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 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 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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
What Is Probation?
Probation allows convicted defendants to avoid serving their entire sentence, as long as they comply with certain conditions. How does probation work? And is it a good option for you?