For crimes involving moral turpitude, or “CIMTs,” a person can be deported under the inadmissibility provisions of the Act if he or she commits a single offense and is sentenced to more than 6 months incarceration. Typically, a criminal court will not sentence a person to jail when a person commits a misdemeanor as a “first time offense” – he or she will likely receive supervision or probation. In first time offense cases, the Act provides an exception if the person was not sentenced to more than 180 days in jail. If the removal provisions apply, then the offense would have to be a felony. See, Inadmissibility vs. Removability [Link]. But, if the person commits two or more crimes of moral turpitude, deportation proceedings will result even if she or he was not sentenced to prison for any of the crimes.
With respect to other types of offenses the length of the sentence can determine whether you will be deported. For instance, under the “aggravated felony” provision, a felony theft offense for which the person is sentenced to 1 year or longer will have committed an aggravated felony. This is the case whether or not the person actually serves the year in prison. For these types of cases, it is critical to have an experienced immigration attorney evaluate the offense.