What Crimes are Considered "White Collar?"

When people discuss crimes, they often like to categorize them so they can easily understand the danger they represent. People know that some crimes are violent, for example, while other crimes are not. One of the most difficult to understand categorizations, though, is white collar crimes. These crimes are often referenced in the media, but they are rarely explained. While it's hard to say if a white collar crime is better or worse than any other type of crime, it is often helpful to have some basic information about the category.

A Financial Crime

The definition of a white collar crime relies on three elements. The first, and perhaps most important, is that it is a financially motivated crime. When a person commits a white collar crime, they don't do it out of anger or a need for vengeance. White collar crimes are carefully planned and executed in an attempt to bring the perpetrator greater wealth. White collar crimes always have some kind of financial component, even if they are sensationalized to have other aspects. In this respect, one could consider certain very specific types of theft as white collar crimes.

A Non-Violent Crime

Theft in general is not a white collar crime, though, because of the next element. These crimes are almost always non-violent. This generally tends to place crimes like embezzlement and fraud in the white collar category, while crimes like robbery and burglary are not white collar crimes. As technology becomes more sophisticated, a host of potential technological crimes have been added to the white collar list. Certain types of computer fraud and identity theft, for example, are white collar crimes.

Crime and Social Status

The third, and perhaps most defining trait of a white collar crime is that such a crime is committed by a person involved in business or government. Generally speaking, these crimes are considered to be those committed by those of a higher social class. When a CEO defrauds his or her investors, for example, this is a white collar crime. When a person running a yard sale commits fraud, though, the crime doesn't get the same distinction. In most cases, it is the social class of the perpetrator that really defines the crime.

White collar crimes can cause just as much damage as many other forms of crime. Because most of these crimes involve deception, being convicted of such a crime can make it difficult for an individual to gain employment in his or her field after his or her sentence is served. Like any other crime, a white collar crime can have significant consequences. If you are dealing with a white collar crime, it's important that you contact our Florida white collar crime defense attorneys at Musca Law today.

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