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What is the difference between white collar crime and blue collar crime?

Within the criminal system, crimes typically fall within two major categories: misdemeanors and felonies.  Misdemeanors are generally considered lesser crimes, to which the defendant may be subject to a penalty of up to one year in jail.  Felonies are considered more significant crimes, to which the defendant may be subject to a jail term greater than one year, life in prison, or possibly even a death sentence.

Given these categories, you may be wondering what is white collar crime?  And how does it differ from blue collar crime?

White collar crimes. White collar crimes are generally non-violent in nature and involve some form of deception.  White collar crimes are typically committed in the course of business by someone with legitimate access and responsibility within that business.  These crimes are often committed in areas of prosperity and can be difficult to detect, because they are often coupled with normal legal business activities.

Examples of white collar crimes include blackmail, bribery, computer fraud, embezzlement, and perjury to name a few.

Blue collar crimes. Blue collar crimes are crimes generally committed in an unskilled environment where something like a business situation does not afford the close proximity to a valuable asset.  These crimes often involve violence.  Blue collar crimes tend to be more obvious because they involve visible damage to or loss of property or have one or more direct victims who can inform the police that the crime occurred.

Examples of blue collar crimes include but are not limited to assault, battery, murder, shoplifting, robbery, and vandalism.

White collar and blue collar crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the nature of the crime.  While blue collar crimes generally receive more attention from the police and the media because they seemingly occur more often than white collar crimes, white collar crimes cause a much greater loss to society as a whole than do blue collar crimes.  Therefore, the punishment given to those found guilty of white collar crimes, while still not on a level equivalent to that given for a blue collar crime, is on the rise compared to what it was in the past.

If I have been accused of a crime, what should I do?

If you are accused of a crime (or even being investigated for a crime for that matter), you should seek the counsel of a training criminal defense attorney.  Whether you categorize a given crime as a misdemeanor or a felony… or a white or blue collar… crimes can carry significant penalties.  Therefore, you should be sure you have a criminal defense attorney on your side or can investigate the matter and mount the best available defense if necessary.

If you complete the short form below, a criminal defense attorney will review your case free of charge and with no further obligation to you.  This review is completely confidential as well.  Therefore, do not take criminal defense matters into your own hands.  Get the help you need today in understanding the potential implications of your matter.

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