Aggravated Felony Relief

Immigration Services - Special Immigrant Juveniles

Criminal Services Attorney in California

Being convicted of an aggravated felony (AF) can lead to serious consequences under U.S. federal immigration laws, potentially resulting in deportation. It's worth noting that the term "aggravated felony" doesn't always align with what one might expect, as it can encompass a wide range of offenses, including some that are nonviolent or less severe.

In the past, particularly in the 1980s, "aggravated felony" primarily referred to major crimes like murder, federal drug trafficking, and the illicit trafficking of firearms and destructive devices.

However, the interpretation of what constitutes an aggravated felony has evolved over time, and nowadays, it can include various offenses, even those that may be considered minor or nonviolent.

A significant legal development occurred on June 10, 2021, with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Borden v. United States. This decision clarified that, for a crime to be classified as a "violent felony" under the Armed Career Criminal Act, it must meet specific criteria. Essentially, the crime must involve either:

(a) An intent to use violence against another person, or
(b) Knowledge that the perpetrator's actions will subject someone to violent force.

The key distinction here is that a crime solely based on "reckless" behavior doesn't meet the criteria for a violent felony. This Supreme Court ruling has implications, particularly for individuals with three or more prior violent felony convictions, as it can affect the length of their sentences for certain federal offenses.

If you have concerns about your immigration status and how prior convictions may impact it, it's crucial to seek guidance from an experienced immigration attorney. They can provide insight into how specific legal developments and interpretations may apply to your case and assist you in navigating the complexities of immigration law.

Examples of Aggravated Felonies
Theft offense, including receipt of stolen property if the term of imprisonment is at least one year;
Tax evasion in the case of where the loss to the government exceeds $10,000;
Receipt of stolen property if the term of imprisonment is at least one year;
Fraud or deceit offenses if the loss to the victim exceeds $10,000;
Attempt to commit an aggravated felony;
Counterfeiting – if the term of imprisonment is at least one year
Offense related to alien smuggling (though some exceptions apply)