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

Indiana Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences
Understand how felony penalties and sentencing work in Indiana, from felony levels and judicial considerations to prison release options.
How to Handle an Outstanding Bench Warrant, Arrest Warrant, or a Missed Court Date
If you discover that a bench warrant or arrest warrant has been issued against you or that you have missed a court hearing that you were ordered to attend, the most important thing to do is take action immediately.
Inciting to Riot, Violence, or Insurrection
Criminal incitement refers to conduct, words, or other means that urge or naturally lead others to riot, violence, or insurrection.
South Dakota Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences
Learn how felony sentencing, probation, and parole work in South Dakota.
Ohio Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences
Ohio’s felony sentencing laws are complex. Learn the penalties, sentencing options, and disposition for a felony conviction.
Weapons Charges in Missouri
Learn about Missouri’s limited restrictions on possessing, carrying, and using firearms.
Minnesota Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic assault in Minnesota involves physical harm or threat of harm against family and household members. The law takes domestic assault seriously with mandatory arrest policies and jail holds, possible prison time, and firearm restrictions.
Practicing Medicine Without a License
Practicing medicine without a license can lead to criminal charges, civil penalties, and civil lawsuits.
Perjury: Laws and Penalties
Perjury, the crime of lying under oath, is a serious offense because it can derail the basic goal of the justice system—discovering the truth. Learn what perjury is and how it's punished.
Transmitting an STD in Florida
Florida makes it a crime to expose another to an STD, such as herpes or HIV. Florida's STD laws are harsh and apply even if no transmission or infection occurs.