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White-Collar vs. Blue-Collar Crime: What Are the Differences?

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Martha Stewart's insider trading. Bernie Madoff's "Ponzi scheme." Shady accounting practices at Enron. What do these famous cases have in common? They're all examples of white-collar crimes. Crimes that result in losses of up to $600 billion every year. If you are accused of a white-collar crime, it is important to contact a white-collar crime defense lawyer.
First coined in 1949 by sociologist Edwin Sutherland, the term "white-collar crime" refers to a criminal act committed by a person of high socioeconomic status, often in the course of their work. This is distinct from what has come to be known as blue-collar crime, which can refer to violent acts such as murder, as well as non-violent acts such as prostitution.
Although these terms aren't legal definitions, they help distinguish these categories of illegal acts. But what are some of the key differences between white-collar crimes and blue-collar crimes? Keep reading to find out.
White-Collar Crime

In the same way that white-collar workers don't get their hands dirty in their line of work, those who commit white-collar crimes don't need to get physical to break the law.
With greed as the main motivator, white-collar crime often occurs in financial, business, and government settings. And, although white-collar crime can target only one victim, it usually involves many victims at once.
Some examples of white-collar crime include:
Identity theft
Money laundering
Ponzi schemes
Although you won't find a trail of broken bodies as a result of a white-collar crime, these illegal acts can leave a trail of ruined lives in their wake.
What to Do If You're Charged with a White-Collar Crime

The complexity of white-collar crimes often calls for extensive investigation, and being charged with these kinds of crimes can have devastating consequences.
This is why you'll need an expert attorney to assist you during a legal battle facing white-collar crime charges. Only a white-collar crime lawyer will have the necessary insight and experience to be able to help you avoid a conviction and the possibility of having to pay restitution.
Blue-Collar Crime

We use the term blue-collar worker to refer to working-class individuals performing manual functions. Likewise, blue-collar criminals are usually of a lower socioeconomic status than white-collar criminals and must use physical acts in the execution of their crimes.
Blue-collar crime does not often require any special access or resources. The perpetrator is usually present at the scene and tends to target one victim at a time.
Greed can be a factor in blue-collar crimes such as robbery. But often, other emotions such as passion and rage can also come into play. Some examples of common blue-collar crimes include:
Property damage
Drug crimes
Sex crimes
As this shows, blue-collar crimes often involve injury to people or damage to property.
What to Do If You're Charged with a Blue-Collar Crime

Investigators often have access to physical evidence and witness testimonies in blue-collar crime cases. This means that they tend to be simpler to investigate and penalize than white-collar crimes.
Blue-collar crimes are also easier for the public to understand than white-collar crimes. They tend to provoke more dramatic negative responses, especially if there's an injured victim involved.
This is why, whether you've been accused of sex crimes or an act of violence, you'll need a blue-collar crime lawyer to help you defend yourself to the fullest extent of the law.
White-Collar Crime vs. Blue-Collar Crime

Although white-collar crime is a theft charge, it differs from thefts considered blue-collar crimes in several ways. The perpetrator often has a higher social status, and the crime itself is harder to understand, detect, and penalize.
While an expert attorney would argue that white-collar crime does not directly harm the victim, being accused of a white-collar crime can have serious consequences.
Whatever charges you need to beat, make sure you have the best lawyer on your side.

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