Is Shoplifting a Crime of Moral Turpitude? Not Always.

You may be wondering, “Is shoplifting a crime of moral turpitude in every situation?” The answer is no. An immigration judge in Georgia recently terminated removal proceedings against an LPR (lawful permanent resident) who had been twice convicted of shoplifting in Georgia. See full case decision here: Shoplifting Not CIMT IJ Case July 2015. The judge held that the convictions were not CIMTs or aggravated felonies. The reason was that the statute (Georgia criminal statute 16-8-14) was divisible into two parts–one involving temporary, not permanent, depravation of property to the owner.

Analyzing a Crime of Moral Turpitude and Immigration

Immigration law is extremely complicated and it can be difficult to asses a crime of moral turpitude and immigration. Though it is not correct to consider shoplifting a crime of moral turpitude in every situation, It is important to closely analyze any and all removal/deportation charges along with criminal convictions (or other criminal history) that is the basis of DHS’s charges of removability. Make sure to contact an immigration lawyer if you receive any notice to appear in an immigration court!

Are you in search of an immigration attorney? Ellen Sullivan, P.C., is an immigration and non-profit lawyer in Cambridge Massachusetts. Call her at (617) 714-4375 or email to get in touch.