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What’s the difference between blue- and white-collar crimes?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2022 | White Collar Crimes |

Everyone has heard of white-collar crimes in Michigan and elsewhere. There are also blue-collar crimes, so it’s important to know how they differ.

What are white-collar crimes?

The term “white-collar crime” dates back to 1939 when the president of the American Sociological Society, Edwin H. Sutherland, coined it. Afterward, it was widely used and referred to certain types of crimes that are considered non-violent and motivated by financial gain. Perpetrators are often viewed as those who come from a higher social class.

Many white-collar crimes are also considered to be federal offenses. Some examples of these types of crimes include the following:

  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Money laundering
  • Tax evasion
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Public corruption
  • Securities fraud

In terms of white-collar work, historically, it’s been more difficult to obtain a job. White-collar professions are not just jobs but are considered careers that require skills and a solid educational background.

What are blue-collar crimes?

Blue-collar crimes are those that often involve violence or perpetrators who are from a lower social class. They may include the use of a weapon as well. Some examples of these offenses include the following:

  • Armed robbery
  • Assault and battery
  • Shoplifting
  • Drug-related offenses
  • Vandalism
  • Homicide

The term “blue-collar” was coined in the 1920s to refer to people who worked in manual labor jobs. These jobs didn’t require a specific skill or educational background. Often, workers wore darker-colored clothing that had blue collars. They would usually earn an hourly wage that was on the lower side.

How do these blue-collar and white-collar crimes differ?

Blue-collar and white-collar crimes are different in the motivations of how they are carried out. Blue-collar crimes often involve violence while white-collar crimes are committed for monetary gain.

An arrest for either of these types of crimes can be jarring. You have the right to protect your good name.