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Court Says Vehicle Theft Under California Law Is Not a CIMT


The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review of the BIA’s precedent decision in Matter of Almanza-Arenas, which held that a conviction for vehicle theft under California Vehicle Code §10851(a) constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). The court remanded to the BIA, holding that, because the least of the acts criminalized under §10851(a) is a temporary taking, the statute is overbroad and thus not categorically a CIMT. The court also found that §10851(a) is an indivisible statute under Descamps v. United States.

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