Alexis Kelly

Alexis Kelly writes on the topic of criminal law for Nolo. She received her B.A. from New York University and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Law Practice. Alexis began her legal career as a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County, California. After moving to Los Angeles with her family, she worked on a research and policy project for the American Bar Association’s National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction. She later worked as a staff attorney for the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, a nonprofit providing free legal services to victims of domestic violence.

Writing for Nolo. Alexis began writing for Nolo in 2013 and enjoys explaining legal topics for the everyday reader. She took a pause in her writing for several years due to full-time work and an international move to Amsterdam. She happily rejoined the Nolo freelance writing team in 2019.

Articles By Alexis Kelly

Three Strikes Laws and Habitual Offenders
“Three Strikes and You’re Out” laws are intended to keep career criminals or habitual offenders locked up for life.
The Crime of Mayhem
The everyday use of the word mayhem has evolved pretty far from its original, legal definition. In the legal context, “mayhem” doesn’t denote a kind of rowdy disorder, but rather force causing serious and gruesome injury. Leave My Subjects Whole Mayhem is an old version of the word maim. The crime
Dogs as Weapons
As any mail carrier can attest, aggressive dogs can be hazardous. Most courts would agree, as there is a trend in judicial findings that, depending on the circumstances, dogs can be every bit as dangerous as guns and knives.
The Human Body: A Deadly Weapon?
Use of a deadly or dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime is often an aggravating circumstance that can increase punishment.