Rebecca Pirius


Rebecca Pirius is a Legal Editor at Nolo with a focus on 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 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. 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. 

Articles By Rebecca Pirius

Possession of a Controlled Substance in New Hampshire
Learn how New Hampshire classifies and punishes drug possession offenses, including sentencing alternatives to jail.
Possession of a Controlled Substance in West Virginia
Learn how West Virginia punishes drug possession offenses, including alternatives to jail for first-time offenders.
Massachusetts Statutory Rape Laws
People in Massachusetts who engage in sexual activity with someone under the age of consent (16 years old) may be convicted of statutory rape offenses.
Possession of a Controlled Substance in Wyoming
Illegal possession of drugs in Wyoming can result in hefty fines and jail or prison time. Learn about penalties and sentencing alternatives available in Wyoming for drug possession.
Possession of a Controlled Substance in South Dakota
Illegal possession or use of controlled substances can mean felony penalties in South Dakota. Learn more about S.D. laws on drug possession.
Wyoming Statutory Rape Laws
Wyoming's statutory rape laws carry stiff penalties. Having consensual sexual relations with a minor—sexual intercourse or contact—may result in felony charges and lengthy prison sentences.
Nevada Statutory Rape Laws
People who engage in sexual activity with children younger than 16 may be prosecuted for statutory rape crimes in Nevada.
Possession of a Controlled Substance in Tennessee
Illegal drug possession in Tennessee can result in mandatory fines and jail time. Learn how TN classifies controlled substances and punishes unlawful possession.
Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in the District of Columbia
Learn how and when you can get a criminal record sealed in Washington, D.C.
Possession of a Controlled Substance in North Dakota
All states regulate the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for possession. North Dakota classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as CDS, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.