Stacy Barrett

Attorney · UC Law San Francisco

Stacy Barrett started writing articles for Nolo as a freelancer in 2019. She became a full-time Legal Editor in 2021. Her articles appear on sites including,,,, and

Education. Stacy has a B.A. from Northern Arizona University, where she graduated with highest honors, and a J.D. from UC Law San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings). She earned several academic awards from both institutions, including scholarships for academic achievement.

Legal career. Stacy began working as a criminal defense attorney in 2006. Her first job was with the Napa County Public Defender. She represented clients accused of misdemeanors and felonies. She also represented parents in civil contempt proceedings and patients facing involuntary civil commitments in state hospitals. In 2016, Stacy continued her work as a trial attorney at a private law firm. A few of Stacy's victories in trial court received national and international media coverage.

Other pursuits. Prior to her legal career, Stacy wrote feature articles for a small-town newspaper and copy pages for a national magazine in New York City. During law school she taught Street Law to middle school students receiving residential treatment in San Francisco. In 2019, she co-founded a program to support formerly incarcerated students in community college.

Why Nolo? Stacy's work as a deputy public defender, commitment to equity in education, and writing background led her to Nolo in 2019. She believes in Nolo's mission to provide all people, regardless of income level, the information they need to make important legal decisions.

Articles By Stacy Barrett

Homemade Guns: Are They Legal? Must They Be Registered?
Privately made guns, including ghost guns and 3D guns aren't heavily regulated by the federal government, but some federal restrictions still apply. And a growing number of states have outlawed untraceable homemade guns.
Getting a Criminal Charge Dropped or Dismissed
Many cases are dismissed before a plea or trial. Learn about the common reasons why.
Oregon Drug Laws: Legalized vs. Decriminalized Drugs
This article explains the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing drugs and summarizes Oregon’s current approach to marijuana, psilocybin, and so-called “street drugs” like cocaine and heroin.
Red Flag Laws: Constitutionality and Enforcement of Extreme Risk Protection Orders
Learn about state laws that allow law enforcement, family members, and sometimes other community members to request court orders to disarm people who pose a risk of gun violence.
Homicide: Murder and Manslaughter
The term "homicide" means the killing of another person—but it's not necessarily a crime. Certain homicides are justified, such as those done in self-defense or during wartime. Unlawful homicides include murder, manslaughter, and vehicular homicide.
Gun Storage Laws in California
California gun owners must store their weapons safely and securely to keep them from children and adults who aren’t supposed to have firearms.
Hawaii's Laws on First-Degree, Second-Degree, and Third-Degree Assault
In Hawaii, an assault occurs when a person physically injures another person, without legal justification. Hawaii has three assault crimes: first- and second-degree assault, which are Class B and Class C felonies; and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
Getting an Attorney to Handle Your Criminal Case
Within the criminal justice jungle, a defense attorney serves as the defendant’s guide, protector, and confidant. Defense attorneys are usually grouped in two camps: court-appointed attorneys paid by the government; and private attorneys paid by the defendant.
Is Ketamine Legal?
Learn more about the legal status of Ketamine, from anesthetic to club drug to promising treatment for depression.
How to Get a Case Dismissed After Conviction
You might be able to get a criminal conviction set aside or dismissed through a successful appeal, deferred adjudication program, or expungement.