. The fees were very reasonable. I never had to go to court and he fixed everything for me. I will definitely recommend him to my friends and family.

Anthony M.

I was facing 2 felony counts which included 2 strikes on my record. Each count was a sentence of 2-4 years in state prison. I was looking at 2 counts which could have sent me to jail for a maximum of 8 years. The DA was trying to offer me a lesser misdemeanor charge and Mr. Esfandi advised me to deny their offer and he assured me of a better outcome. MY CASE WAS DISMISSED! I told my girlfriend this is a blessing from God, and she said no it wasn't, you had a great lawyer! Thank you Seppi for doing an outstanding job. You saved my life!

Evan N.

This was the first time that I had to choose an attorney for anything. I am very thankful that I end up choosing Seppi Esfandi. The outcome of my brothers case was perfect and beyond fair with no jail time! I believe that without Seppi, my brother would had definitely been charged with a felony and served jail time. My family is extremely pleased with the professionalism that the Law Office of Seppi Esfandi had provided during the case. The paralegal, Jorge, was very friendly, professional, and I could immediately tell that they cared about our family situation. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN!

Courtney M.

I've never been in a situation where I needed a lawyer before. Seppi has been highly communicative, proactive and knowledgeable as well as affordable. He is very personable and listens to you, as well as makes you feel comfortable with the process. I felt such relief after choosing him. The best part? He got my case dismissed! I highly recommend him.

Amber B.

Meeting with Seppi Esfandi was the first step in the right direction after a big setback. He is professional, honest, generous, and has passion for what he does. He quickly and effectively answered every single question I had regarding my case and went above and beyond to help me. Esfandi did not stop fighting for me until he saw results in my case - I am so appreciative and grateful for all of his dedication and passion.

Carrie P.

Seppi was the first attorney I have ever hired and will be the only one I ever hire! My kids father was looking at 4 years prison and he got him down to 180 days and back to probation. So instead of prison time he is staying in county to only serve around 90 days. There were more then one cases and even though Seppi could've have charged more to help extra he made sure the other case was done right. He was very attentive and caring and didn't have very bad pricing considering. Thank you so much Seppi!

Miguel T.

I was facing two felony charges Seppi was able to bring it down to a 1 misdemeanor, the other charge was dropped, i did not have to do any jail time and I did not have register. I'm very pleased with Seppi's help and also Jorge who was there from the day I called. I would highly recommend Seppi if you are in need of any legal help.

Cindy F.

Seppi and Shaun were by far the nicest people I have dealt with. I had a complicated situation with terrible prosecutors thinking just because I had a DUI, it automatically makes me a loser, a drunk, a terrible person - we all make mistakes. Seppi was able to get my case dismissed at one courthouse, and at the second was able to have me get the minimum sentence. I was scared from the get-go, but he was very supportive, especially after my mom passed. I would recommend Seppi and the Firm to my family/friends (heaven forbid they ever end up in my situation).

Britney D.

Seppi was awesome. He will answer his phone at 10pm on a Saturday or any other time you need him. The decision to hire him was obvious. I've never been in legal trouble before and he made me feel very comfortable and assured throughout the entire situation. I actually relocated to northern California before the case ended and he was able to handle everything for me from a distance. I did not have to fly back to LA once. As far as LA lawyers go I found him priced at the going rate and money very well spent. I cannot not speak for more serious offenders, but for my situation, it was perfect.

Johanna D.

Seppi was great. He helped me get through one of the most stressful and frightening moments in my life. He answered nearly every question I had & if he was unable to answer at the moment, he made sure to follow-up with me as soon as he had the answer and/or information I needed. Since this was my first time ever in a legal situation, I was scared and confused. Seppi definitely helped me get through it. With his willingness to listen to me and with his expertise, I felt comforted & at ease knowing I had his assistance.

Amanda P.

Seppi is the best lawyer!! I was charged with a felony and he told me that it was a felony strike but that he would work hard for me. I knew to get him on my case because of the way he presented himself, i could tell he was a good lawyer. my case got dismissed after he went to court with me a few times. I am so thankful to Seppi for helping me.

Defense Expertise

Recent Victories

Loading Quotes...

Videos:  Criminal Defense Attorney Seppi Esfandi

Best law firms