Kelly Martin


Kelly Martin is a Legal Editor for Nolo with a focus on criminal law. She writes for several sites, including,, and

Education. Kelly earned her J.D. at Golden Gate University School of Law, which she attended on a merit scholarship. She graduated in 2005 in the top 5% of her class with Highest Honors and received several awards for academic achievement.

Legal experiences. Kelly has been a licensed attorney since 2005. After working at the trial level for two years, she began representing indigent defendants in the California Court of Appeal and soon established a full-time criminal defense appellate practice. In addition to maintaining that practice, she spent two years at the Office of the State Public Defender, representing defendants on appeal in capital cases. She has also taught several semesters as an adjunct professor of legal writing and appellate advocacy at Golden Gate University School of Law. She continues to handle criminal appeals for defendants in California who can't afford lawyers.

Nolo. Kelly started at Nolo in 2022. She was inspired by Nolo’s mission to educate the public about laws that affect us all and is honored to be able to contribute to that work.

Other pursuits. Kelly enjoys road cycling (despite the spandex) and can often be found riding in the Napa Valley. This activity balances out her love of cooking and her enthusiasm for sitting around with a good novel and a lap cat.

Articles By Kelly Martin

Carrying a Concealed Weapon
People who may legally possess and even openly carry weapons can't always place those weapons in their pockets or otherwise conceal them without breaking the law.
How to Handle a Bench Warrant or Failure to Appear in Arizona
Failure to appear in a court is a crime in Arizona, and can expose you to penalties that are more serious than those associated with the underlying charge.
How to Handle a Bench Warrant or Failure to Appear in New York
Failing to appear for a court date can be used by the prosecutor as evidence of your guilt on the underlying charge. Don't risk this potentially devastating argument.
How to Handle a Bench Warrant or Failure to Appear in New Mexico
Is failure to appear for court a crime in New Mexico?
Disturbing the Peace
Disturbing the peace, also known as a breach of the peace, disorderly conduct, or by similar terms, occurs whenever someone acts in a way that disrupts the public order or disturbs the peace and tranquility of the community.
Can A Judge Order My Child to Testify in a Criminal Case?
Children who are witnesses to or victims of crimes may be ordered to testify in criminal cases. Generally, judges decide on a case-by-case basis whether a child is competent (qualified) to testify. But, even if a child is subpoenaed (ordered) to testify and found competent, there are steps the court
Is Prostitution Legal in California?
In California, both pimping and pandering are crimes. Laws against pimping and pandering are generally aimed at third parties who benefit from the sale of sex, although they may also apply to “johns” and prostitutes.
Laws on Federal Fraud
Federal law defines fraud as any intentional deception or misrepresentation used to benefit yourself or someone else.
Diversion, Mediation or Treatment Instead of Criminal Conviction
If you are charged with a crime for the first time, you may not be looking at prison, or even jail time. People who know they won't go to jail often think that a quick guilty plea is the best way...
Selling Prescription Drugs Illegally
Federal law makes it illegal for any person who does not have a license to write prescriptions to sell or give a prescription drug to another person (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)). Licensed health care professionals, such as doctors or pharmacists, cannot knowingly sell or give prescription drugs to someone who does not have either a valid need or valid prescription for the drugs.