The Petty Offense Exception and Immigration Law
What is the petty offense exception for immigrants who have committed a crime?
If you only have one criminal offense, an exception commonly called the “petty offense exception” may be available to you. If you qualify for the petty offense exception, you are not inadmissible. This applies if the maximum sentence imposable for the offense was one year, and you received a sentence of six months or less. This provision generally does not cover felonies, since the maximum sentence for most felonies is more than one year. Misdemeanor convictions for “wobbler” offenses, or those chargeable as either a misdemeanor or a felony, may be able to use the petty offense exemption if they can get their offense classified as a misdemeanor.
There is also an exception for a single offense committed while a juvenile if any jail term was completed more than five years ago. For help in determining if you are eligible for the petty offense exception or any of your immigration status or case concerns, call or email our Los Angeles immigration attorneys for a free initial consultation. [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]