The Difference Between Blue-Collar and White-Collar Crime
blue collar and white collar crimes

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

Peter Olszewski
Peter Olszewski

ll crime can generally be divided into two categories: blue-collar crime and white-collar crime. Usually, when you divide something so broad into only two categories, the categories are vague, with mild differences. This is not true with the distinction between blue-collar crime and white-collar crime, and the attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski P.C. explain why.

What is Blue-Collar Crime?

Blue-collar crime is any criminal activity that is comitted against one or a few individual people or entities. This means you can only commit blue-collar crimes against other people or physical locations you can enter. You can’t commit a blue-collar crime against an entire company or country. Examples of blue-collar crime include but are not limited to:

  • Theft crimes: These criminal charges are when someone steals something from another person or location. There are several variations of this crime distinguished by where and how the theft is committed, along with the value of what was taken.
  • Assault crimes: This is when someone physically attacks and causes physical harm to another person. Self-defense is not considered assault, but someone who acts in self-defense may be charged with assault before they are found innocent.
  • Murder: This is when someone purposely takes the life of another human being. There has to be intent for the crime to be murder rather than manslaughter.
  • Manslaughter: This is when someone unintentionally causes the death of another human being. An example would be accidentally causing a car accident that ends someone’s life.
  • Drug crimes: This includes when someone manufactures, distributes, possesses, or sells drugs that are either illegal or only legal with the correct license that the accused doesn’t have.
  • Sex crimes: This includes rape, sexual assault, and molestation. It is a crime whenever someone has sexual contact with someone else without their consent.

Some white-collar crimes are similar to these blue-collar crimes, and there are white-collar crimes that can lead to blue-collar crimes. If you are confused as to how a specific crime is classified, a criminal defense attorney from Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. can explain.

What is White-Collar Crime?

White-collar crime is any crime that is against society. This means that the crime targets large entities, including corporations, governments, social societies, and non-profit organizations as a whole, rather than just individual representatives or locations. This larger scale can lead to multiple individuals, potentially dozens of people being considered white-collar criminals.

It’s regarded as a crime against society because most large organizations or areas of people employ and/or support hundreds, sometimes thousands, and even millions of people. If they undergo extreme pressure as a result of criminal activity, many people are affected. If a crime leads to an organization’s ruin, this can have a profound effect on society. They can be incredibly difficult to track and discover since they are nonviolent crimes and don’t leave as much evidence as blue-collar crimes.

  • Money laundering: This is when white-collar criminals use the form of businesses, banks, or other organizations to conceal the transfer and/or origins of illegally obtained money. The transfer of illegal money can cause the value of the dollar to change, affecting society as a whole.
  • Tax evasion: This is when an entity evades paying their taxes by hiding, misconstruing, or lying about their revenue or some aspect of their business when paying their taxes. The lack of government funds from taxes can lead to higher taxes, affecting society as a whole.
  • Insider trading: This is when people who work in a corporation collude with investors, stock brokers, and others with a financial interest in a corporation to buy or sell shares before a company predicts a change in stock value. An example of this would be a CEO telling their friends to sell their shares because of a company announcement that will make the stock price drop.
  • Embezzlement: This is when an entity steals money from another entity. Stealing cash isn’t considered embezzlement. Stealing someone’s banking information and transferring their money away can be considered a small example of embezzlement.
  • Identity theft: This is when someone steals the social security number, banking information, passport, license, or other legal identifying information from another person to impersonate them. Using someone’s identity under false pretenses can lead to issues in taxes, credit information, the census, and more. This isn’t always considered a nonviolent crime if you stole an item off someone’s person to get this information.
  • Mail and wire fraud: This is when someone uses mailing communications or wire, radio, or television communications to mislead others in an attempt to take their money. An example of this would be sending false information in return for money or something of monetary value.

Although white-collar crimes have been known to lead to blue-collar crimes, this does not make a white-collar crime a blue-collar crime or vice versa. They would be two separate criminal charges.

What Should You Do If You Are Charged with a White-Collar or Blue-Collar Crime?

Whether it’s nonviolent white-collar crime or violent blue-collar crime, you need an attorney who with experience handling everything that may be thrown at you. You may be innocent until proven guilty by law, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be treated as such. Don’t attempt to go in alone without a team of attorneys to help you prove your innocence.

With the experience you need, the criminal defense attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski P.C. have represented individuals charged with:

  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Robbery
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug crimes (possession, delivery, conspiracy)
  • Drunk driving (DUI, DWI, DAI)
  • Expungements and pardons
  • Federal and white-collar crime
  • Fraud
  • Homicide
  • Murder
  • Juvenile offenses
  • Public corruption
  • Sex crimes
  • Weapons offenses

We have the skills necessary to protect your freedom and defend your innocence. It’s crucial that we start building a defense for you as soon as possible. Contact our attorneys today.

Peter Olszewski
Peter Olszewski

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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