Stacy Barrett


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

Marijuana: Federal Laws vs. State Laws
Although many states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, it's still prohibited under federal law.
Should I Admit Guilt to My Criminal Defense Attorney?
It's up to the judge or jury to determine guilt. Your job is to be candid with your defense attorney, so that he or she can present the best possible defense.
Penalties for Fentanyl-Related Crimes and Deaths
Many lawmakers and prosecutors are pushing for stiffer penalties for fentanyl-related crimes to combat the overdose crisis.
3D-Printed Guns Laws
Firearms sellers must be licensed, and weapons sold must have a serial number. How, if at all, do these rules apply to 3D-printed guns that are not sold by the maker?
Federal Firearms Ban for Misdemeanor Convictions
It’s a federal crime for someone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense to possess a firearm. What counts as a misdemeanor domestic violence offense?
Federal Firearms Ban for Domestic Violence Convictions
Under federal law, it’s a crime for someone convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor domestic violence offense to possess a firearm or ammunition.
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.
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.
Missouri Domestic Assault Laws
Missouri takes domestic assault crimes seriously, imposing increasingly harsh penalties based on the level of harm committed or attempted. Repeat offenders face severe consequences.
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.