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Crimes of Moral Turpitude in New Jersey

“Crimes of moral turpitude” is a classification of crimes that indicates an act that it is shocking to the public consciousness, vile or depraved, and/or contrary to the rules, morality, and duties of society. It is used to classify crimes that seriously harm people, including murder, rape, kidnapping, and more.

The consequences of committing a crime of moral turpitude can be severe. Committing crimes of moral turpitude can result in the loss of a professional license or the harming of witness credibility, in addition to the penalties incurred for the crime itself. The most severe consequence that can result from committing a crime of moral turpitude, though, is the deportation of a non-citizen. Read on to learn more about what crimes of moral turpitude are, how they can affect non-citizens, and how the lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych can help. Connect with them today by calling (609) 616-4934 or visiting their website.

Defining Crimes of Moral Turpitude in New Jersey

As a general umbrella term, crimes of moral turpitude refers to crimes that are reckless, evil, and/or morally reprehensible, and that gravely violate the sentiments or accepted standards of the community.

There are a few sub-categories of crimes of moral turpitude: crimes against property; crimes against governmental authority; crimes against person, family relationship, and sexual morality; and attempts, aiding and abetting, accessories and conspiracy. The specific crimes for each category are:

  • Crimes against property – These are crimes that involve stealing, seizing, destroying, or tampering with someone else’s property or identity. These include burglary, robbery, theft, shoplifting, arson, receiving stolen property, theft by deception, criminal mischief with malicious intent, forgery, fraud, writing bad checks, and credit card fraud.
  • Crimes against governmental authority – Crimes against governmental authority are crimes whose main victim is the United States government, the justice system, or the country as a whole. Bribery, counterfeiting, willful tax evasion, perjury, harboring of a fugitive, evading or eluding a law enforcement officer, witness tampering, fraud against revenue, mail fraud, pandering, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of marijuana, heroin, or cocaine fall into this category.
  • Crimes committed against person, family relationship, and sexual morality – This category of crimes of moral turpitude includes manslaughter, murder, rape, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault of a police officer, kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child, lewdness, aggravated sexual assault, and promoting prostitution.
  • Attempts, aiding and abetting, accessories and conspiracy – Accompanying someone else or participating in a conspiracy to help someone else commit any of the crimes above will result in a crime of moral turpitude.

Consequences of Crimes of Moral Turpitude in New Jersey

Committing a crime that falls into the category of crimes of moral turpitude as listed above can result in a few consequences that extend beyond the penalties (jail time or fines) that result from the crime itself.

Deportation for Non-Citizens of the United States

For non-citizens of the United States, committing a crime of moral turpitude can result in deportation from the country. Foreign nationals who have already been admitted to the United States are eligible to be deported from the U.S. as a result of committing a crime of moral turpitude. To be deported, a non-citizen must have done one of the following:

  • Been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude within five years of their admission to the United States, which resulted in a prison sentence of at least one year; or
  • Been convicted of two crimes of moral turpitude within five years of their admission to the United States

Non-citizens who have been convicted of single misdemeanors that are classifiable as petty offenses with sentences that are less than six months may not be deported as a result of their crime of moral turpitude.

Even if a client has a crime of moral turpitude charged against them, they may be able to avoid it by employing certain defenses. These include a purely political exemption (the crime was committed to avoid religious, radical, or another type of uncivil persecution and was committed with other people), a youthful offender exemption (defendants under the age of 18 are protected), and the petty offense exemption (the crime was the only one ever charged to the defendant and the sentence was less than six months).

Professional License Suspension

It is possible for those who hold professional licenses (lawyers, doctors, nurses, etc.) to lose their licenses as a result of the commission of a crime of moral turpitude.

Harming Witness Credibility

Having been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude can greatly impact your ability to serve as a reliable witness in the future.

New Jersey Attorney for Crimes of Moral Turpitude

Anyone in the state of New Jersey who has committed a crime of moral turpitude — especially non-citizens who face deportation as a result of their crimes — are encouraged to get in touch with the attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. The lawyers who work with the Law Offices of John J. Zarych serving Cape May and Atlantic counties are committed to serving their clients in the most professional and efficient way possible. They offer free and confidential consultations. Contact them today at (609) 616-4934 or by visiting their website.