White Collar vs. Blue Collar Crime

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White Collar vs. Blue Collar Crime

They are a whole lot of different crimes out there that a person can commit. In order to keep
track of all of the different crimes in existence, it only makes sense for things to be categorized.
Doing so can help everyone have a clearer understanding of what a person has been accused of
and how big of a deal it is.

One of the ways that crimes are categorized is through the terms white collar crime and blue
collar crime. Most people have probably heard of these terms in reference to different jobs, but
that doesn’t mean that they actually understand the distinction. Understanding these two terms
and how they are applied to crimes can help a person understand what someone did in order to
get into trouble.

White Collar Crimes

Before the term was applied to crimes, the term white collar was used to reference jobs where the
person worked in a clean environment. Basically, white collar workers could wear white shirts to
work because they worked in offices doing less physical labor. The white shirt allowed them to
look professional and they didn’t have to worry about it getting noticeably dirty.

While it may not seem like it, knowing this helps a person understand white collar crime.

White collar crimes are those that don’t involve a lot of violence. They are also often committed
by people who are taking advantage of their position at work. Some examples of white collar
crimes include:

  • All types of fraud.
  • Embezzlement.
  • Identity theft.
  • Insider trading.
  • Money Laundering.
  • Ponzi schemes.
  • Tax Evasion.

White collar crimes are typically committed by people in higher social and economic statuses.

Due to the nature of these types of crimes, it is often easier for the person committing them to get
away with the crime, as proving their guilt can be tough to do. Those that are convicted of these
types of crimes often receive lighter sentences, such as fines and small incarceration times.
However, if there are multiple charges against the person, then those penalties can add up until a
person is facing life in prison.

Blue Collar Crimes

The term of blue collar work comes from when it was applied to jobs where people typically
wore blue collar shirts to work. These people typically worked at more labor intensive jobs
involving a lot of dirt. The blue shirt would be less likely to show that dirt.

This applies to crime in that blue collar jobs often require more physical work and violence.
Some examples of blue collar crimes include:

  • Assault and battery.
  • Drug crimes.
  • Murder.
  • Sex crimes.
  • Theft and burglary.

Blue collar crimes can often be recognized by their high risk and low rewards. These types of
crimes require more work form the criminal, provide very little reward, and have a higher chance
of the person getting caught.

People convicted of these crimes will likely face harsher consequences such as longer
incarceration periods and being locked up in more secure facilities.

Understanding Why a Person Was Arrested

While these two terms, white collar and blue collar, aren’t officially used by the legal system,
they do help people have a better understanding of the crimes in questions. The terms help
distinguish what kind of crime a person committed. Did they do something violent like breaking
into someone’s home, or was it something more refined like redirecting company funds into their

What are your thoughts on blue collar and white collar crimes? Does knowing the distinction
between the two terms help you better understand crimes? Let us know what you think in the
comments down below.