Rebecca Pirius


Rebecca Pirius is a Legal Editor at Nolo specializing in criminal law. She has worked in the area of criminal law since 2003, most recently as a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). For 12 years, Rebecca was a legislative analyst and an attorney in the Minnesota House of Representatives, providing nonpartisan legal research and drafting services to the 134 members. Right out of law school, she clerked for a judge in Hennepin County (Minneapolis, Minnesota). Rebecca earned her J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Minnesota, where she graduated magna cum laude and served as a law review member. She is a member of the Minnesota State Bar.

Nolo. In 2017, Rebecca began freelancing with Nolo and writing articles on criminal law, traffic laws, and impaired driving. She started full time at Nolo in 2019 as a Legal Editor covering criminal law. She writes primarily for and

Prior career. Working at the Minnesota Legislature and NCSL, Rebecca conducted extensive research and analysis of laws and legislation on criminal law, public safety, corrections, and courts. Her roles required her to break down complex legal concepts for a broad audience, including policymakers and constituents, and allowed her to work with both sides of the political aisle. At NCSL, her policy work took her around the country to work with local and state policymakers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, former offenders, young adult offenders, crime victims, and criminal justice experts. 

Legal writing and publications. At the Minnesota Legislature, Rebecca authored and co-authored several publications outlining and explaining Minnesota laws on traffic citations, public defenders, jury service, domestic abuse, and more. She continued her criminal law writing at NCSL, where she authored blogs and publications on criminal records, young adults in the justice system, and bail. Her publications included Put Up or Stay Put (State Legislatures Magazine), a legislative primer on Young Adults in the Justice System, and a policy brief on Barriers to Work for those with criminal records.

Articles By Rebecca Pirius

New Jersey Marijuana Laws
Learn about New Jersey’s laws and penalties for marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales.
Florida Aggravated Assault and Battery Laws
Assault or battery offenses can easily ramp up to felony or aggravated charges. Learn how Florida defines and penalizes aggravated assault and battery.
Simple Assault and Battery in Florida
A person can face assault or battery charges even if a victim suffers no injuries. While these crimes start as misdemeanors, they can quickly ramp up to a felony. Learn how Florida law defines assault and battery and the penalties for each.
Minnesota Assault and Battery
Assault penalties range anywhere from a misdemeanor to a 20-year felony. Learn how Minnesota classifies and penalizes assault crimes.
Michigan Sexting Laws for Teens and Minors
Since Michigan does not have specific legislation dealing with sexting, sexting between teenagers can be prosecuted under child pornography laws, which are intended to severely punish adults who exploit children. Teens that engage in sexting can also suffer other consequences.
Possession of a Controlled Substance in Illinois
Possession of illegal drugs in Illinois can mean jail or prison time, depending on the amount possessed, the type of drug, and a person's criminal record. All states regulate and control the possession of drugs or controlled substances, though each differs in its exact definition and the penalties for
Nebraska Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences
A felony in Nebraska can mean a prison sentence of more than a year and up to life. Nebraska also carries the death penalty. Learn about Nebraska's complex felony sentencing system.
Nebraska Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences
In Nebraska, a misdemeanor conviction becomes a permanent part of your criminal record. You could also face jail time and fines. Learn what sentencing options and alternatives are available and why having a lawyer in your corner is important.
Nebraska Criminal Statute of Limitations
Nebraska's criminal statutes of limitations set "deadlines" for bringing criminal cases. Violent crimes generally have longer statutes of limitations, and some crimes (like murder and certain sex crimes) have no statute of limitations.
New York Sex Offense Laws and Penalties
New York law carries harsh penalties for sex offenses that go beyond time behind bars and can last a lifetime. Learn about felony sentencing, enhanced penalties, post-release supervision, sex offender registration, and more.