Alexis Kelly

Alexis Kelly writes on the topic of criminal law for Nolo. She received her B.A. from New York University and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Law Practice. Alexis began her legal career as a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County, California. After moving to Los Angeles with her family, she worked on a research and policy project for the American Bar Association’s National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction. She later worked as a staff attorney for the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, a nonprofit providing free legal services to victims of domestic violence.

Writing for Nolo. Alexis began writing for Nolo in 2013 and enjoys explaining legal topics for the everyday reader. She took a pause in her writing for several years due to full-time work and an international move to Amsterdam. She happily rejoined the Nolo freelance writing team in 2019.


Articles By Alexis Kelly

Dealing With Court Fines and Fees During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring outstanding court debt during the pandemic. Find out what options might be available in your city or state.
Learning the Identity of a Confidential Informant
The prosecution can't always keep the identity of an informant secret; a defendant who makes a good enough showing is entitled to it.
Hearsay in Criminal Cases
Hearsay is a verbal or written statement by someone to a witness who, while testifying in court, repeats the statement.
Ineffective Representation in Plea Bargains
Most criminal cases are resolved by a defendant pleading guilty; very few actually go to trial.
Acquittals by Judges in Jury Trials
When evidence of a defendant’s guilt is particularly weak, a judge can grant a “judgment of acquittal” (or “judgment notwithstanding the verdict”), which is nearly the same as an acquittal by a jur
External Influences on Juries
Jury tampering is a crime that occurs when people improperly influence jurors. Jurors can also be improperly influenced—sometimes by their own doing—without anyone committing a crime.
Do Prosecutors Have to Present Evidence That Helps the Defendant to a Grand Jury?
In many states, when prosecutors initiate a case through use of a grand jury, they have to present evidence that’s helpful to the accused.
Motions for New Trial
After a criminal trial ends in a conviction, the defendant can file a motion for a new trial.
Police Searches of Impounded Cars
Police officers can impound your car for a variety of reasons.
Can the Police Search Your Place If Your Roommate Consents?
Police need a warrant before they can search a home, unless an exception to the warrant requirement applies.