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How Do You Define a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude? 

There are different types of crimes in our society, and every crime has its cause, implications, and prevention measures. The most common types of crime include criminal, civil, and moral turpitude. Moral turpitude is one of the most common types of crime, and there is a need to know more about it to stay off related crimes. Did you know that you can actually check if someone has an arrest record? Visit Look Up Inmate.

Being convicted of moral turpitude could have a lot of implications on your life. The consequences of such crimes include a revoked migration status, professional image and reputation, and adverse social credibility. But how do you avoid a moral turpitude crime without knowing more about it? Here are some things you need to know about the crime.  

What is a crime of moral turpitude? 


There are different definitions of a crime involving moral turpitude (CMIT), and each definition rises from the nature of the crime committed. A crime involving moral turpitude can be defined as an offensive and criminal act committed by an individual, and the effects are considered vile and insulting to one’s reputation. It is a crime that victimizes or disrespects a societal norm.  

It can also be defined as a crime that violates a societal norm, ethics, and morals. They are crimes conducted out of evil intent or to damage societal norms. The intention of the crime is cruel and vicious, and they contradict society’s rules, norms, and regulations, and the offense can be considered shocking by many. 

If you are an immigrant, you need to understand the moral turpitude of the society you presently live in to avoid such crimes. If you are a green card holder, violating such crimes can lead to green card DUI deportation hence revoking your immigration status. 

The legal definition of moral turpitude

Before you understand the crime involving moral turpitude, you need to understand the definition. If you are an immigrant, understanding societal moral turpitude is critical to leave in a country or state legally. There are various elements you need to consider defining moral turpitude. Here are the elements that constitute the moral turpitude crime: 

  • Astonishes the public conscience 
  • The crime is deemed to be vile and depraved 
  • A crime against the rules of a neighbor and society 
  • The intention is evil 
  • It results in reckless behavior 
  • The offense is morally reprehensible 
  • The crime is intentionally wrong.  

Therefore, any action that meets these elements violates societal moral turpitude. The definitions vary based on state, and other states may include other factors not considered in other states or covered by the USCIS legal definitions. 

Examples of moral turpitude 


Understanding these examples will keep you safe and free from committing related crimes. Here are some examples: 

  • Murder 
  • Domestic abuse and violence 
  • Intentional manslaughter 
  • Child abuse 
  • Kidnapping 
  • Rape 
  • Incest 
  • Theft 
  • Prostitution 
  • Perjury 
  • Fraud 
  • Arson 
  • Felony 
  • Hit and run  
  • Assault 
  • Animal cruelty 
  • Robbery 
  • Drunk driving. 

Some of these crimes may be considered civil, while others may be criminal. Therefore, moral turpitude crime encompasses both civil and criminal laws as long as they meet the elements that constitute a violation of moral turpitude. However, certain cases may not be considered moral turpitude; therefore, the definition is varied. 

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Crimes that are not moral turpitude

Some crimes may not be considered CIMT while others may qualify; hence you need to understand the differences. The court has to decide for a crime to be regarded as a non-moral turpitude crime. Here is an example: an assault may qualify as a crime of moral turpitude and non-moral turpitude. It is non-moral turpitude if it was unintentional, it did not target anyone in specific, or it was done on a mixed trace or group. It is essential to talk to your lawyer to help you understand the definition, especially if you are an immigrant. 

Consequences of committing the crimes of moral turpitude 


When convicted of such crimes, you must prepare for the consequences. The impacts can lead to one or multiple consequences. If you are an immigrant, the effects lead to instant deportation and revoked immigration status. Once your position is revoked, you can never have access to the state or the country again.  

The second consequence can also lead to you being considered inadmissible, meaning you are denied entry into the country; as such, you can never access an immigrant, a non-immigrant, or start a path to become a citizen of the country. The consequence can also affect your close family.  

The third consequence can also lead to your employment and professional license loss or revocation. You can never work anywhere without a license unless you get a job that does not require a license. Those vulnerable to the loss of professional licenses mainly include doctors, engineers, law enforcement officers, lawyers, etc.   

The fourth consequence is the loss of social credibility. Society perceives and views you differently once you are convicted of rape, murder, and fraud. The positive reputation in society diminishes fast once the court decides your case. 




A crime involving moral turpitude refers to an intentional crime intending to cause harm or evil in society. The crime can have disgust, hate, and shock on society since the crime violates social norms. You also need to be sure of the consequences and the elements that constitute a crime’s moral turpitude. The results include professional license revocation, deportation, and denied immigration or citizenship. 



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