Professor Ahmad Wright
BLUE COLLAR CRIME VS WHITE COLLAR
There are many different sophisticated crimes that are classified as white collar crimes
according to legal precedent. They include, but are not limited to: embezzlement, money
laundering, identity theft, credit card fraud, hacking, forgery, and similar crimes. The
punishments for the white collar crimes are drastically different as well, often incurring
probation or community service in conjunction with high monetary fines instead of focusing
solely on incarceration, as is the case with many blue collar crimes. However, with the Bernie
Madoff scandal as well as the other recent wall street crimes, more and more white collar
criminals are facing stiff criminal penalties that include long periods of incarceration in federal
prisons. ...view middle of the document...
Generally speaking, the traditional attire of the person committing that style of crime
defines the crime's classification. White collar refers to the dress shirts worn by these types of
office workers wear, with white collars and ties. Blue collar would refer to the standard uniforms
worn by many working class individuals. These are very general terms, and there is no law that
states that a working class person cannot commit a white collar crime and vice versa. The
classifications refer more to the crime itself as a general definition than the actual perpetrators.
Also, these are generalized classifications coined by the media and are not codified as crimes in
the classic sense in our judicial system.
Definition of Blue Collar Crimes
A blue collar crime is a highly visible crime committed by the average working class or
poor American, from violent crimes to thievery and even drug-related crimes. Most are
perpetrated by people who believe that they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Blue collar crimes are typically associated with Americans who work for a living, heading to day
jobs or night shifts in order to earn an income and support a family the hard way. According to
experts, the unemployed are at highest risk for committing what is classified as a blue collar
crime. Crimes in this category typically include theft, drug charges, DUIs, and violent crimes.
Keep in mind that many high-powered executives get charged with DUIs, crimes of violence and
drug crimes. The difference is that they aren't charged with these type of crimes at the same high
rate as blue collar workers.
White Collar Crimes
Opposite of blue collar crimes, white collar criminals are typically the high class people
who inherited money or earn a lot of money at upper level jobs, such as management, business or
corporate bigwigs, et cetera. The types of crimes committed are generally technical or money-
related in nature, such as computer-based crimes or embezzlement, and these crimes are steadily
increasing as more people discover the negative aspects of doing business primarily online.