Although there are many classification levels of a crime, all crimes fall into one of two categories. These two categories are blue-collar crimes and white-collar crimes. In this article, we discuss the difference between blue collar vs white collar crime.

What is a Crime?

In Florida, crimes are classified into two categories.  The categories are misdemeanors and felonies.  Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by up to $1,000.00 and may carry a jail sentence of up to one year. Felonies are more serious crimes.  These are crimes that are punishable with a fine of more than $1,000.00 and may carry a sentence of more than one year in prison. In Florida, we define crimes under the Florida Criminal Statutes.

What is a Blue Collar Crime?

Blue-collar crimes are those crimes that tend to be violent.  Some examples of these types of crimes include murder, robbery, or sexual assault.  Blue-collar crimes may also be non-violent crimes such as solicitation or prostitution.  Blue collar crime derives its name from workers who are employed in manual labor aka blue collar workers.  There is a bias that blue-collar workers are more likely to commit violent crimes.

Blue-collar crimes are crimes that are more likely to have a severe punishment.  In blue-collar crimes, there is usually a clear victim and the acts are patently illegal.

What is a White Collar Crime?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, white-collar crimes are crimes that are committed by business and/or government professionals.  White-collar crime derives its name from workers who are employed in office positions aka white-collar workers. There is a bias that most people believe only middle and upper class individuals commit white collar crime.

White-collar crimes are typically for financial gain.  For example, forgery, embezzlement, identity theft, insider trading, etc.  The difficulty of determining when the white-collar crime occurs is because to most observers, the crime seems like part of the everyday or regular activity of the individual(s) committing the crime.  Although not violent like blue-collar crimes, white-collar crimes usually involve multiple victims and significant financial damages.  There are three main types of white-collar crimes:

Securities and Commodities Fraud

For anyone who has seen the movies, “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “Boiler Room” then you may be somewhat familiar with securities and commodities fraud. This is a crime where a person sells non-existing investment opportunities.

Corporate Fraud

Corporate fraud is where a company fixes the books to mislead potential investors or government agents of the true nature of the profit and loss of a company. The textbook example of a corporate fraud crime is Enron.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is the act of hiding illegal monetary gains through legitimate enterprises. An example of this is in the show “Breaking Bad” when Walter White purchases a car wash in an attempt to hide that his wealth was coming from drug trafficking.

Charged with a Crime

If you face charges for a blue collar or white collar crime, you must seek the advice of legal counsel to protect your rights and learn about blue collar vs white collar crimes. Contact the legal professionals at The Bantner Firm who will review your case and develop a legal strategy to assist you.