A criminal conviction is one sure way of getting deported from the U.S. However, not all crimes can lead to removal proceedings against you. Only crimes of moral turpitude occurring within five years of being admitted to the country can lead to deportation.
The definition of these crimes may be subject to the court’s interpretation. Generally, crimes of moral turpitude are those done recklessly, with evil intent, contrary to the rules of morality and duties owed to others, and which shock the public conscience. Assault is one of them.
What is assault?
Assault is the crime of threatening or attempting to inflict physical damage on another person or reasonably putting them in fear of imminent injury. If the individual suffers actual harm, you will be charged with assault and battery charges, which is often the case.
Some examples of assault are:
- Pointing a gun to someone’s head
- Mimicking the act of hitting, punching or kicking someone
- Brandishing a deadly weapon in a way that suggests you will use it on the other person
Assault is considered a misdemeanor in California, with possible sentences ranging from six months to one year, depending on the circumstances of your charges.
Possible defenses to assault charges
Avoiding a conviction is the best outcome that will not jeopardize your continued stay in the country. To do this, you need a solid defense strategy that will work in your favor. Some common defenses to assault charges include self-defense, accidental actions, defense of property or a lack of mental awareness, among others.
However, proving them is easier said than done due to the legal technicalities involved. Given that your continued stay in the country could be at risk, you may need to seek assistance on the best way of handling your case.