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White Collar Crimes versus Blue Collar Crimes


You are probably familiar with the term “white collar crime.” It is often used in contrast with the term “blue collar crime,” a term that is rarely used on its own. So what separates white collar crimes from other types of crime?

The term “white collar crime” refers to a specific subset of criminal offenses. They are the offenses that require a specialized level of education or access to commit. In other words, anybody can commit a blue collar crime, but only individuals with certain privileges can commit white collar crimes. Both types of offense can carry steep penalties, so it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible following any accusation of a criminal offense.

Examples of White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are typically financial in nature, but can involve the theft and unauthorized use of sensitive information for other purposes. Examples of white collar crimes include the following:

  • Embezzlement;
  • Fraud of all types, such as mortgage fraud, securities fraud, Medicare fraud, and tax fraud;
  • Racketeering; and
  • Money laundering.

White collar crimes may be committed alongside other offenses as part of an organized crime operation, but this is not always the case. In some cases, individuals in privileged positions such as financial advisors act alone to defraud their victims. Unlike blue collar crimes, white collar crimes can go unnoticed for years because they can be committed quietly and in some cases, remotely.

Example of Blue Collar Crimes

The term “blue collar crime” refers to a criminal offense that can be committed by an individual of any socioeconomic status and educational attainment. Examples of blue collar crimes include:

  • Burglary;
  • Robbery;
  • Sex offenses;
  • Assault;
  • Battery; and
  • Drug offenses.

Usually, more descriptive terms than “blue collar crime” are used to discuss these offenses. Terms like “violent crime,” “sex crime,” and “drug offense” are all used much more frequently to discuss this type of offense. This is because a much wider range of offenses fall under the “blue collar” label, many of which have subcategories of their own.

Other “Colored Collar” Crimes

Sometimes, other colors are used to describe criminal offenses when they are committed by individuals in certain positions. The term “black collar crime” has been used to refer to offenses committed by judges and members of the clergy, though this term is not as widely accepted as the terms white collar crime and blue collar crime. Another less commonly used term is “pink collar crime,” which refers to white collar crimes committed by women.

Work with an Experienced Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any type of criminal offense, it is important to your future liberty that you start working with an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to craft a solid, effective legal defense strategy. To get started with a member of our team, contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today to set up your initial legal consultation with in our office.




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