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crimes of moral turpitude

What Are Crimes of Moral Turpitude in Texas?

Crimes of Moral Turpitude in Texas

A crime of moral turpitude is one that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or deliberate violenceMoral turpitude has been defined as:

→ Anything done knowingly contrary to justice, honesty, principle, or good morals.

→ An act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties that a man owes to his fellow men or to society in general.

→  Something immoral in itself, regardless of whether it is punishable by law. The performance of the act itself, and not its prohibition by statute, fixes the moral turpitude.

→ Immoral conduct is willful, flagrant, or shameless conduct that shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members of the community.

What are the Consequences of a Crime of Moral Turpitude?

Any criminal charge on your record can become an obstacle to employment, housing, and immigration. However, “crimes of moral turpitude” which create an additional hardship as you attempt to move forward. Essentially, a conviction for this type of offense raises a red flag to anyone reviewing your criminal history, as it suggests you may be dangerous, and at the very least, untrustworthy. Crimes of moral turpitude can also be used to impeach you under certain circumstances if you are called as a witness in a case or wish to testify on your own behalf. Crimes of moral turpitude can also affect your immigration status, including your ability to come to the United States, remain in the United States, or become a citizen.

Examples of property crimes that are considered offenses of moral turpitude include arson, blackmail, forgery, robbery, burglary, theft, illegal use of a credit card, issuing a worthless check, and possessing/transporting stolen property.

Offenses against people that are considered crimes of moral turpitude include assault, sexual assault, child abuse or neglect, kidnapping, murder, and manslaughter.

What Offenses are Considered Crimes of Moral Turpitude in Texas?

Crime Authority Crime of Moral Turpitude?
Felony drug possession In the Matter of Lock, 54 S.W.3d 305 (Tex. 2001) No
Delivery of marijuana Hernandez v. State, 976 S.W.2d 753 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 19980, pet. ref’d, 981 S.W.2d 652 (Tex. Crim. App) No
Misprision Duncan v. Board of Disciplinary Appeals, 898 S.W.2d 759 (Tex. 1995) (crimes involving moral turpitude are those that involve dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, deliberate violence, or that reflect adversely on a person’s honesty or trustworthiness) No
Agg assault with SBI Turton v. State Bar of Texas, 775 S.W.2d 712 (Tex. App. San Antonio 1989, writ den.) (not on its face a felony involving moral turpitude; look into the circumstances of the offense to determine) No
Misdemeanor possession
of marijuana
Bell v. State, 620 S.W.2d 116 (Tex. Crim. App. 1981) No
Juvenile delinquency Rivas v. State 501 S.W.2d 918 (Tex Crim. App. 1973) No
Unlawfully carrying a weapon Trippell v. State, 535 S.W.2d 178 (Tex. Crim. App. 1976) No
Gambling Neill v. State, 258 S.W.2d. 328 (Tex. Crim. App. 1953 No
Misdemeanor DWI Shipman v. State, 604 S.W.2d 182 (Tex. Crim. App. 1980); Janecka v. State, 937 S.W.2d 456 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996) No
Public Intoxication Ochoa v. State, 481 S.W.2d 847 (Tex. Crim. App. 1972) No
Reckless conduct Patterson v. State, 783 S.W.2d 268 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1989, pet. ref’d) No
Assault Valdez v. State, 450 S.W.2d 624 (Tex. Crim. App. 1970) No
Disrupting the peace Garza v. State, 532 S.W.2d 624 (Tex. Crim. App. 1976) No
Criminal Trespass Hutson v. State, 843 S.W.2d 106 (Tex. App.-Texarkana 1992, no pet.) No
Criminal mischief Gonzalex v. State, 648 S.W.2d 740 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1983, no pet.) No
Soliciting bonding business Op. Tex. Att’y Gen. GA-229 (2005) (violations of Tex. Occ. Code 1704.304 (soliciting bonding business in a police station, jail, prison, detention facility, or other place of detainment) No
Sexual assault of a child In the matter of GMP, 909 S.W.2d 198 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1995, no pet.) Yes
Lying to a police officer
(filing false report)
Lape v. State, 893 S. W.2d 949 (Tex. App.-Houston 14th Dist.] 1994, pet. ref’d; Robertson v. State, 685 S.W.2d 488 (Tex. App-Fort Worth 1985, no pet.) (“no clear cut criteria” for moral turpitude) Yes
Mail fraud State Bar v. Heard, 603 S.W.2d 829 (Tex. 1980) Yes
Tax evasion In re Humphreys, 880 S.W.2d 402 (Tex. 1994) (whether a case involves moral turpitude is a question of law); In the Matter of Birdwell, 20 S.W.3d 685 (Tex. 2000) Yes
Prostitution Holgin v. State, 480 S.W.2d 405 (Tex. Crim. App. 1972); Husting v. State, 790 S.W.2d 121 (Tex. App-San Antonio 1990, no pet.) Yes
Purchase of a child In the matter of Thacker, 881 S.W.2d 307 (Tex.1994) Yes
Indecent exposure Polk v. State, 865 S.W.2d 627 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1993, pet.ref’d) Yes
Failure to stop & render aid Tate v. State Bar of Texas, 920 S.W.2d 727 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1996 writ denied) Yes
Theft Milligan v. State, 554 S.W.2d 192 (Tex. Crim. App. 1977) Yes
Agg assault by a man on a woman Jackson v. State, 50 S.W.3d 579, 591 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2001, pet. ref’d); Ludwig v. State, 969 S.W.2d 22 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1998, pet. ref’d); Hardeman v. State, 868 S.W.2d 404 (Tex. App.-Austin 1993), pet. dism’d, 891 S.W.2d 960 (Tex. Crim. App.
Assault by a male on a female Trippell v. State, 535 S.W.2d 178 (Tex. Crim. App. 1976) Yes
Murder and Indecent exposure Polk v. State, 865 S.W.2d 627 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1993, pet.ref’d) Yes
Swindling Sherman v. State, 62 S.W.2d 146 (Tex. Crim. App. 1993) Yes
Bank fraud Searcy v. State Bar of Texas, 604 S/W/2d 256 (Tex. 1980) Yes
Theft, shoplifting Milligan v. State, 554 S.W.2d 192 (Tex. Crim. App. 1977) Yes
Bigamy Ruhe v. State Bar, No. 05-93-01562-CV, 1994 Tex. App. LEXIS 3948 (App.—Dallas Nov. 17, 1994) Yes
Public Lewdness Green v. Cty. Attorney of Anderson Cty., 592 S.W.2d 69 (Tex. Civ. App.—Tyler 1979); Escobedo v. State, 202 S.W.3d 844 (Tex. App.—Waco 2006) Yes
Conspiracy to Commit Offense or Defraud the United States Freedson v. State, 600 S.W.2d 349 (Tex. Civ. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1980) Yes
Conspiracy to Bribe a Public Official State v. Nelson, 551 S.W.2d 433 (Tex. Civ. App.—San Antonio 1977) Yes
Promoting Prostitution Taylor v. State, 470 S.W.2d 663 (Tex. Crim. App. 1971) Yes
Sale of Narcotics Speer v. State, 109 S.W.2d 1150 (Tex. Civ. App.—Galvestion 1937) Yes
Violation of a Protective Order Shielding a Woman Ludwig v. State, 969 S.W.2d 22 (Tex. Civ. App.— Fort Worth 1998) Yes
Criminally Negligent Homicide Arnold v. State, 36 S.W.3d 542 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2000) No
Issuance of Bad Checks Without Intent to Defraud Dallas Cty. Bail Bond Bd. v. Mason, 773 S.W.2d 586 (Tex. App.—Dallas 1989) No
Interference with an Emergency Call Urtado v. State, 333 S.W.3d 418 (Tex. App.—Austin 2011) No
Use of Loud and Profane Language in a Public Place Taylor v. State, 199 S.W. 289 (1917) No
Abusive Language to a Police Officer Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co. v. Williams, 516 S.W.2d 425 (Tex. Civ. App.—Amarillo 1974) No
Driving While License Suspended Stephens v. State, 417 S.W.2d 286 (Tex. Crim. App. 1967) No
Evading Arrest Ex parte Aguilar, No. 09-14-00128-CR, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 10809 (App.—Beaumont Sep. 24, 2014) Remains unsettled if can be used for deportation purposes
Failure to ID by Falsifying Information Lester v. State, 366 S.W.3d 214, 215 (Tex. App. 2011) Giving false info – CMT
Failing to give info – Not CMT

It is important to note that conspiracy, attempt, or acting as an accessory to any of the above-mentioned crimes also constitutes a crime of moral turpitude.

Charged with a Crime of Moral Turpitude? Contact Us.

Being arrested for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) does not mean that all is lost. You may have options to keep a conviction off your record, but it is important to know what they are as soon as possible. If you have been charged with an offense of moral turpitude, it is imperative that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. We can help.

Our team is made up of former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists with decades of experience and a proven track record of success. Call 817-203-2220 for a complimentary consultation today.

You can also contact us online.

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