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

Auto Theft Laws in California
California has two different statutes that criminalize auto theft. Each crime may be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the car.
Violation of a Restraining Order
Restraining order violations can carry serious repercussions, including arrest, jail holds, and a criminal conviction.
Class D and Level Four Felonies
Here you'll find an explanation of a Class D Felony classification, crimes that are considered Class D, and sentencing and penalty information.
Class C and Level Three Felonies
Class C, Class 3, and Level 3 felonies range from low-level to mid-level felony crimes. Learn how states penalize and classify class C or class 3 felony crimes.
Class B and Level Two Felonies
Many states use classification systems to rank and divide felony crimes by severity. Class B, Class 2, and Level 2 felonies tend to be among the more serious felony crimes in a state.
Auto Theft Laws in Louisiana
Motor vehicle theft, carjacking, and joyriding are all serious crimes in Louisiana, and a conviction can result in a long prison sentence.
Louisiana Laws on Theft and Shoplifting
Louisiana theft and shoplifting crimes carry misdemeanor and felony penalties depending on the value or type of property or services stolen.
Utah Laws on Misdemeanor and Felony Theft and Retail Theft
Like many other states, Utah classifies its theft offenses according to the value of the stolen property or services—and, in some cases, according to the type of property taken. Learn just how quickly a theft adds up to a felony and possibly prison time.
What Is the Punishment for Joyriding?
States differ widely on punishments for joyriding. Some states consider joyriding as a less serious offense than theft, while others punish it the same as vehicle theft. A joyrider could be looking at probation, jail time, or even prison.
Utah Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences
Learn how class A, B, and C misdemeanor penalties and sentencing works in Utah.