Did you know there are many different colors of collared crime? For context, you’ve likely heard of blue-collar and white-collar crime. The different colors denote the type of crime someone has committed. What many don’t know is that there are other colors of collared crimes beyond blue and white. Each type of collared crime carries different connotations, stereotypes, and challenges in terms of legal defense. The criminal defense attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. are here to explain.
Blue-collar crimes describe crimes committed by someone of the middle/working or lower class. These are more physical and conducted against specific people or businesses by individuals. This can include crimes like theft, drug use, assault, and more. These tend to have a clear victim and perpetrator, with repercussions against the individuals.
White-collar crimes describe crimes committed by someone who is upper-class or works in an upper-class, white-collar position. This is important because someone needs to be in a position of power to commit white-collar crimes. These crimes don’t always have obvious victims and perpetrators. White-collar crimes like money laundering, fraud, bribery, and embezzlement help others gain more money than they’re already earning, but this can be difficult to catch and prove.
There’s usually not someone being physically hurt in white-collar crimes. Rather, society suffers from the lack of income going back into the economy. While the effects of white-collar crime are long-reaching, they’re not obvious or immediate. Someone can go years before they’re caught, if they even are.
Many people think there’s only blue and white-collar crime, but there’s a type of crime for most colors of the rainbow, and then some.
Blue and white-collared crimes cover most crimes, but they’re also so wide-reaching that two white-collar crimes and two blue-collar crimes may share a few similarities. The other colors of collared crime work to make crime more specific, easier to identify, and simpler to judge.
Red-collar crime is a subset of white-collar crime. White-collar crime rarely has a clear victim, but many victims by happenstance. Remember, ‘rarely’ doesn’t mean always. Sometimes things go wrong, and people commit blue-collar crimes to cover it up.
For instance, committing murder, blackmail, kidnapping, or other blue-collar crimes to conceal a white-collar crime is a red-collar crime. This is how we denote their crossover.
Green-collar crime is neither a white-collar crime nor a blue-collar crime. It can have personal consequences and individual victims like blue-collar crime, or wide-reaching consequences on society like white-collar crime.
Green-collar crimes are criminal activities that damage or destroy the environment or otherwise break environmental or conservation laws. This includes acts like illegal dumping and burying of hazardous waste, illegal logging, illegal trade of exotic animals, and illegal poaching.
Pink-collar crime is a special type of white-collar crime that can be done by someone who is not necessarily upper-class, but works under someone who is. There are a few positions like bookkeeping, office managers, accountants, and secretaries who are not paid the salary of most white-collared criminals, nor have the power of one, but have access to information and accounts that allow them to commit white-collar crime.
For example, a secretary can move to hide money transfers from company accounts to their own or another person’s while in a middle-class position.
Orange-collar crime is a subset of blue-collar crime. What’s special about this type of crime is that the perpetrators work in the manual labor industry. They likely use tools from work to commit crimes or target their client contracts.
The crimes that they commit are more typical blue-collar crimes like robbery, burglary, and theft.
As the world becomes more and more online, the ability to commit a crime without ever meeting or seeing the victim is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. This is called gray-collar crime. Because of how new and changing the examples are, what is considered a gray-collar crime is huge and expansive.
Gray-collar crime is any crime that can be completed behind a computer without ever seeing the victim. This is similar to white-collar crime in that way, but it’s more like blue-collar crime in that the victims are usually individuals.
Common gray-collar crimes include stealing money from someone’s online accounts, taking their private information to steal their identity, or pretending to be someone else online.
This isn’t an official term in the United States. This is used to describe a crime in a more unofficial capacity, such as to the press, with victims, or with clients. Black-collar crime is any crime committed by priests or the clergy. This could be anything from theft to money laundering and child molestation.
All colors of collared crime are serious. They all carry heavy, life-changing consequences, so you need to make sure you have legal representation who knows what they’re doing. Our criminal defense attorneys understand Pennsylvania law inside and out. It doesn’t matter what collared crimes you’re being accused of, we can help. Contact us as soon as possible so we can start building a defense.
Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., a shareholder and managing partner at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., brings 37 years of litigation experience. He is a renowned trial lawyer in Pennsylvania, specializing in medical malpractice, personal injury, and criminal defense. Peter's notable achievements include securing multi-million-dollar verdicts and serving as District Attorney and Judge. He is committed to community involvement and is actively engaged in various legal associations.
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