Stacy Barrett


Stacy Barrett started writing articles about criminal law for Nolo in 2019. Her articles appear on,,,, and

Stacy has a B.A. from Northern Arizona University, where she graduated with highest honors, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She earned several academic awards from both institutions, including scholarships for academic achievement. 

Legal career. Stacy began working as criminal defense attorney in 2006. Her first job was with the Napa County Public Defender. She represented thousands of indigent clients accused of misdemeanors and felonies, as well as clients facing involuntary civil commitments. In 2016, Stacy continued her work as a trial attorney at a private law firm, where she handled criminal cases ranging from DUIs to homicides.  

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 juveniles in a residential treatment facility in San Francisco. In 2019, she co-founded a support program at a community college for formerly incarcerated students.

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

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.
New York Marijuana Laws
Marijuana possession, sale, and cultivation are regulated by both state and federal law. The federal government classifies marijuana, along with heroin and cocaine, as a Schedule I drug with a high potential for abuse and little to no medical benefit. (21 C.F.R. § 1308.11(d)(23).) Possessing any amount
What Is Martial Law? Who Declares Martial Law?
When martial law is in effect, it displaces the civilian government with military rule. Military commanders, not elected officials, make laws; soldiers, not local police, enforce laws; and ordinary citizens accused of defying martial law might face military tribunals instead of civilian courts.
Aggravating Factors in Criminal Sentences
The sentence you end up with might be higher than the average for that offense, depending on the presence of aggravating factors, such as the severity of the crime.
Understanding Victim Restitution: Paying Back Victims of Crime
Restitution aims to restore victims to where they stood before they became victims of crime. Restitution laws allow (and sometimes require) judges to order defendants to pay victims for financial losses related to their crimes. This article discusses restitution basics like: Who qualifies as a victim?
Delaware Theft and Shoplifting Laws
Delaware’s general theft law covers a broad range of conduct, including acts commonly referred to as larceny, embezzlement, conversion, and misappropriation. Under Delaware law, theft occurs when a person: takes another person’s property with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the
Runaway Teenagers
Here are common questions about legal problems for the child who runs away, the child’s parents, and any other adult who might become involved with the child by, for example, allowing the child to stay in their home.
Medical Marijuana and Federal Law
Although many states have legalized the medical use of marijuana, federal law does not recognize or protect medicinal marijuana possession or use.
Could I Be Charged With a Crime for Spreading the Coronavirus?
Individuals who intentionally or recklessly attempt to spread the virus, threaten to expose others to the virus, or violate emergency orders could face criminal charges.
My State Doesn't Allow Medical Marijuana. Can I Get It From Another State?
No--not if you intend to purchase it and use it back home. When you are in your own state, you are required to follow your state's laws.