There is no clear definition of what constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude ("CIMT").  Courts have said that crimes involving moral turpitude are "inherently base, vile, and depraved," however, often even relatively minor crimes are considered to involve moral turpitude.  Common crimes involving moral turpitude include theft and fraud. 

Are there any exceptions if I am inadmissible as a result of a crime involving moral turpitude?

Yes, there are two exceptions. One exception is where the crime was committed when the foreign national was under 18 years of age and the crime was committed more than 5 years before the date of application for a visa or other documentation and the date of application for admission to the United States.  The other exception is where the maximum penalty possible for the crime of which the foreign national committed (or admitted) did not exceed imprisonment for one year and the foreign national was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of 6 months.  This latter exception is often referred to as the "petty offense" exception.

Is a conviction always necessary?

No, you make be deemed inadmissible for having a crime involving moral turpitude even without a conviction if you admit to having committed a CIMT or admit committing acts which constitute the essential elements of a CIMT.  

What if I have already been admitted to the United States?  What crimes might affect my status?

A conviction of a CIMT that was committed within five years after the date of the foreign national's admission and for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed renders someone removable from the United States.  

If you are facing a charge or have questions about the immigration consequences of a conviction, you should contact Wilson Law Group to evaluate your matter.