Rebecca Pirius

Attorney · Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Rebecca Pirius is a Legal Editor at Nolo with a focus on 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 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. 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.  

Articles By Rebecca Pirius

What Is Criminal Law?
Criminal law is a complex system of laws and rules that define criminal acts, set punishments, and outline the rules guiding the process from investigation and arrest to sentencing and parole.
What Happens When a Person Is Charged With a Crime?
Being charged with a crime is serious. Read about how charging decisions are made, by whom, and what happens next.
Can I Press Criminal Charges If I Experienced Childhood Sexual Abuse?
Prosecutors decide whether to press charges, but a survivor of childhood sexual abuse plays an important role.
What Are the Options for Criminal Sentencing?
Judges have a lot of potential options when sentencing someone convicted of a crime. Besides incarceration, sentencing options include probation, community service, restitution, fines, and more.
How to Find Criminal Records
One out of every three Americans has a criminal record. Is it you? How can you find out if you have a criminal record?