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

Kansas Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences
In Kansas, a person facing felony charges can be looking at one year in prison and up to life. Judges must refer to the state's two sentencing grids when deciding the appropriate penalty. Learn how felony sentencing works in Kansas.
Burglary: Charges, Penalties, and Sentencing
When most people think of burglary, they think of a thief in a black outfit sneaking into someone's home in the middle of the night. While such activity definitely counts as burglary, the legal definition applies to a much broader range of activities.
Kansas Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences
Kansas law divides misdemeanors into four categories: class A, B, C, and unclassified. Learn the various penalties and sentencing options for misdemeanor offenses.
Burglary, Home Invasions, and Trespassing in Mississippi
A burglary conviction can mean a lengthy prison sentence, especially if it involves a home invasion. Learn how the law punishes burglary and related trespassing offenses.
Expunging or Restricting Access to Adult Criminal Records in Indiana
In Indiana, you may be able to expunge—that is, seal or otherwise clean up—your criminal record under the circumstances described below. In most cases, after your record is expunged or sealed, you may legally state on an employment application that you have not been convicted of a crime.
Kansas Criminal Statute of Limitations
Kansas' criminal statutes of limitations set time limits for the government to commence a criminal case. Violent crimes generally have longer statutes of limitations, and some crimes (like murder and rape) have no statute of limitations.
Mississippi Laws on Petit and Grand Larceny and Shoplifting
Mississippi law refers to the crime of theft as larceny. Learn about the penalties for petit and grand larceny.
Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in New Jersey
Learn more about New Jersey's expungement laws from eligibility requirements and wait periods to automated clean slate expungement provisions.
New Jersey Disorderly Persons Offenses by Class and Sentences
In New Jersey, crimes are not categorized as felonies and misdemeanors but as indictable crimes, disorderly persons offenses, and petty disorderly persons offenses. Learn what charges for disorderly persons offenses can mean.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand theft auto, or stealing an automobile or other vehicle, is a felony in most states, and may be punished by imprisonment. While the laws in each state are different, there are some general principles that apply in every state.