While burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and burglary of an occupied dwelling are both second-degree felonies, both punishable by a maximum of 15 years in state prison.
Burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, however, is just a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison. This would be a standard car burglary, where a car is broken into when nobody is inside of the car.
Burglary of an occupied conveyance is a second-degree felony. The legislature here is increasing the penalty if somebody is present inside of the car.
This is because a burglary of an occupied conveyance is more akin to a carjacking, which is a violent crime.
Occupied burglaries are always treated as more serious crimes by police and prosecutors.
If you or a loved one are facing occupied burglary charges, call me, a criminal defense attorney, today.