Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT or CMT)

It is a criminal offense that shocks the consciousness of the court; CIMT is not defined in the INA or the regulations but is based on the interpretation by the courts.

Written opinions from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) describe moral turpitude as a “nebulous concept,” and one that “refers generally to conduct that shocks the public conscience as being inherently base, vile, or depraved, contrary to the rules of morality and the duties owed between man and man, either one’s fellow man or society in general.” The person committing it should have had either an “evil intent” or been acting recklessly. Among the many specific offenses that the U.S. government and courts havedetermined to be CMTs in individual cases are:

  • murder
  • voluntary manslaughter
  • involuntary manslaughter, in some cases
  • rape
  • spousal abuse
  • child abuse
  • incest
  • kidnaping
  • robbery
  • aggravated assault
  • mayhem
  • animal fighting
  • theft
  • fraud, and
  • conspiracy, attempt, or acting as an accessory to a crime if that crime involved moral turpitude.

However, the above list contains only brief summaries of various types of crimes. Most criminal convictions are based on state law, so their actual definitions will be lengthier and more complex. The details within the language of the statute may potentially affect the determination of whether a particular crime is a CIMT.

Contact our office for a more in-depth analysis of your conviction and whether it is or is not a Crime of Moral Turpitude that could lead to deportation proceedings.