Legal immigrants residing in California or other states could be deported if they violate the law. However, the type of crime a person commits is usually more important than whether it was a misdemeanor or felony when determining if it’s grounds for deportation. For instance, a person who is convicted of an aggravated felony may be at risk of being removed from the United States. Examples of aggravated felonies include rape, arson and drug trafficking.

These crimes generally carry penalties of more than a year in jail or prison. It’s also possible per the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to be deported after being convicted of theft or failing to appear for a court date. The INA also states that a conviction for domestic violence against a spouse or child will likely result in an immigrant being removed from the country.

Those who are deemed to have committed crimes of moral turpitude could also be deported. Crimes of moral turpitude could include fraud, perjury or embezzlement. Assault or shoplifting may also fit the definition of this type of criminal offense. A person may avoid deportation if a conviction results in less than a year of jail time. However, an exception may be made if a person is convicted of more than one petty crime at one time.

Generally, the government has the right to remove anyone who is not a citizen of the United States. However, an attorney might be able to help a person obtain a favorable outcome in an immigration case. In some cases, it may be possible to win a person’s release from an immigration detention facility while a case is pending. Legal counsel might help an individual by presenting evidence that he or she didn’t commit a crime listed in the INA.