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What are "Particularly Serious Crimes"?

Non-citizens of the United States that would otherwise face persecution in their home country and are at risk of deportation are able to claim asylum within the US. However, if the non-citizen has been convicted of any crime that is considered a “particularly serious crime” then they will be ineligible for this kind of relief from the United States.

  • What is Considered a Particularly Serious Crime

Under California law, offenses that are serious enough to be considered aggravated felonies are serious crimes. Some of these offenses include:

  1. Drug trafficking
  2. Murder
  3. Rape
  4. Child pornography

If a non-citizen is convicted of any of the listed felonies, they are automatically ineligible for asylum, they are also considered ineligible for withholding of removal if one of the convictions resulted in a sentence of 5 or more years in prison.

In certain cases, the crime itself carries a sentence that is longer than 5 years, but it not considered an aggravated felony. This would still be considered a particularly serious crime and lead to the eligibility of asylum for the non-citizen.

  • How to Determine Whether or Not a Crime is Particularly Serious

The immigration judge at hand has full discretion in determining whether or not the offense is considered a particularly serious one, outside of aggravated felonies which always automatically considered particularly serious crimes. The judge will take several different factors into account, such as:

  • Circumstances of the conviction
  • Type of sentence
  • Nature of conviction
  • Particularly Serious Crime Examples

Most crimes against other people are often categorized as particularly serious crimes. Crimes involving assault, violence, force, etc., are all particularly serious and involve intent to hurt another individual. Some examples include:

  1. Burglary in the first-degree
  2. Assault or battery
  3. Felony menacing

If you or someone you know is ineligible for any form of relief as a refugee as a result of a prior conviction for a particularly serious crime, contact our office today.

It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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