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and Blue-Collar Crime?

All criminal offenses have severe direct and collateral consequences.

A decade ago, in the wake of the 1990s Enron scandal and the 2008 mortgage crisis scandals, law enforcement authorities vigorously prosecuted fraud and other white-collar crime cases. Today, large-scale fraud schemes and other such matters account for about 5% of criminal arrests in Georgia. Prosecutors have a similar attitude. They only take about 3% of these cases to court. Instead, both police and prosecutors take a bottom-up approach and focus on crimes committed by individuals against individuals.

In rem (property or white-collar crime cases) and in personam (personal or blue-collar) crimes have many things in common. The same procedural defenses, such as Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations, protect offenders in both categories. Furthermore, the burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, is the same. So, a Norcross criminal defense lawyer takes the same approach in both kinds of cases, especially since the goal, which is usually avoiding a criminal record, is also the same.

In Rem Offenses

We mentioned fraud cases, which are the most common type of white-collar crime, above. Other offenses in this category include:

Technically, these offenses victimize individuals. However, this “individual” is usually an artificial person, like the government or a financial institution.

Frequently, a Norcross criminal defense lawyer either prevents criminal charges from being filed or resolves these charges before trial.

Generally, the government and other institutional victims don’t want to punish offenders. They simply want their money back. So, if a defendant voluntarily pays restitution, these victims often lose interest in the case.

A victim cannot “drop” criminal charges. Only prosecutors have this power. However, if the victim shows little interest in the matter, prosecutors often take the same approach. That’s especially true since, as mentioned above, prosecutors rarely file these cases anyway.

If the case does go to court, pretrial diversion is usually an option. Basically, prosecutors drop the charges if defendants pay restitution and complete other program requirements.

In Personam Offenses

Most white-collar criminal matters also involve extensive criminal schemes. For example, multiple doctors and medical support personnel usually participate in healthcare fraud schemes, like coding schemes (intentionally entering the wrong code to fraudulently obtain higher payments).

In contrast, most blue-collar crimes are spur-of-the-moment offenses against individuals or small groups of people. Such crimes include:

These violent offenses are normally felonies. This combination often makes blue-collar criminal cases difficult to resolve from start to finish.

Initially, jail release is harder. Many white-collar criminal defendants never spend a moment in jail before their trials. Instead, they voluntarily surrender. In contrast, pretrial detention is very common for blue-collar offenses.

At the resolution phase, pretrial diversion is usually unavailable, especially in felony cases. Fortunately, deferred disposition or First Offender treatment is usually an option. If the defendant successfully completes probation, the judge dismisses the case.

Connect With a Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Attorney

White-collar and blue-collar crimes have some similarities and differences. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Norcross, contact Zimmerman & Associates, Attorneys at Law.