What are Common California Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude?

March 25, 2023

Moral turpitude is a legal concept that refers to conduct that is considered morally reprehensible or fundamentally unacceptable in the eyes of society. In California, certain criminal offenses are considered to involve moral turpitude, and a conviction for one of these crimes can have serious consequences, including loss of professional licenses, immigration issues, and difficulty finding employment.

One common example of a crime involving moral turpitude in California is embezzlement. Embezzlement occurs when someone in a position of trust, such as an employee or a financial advisor, steals or misappropriates money or property that they have been entrusted with. For example, an employee who steals money from their employer’s cash register or a financial advisor who misuses their clients’ investment funds would be committing embezzlement.

Another example of a moral turpitude crime in California is grand theft. Grand theft involves the taking of property that is worth more than $950 and can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value of the property taken and the circumstances of the crime. For example, if someone steals a car or a piece of jewelry worth more than $950, they could be charged with grand theft.

Perjury is also considered a crime of moral turpitude in California. Perjury occurs when someone knowingly makes a false statement under oath or affirmation. This can include lying in court, on a legal document, or during a deposition. For example, if someone testifies in court that they saw something happen that they didn’t actually witness, they could be charged with perjury.

Another common moral turpitude crime in California is a sex crime. These are crimes that involve illegal sexual conduct, such as sexual assault, rape, and child molestation. These crimes are considered to be particularly heinous because they involve a violation of another person’s bodily autonomy and can have severe and long-lasting impacts on the victim.

Burglary is another crime that can be considered as one involving moral turpitude. In California, burglary is defined as entering a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft once inside. This can include breaking and entering into someone’s home, office, or other structure with the intent to steal or commit another crime.

A crime of fraud is also considered one involving moral turpitude. Fraud can take many forms, including check fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft. These crimes involve the intentional deception of another person in order to obtain something of value, such as money or property.

A conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude can have serious consequences, including loss of professional licenses, immigration issues, and difficulty finding employment. It is important for anyone facing criminal charges in California to understand the potential consequences of a conviction and to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help to explain the charges and the potential consequences, as well as to develop a defense strategy that takes into account the specific circumstances of the case.

Attorney John D. Rogers is an Orange County criminal defense attorney. He is a board-certified criminal law specialist by the State Bar of California. His office is located in Newport Beach, CA and he represents clients throughout Southern California in state and federal matters. If you’re seeking legal representation, give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call to schedule a free consultation.

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