What’s the Difference Between White-Collar and Blue Collar Crime?

September 8, 2021

What’s the Difference Between White-Collar and Blue Collar Crime?

Most people who are charged with a crime will be charged with a blue-collar crime. These crimes consist of those that people can easily define, such as theft, assault, and driving while intoxicated. However, it’s not the easiest thing to define tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, or racketeering. For these crimes, we have a different name: white-collar crime.

This may seem arbitrary, but there are so many legal differences that lawyers don’t always represent for both. Of course, Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano represents clients for both, but have different methods for defending against either charge. White-collar crime defenses have to contend with not only a different investigation process by plaintiffs but different punishments as well. It always helps before walking into a consultation, to ensure a client understands the important differences between the two.

Acts of White-Collar Crime vs Blue-Collar Crime

Blue-collar crime pertains to the crimes that anyone could commit. Technically, anyone can steal, assault, or drive intoxicated. Wealth, class, and power do not enable you to commit these crimes. In turn, white-collar crime cannot be committed by someone without property, or at the very least employment. Someone who is unemployed and homeless does not have a property to embezzle money through, nor the money to embezzle.

Another way to understand the difference is that a company can be a front for embezzlement, bribe officials, and evade taxes, but it cannot drive under the influence — only a person can do that. White-collar crime can be thought of as a crime that an entity and an individual can commit.

Investigations of White-Collar Crime vs Blue-Collar Crime

Because of these important differences, investigations of white-collar and blue-collar crime differ. Blue-collar crimes tend to leave a clear crime scene. In a burglary, a house has been broken into; in a drunk driving accident, there’s a car wreck; in an assault, there is a victim, etc. Investigators know a crime has likely happened before they start looking through the crime scene.

With white-collar crime, they investigate to see if there was a crime committed. This tends to involve subpoenaing bank records, executing search warrants on a person’s office or home, and more.

And while a blue-collar criminal investigation is usually done by a local police department, white-collar criminal investigations commonly involve the FBI and IRS. This means investigations might have more resources and be more thorough. This necessitates an experienced private law firm to help you with your case.

Courts For White-Collar Crimes vs Blue-Collar Crimes

While blue-collar crimes can find themselves in federal court, it’s not a standard across all blue-collar crimes. Serious crimes like murder or theft from government sites could see someone face federal court, but most blue-collar crimes face state court.

White-collar crimes are the opposite, with most taking place in federal court. Federal agencies are the ones completing investigations, and most companies/organizations accused of white-collar crimes operate outside of just one state.

While in court, you’ll see different kinds of evidence from blue-collar crime. Courts for white-collar crimes will look at bank records and contracts, which you wouldn’t look at for any blue-collar crime unless they were a stolen or damaged item.

Get a Lawyer Who Knows the Difference at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano

Another important part of white-collar crime is that there is more to lose. Not that one person’s life isn’t important, but there are so many more people who will be affected when an employee(s) are implicated in a white-collar crime case, from employees to partners, to family and loved ones. A white-collar crime case is not one that any company can afford to lose.

Put your trust in a law firm that puts your best interests first and contact us today. We offer a free case evaluation to all potential clients. Call (570) 348-0776 and schedule an appointment at our conveniently located office in downtown Scranton.

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