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

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.
Minnesota Domestic Abuse Order for Protection
An order for protection (OFP) directs an alleged abuser to not harm or have any contact with the victim. Violating the order can result in criminal penalties, firearm restrictions, and more.
Aggravated Assault and Deadly Conduct in Texas
Aggravated assault and deadly conduct carry serious felony penalties, including time behind bars and substantial fines.
Simple Assault in Texas
A conviction for assault becomes part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted later of another crime, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence in the new case.
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 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.
Kansas Laws on Misdemeanor and Felony Theft
Like many states, Kansas classifies its theft offenses according to the dollar value of the property or services involved in the offense—the greater the value of the property or services, the more severe the criminal charge and resulting punishment.
Domestic Violence Trials: When the Victim Refuses to Testify
A prosecutor can continue prosecuting a defendant even though the alleged victim cannot be compelled to testify. Whether the prosecutor will want to go forward with prosecuting a defendant when the alleged victim-spouse invokes the privilege to avoid testifying is another matter.
Minnesota Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences
Minnesota defines a felony as any crime punishable by more than a year and up to life in prison. Do all felons end up in prison? Learn how felony sentencing works in Minnesota.
Can I Press Charges for Theft or Assault?
Learn the difference between filing a police report and pressing criminal charges.