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

Indecent Exposure: Laws & Penalties
Indecent exposure laws prohibit exposing private body parts in certain circumstances. Learn more about the crime here, including penalties, defenses, and common questions.
I'm Being Charged with Rape: What Should I Do?
Rape is a serious felony charge with severe penalties. Here's what to do if you are facing rape charges, and how a lawyer could help.
Public Urination Laws and Penalties
Urinating in public is illegal in every state. Defendants may be charged under a law that specifically criminalizes the act, or the prosecutor may allege that the defendant presented a public nuisance or is guilty of disorderly conduct.
Using a Gun for Self-Defense: Laws and Consequences
Laws in every state spell out when and whether you can use a gun to defend yourself or someone else.
Ohio Petty and Felony Theft and Shoplifting Laws
Like many states, Ohio classifies its theft-related offenses according to the value of the property—and in some cases, according to the type of property or victim involved in the theft.
Are Fireworks Legal in California?
California limits the kinds of fireworks people can legally have and restricts the places they can set them off.
Charges Associated With Public Urination In California
Depending on the circumstances, urinating in public could land you in jail.
Homemade Guns: Are They Legal? Must They Be Registered?
Privately made guns, including ghost guns and 3D guns aren't heavily regulated by the federal government, but some federal restrictions still apply. And a growing number of states have outlawed untraceable homemade guns.
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.
California Sexual Assault and Battery Laws
California’s sexual assault and sexual battery laws criminalize certain kinds of sexual activity when the other person hasn’t consented to it. Sometimes, even when someone agrees to the activity, the defendant can still be charged and convicted. Some sex offenses in California can result in life in prison, and most will require registration as a sex offender.