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 Excessive Bail?
Excessive bail violates the Eighth Amendment. Learn how courts review bail amounts and determine when an amount is too much and unconstitutional.
How Judges Set Bail
A defendant might pay a higher bail amount to get released quickly. Or a defendant can wait and see if a judge will set a lower bail or bond amount.
Options for Posting Bail or Bail Bond
Not everyone can post the full amount of bail in cash. Other forms of bail may require less money upfront but come with other costs, such as nonrefundable premiums and collateral requirements.
What Is an Indictment? How Is an Indictment Different From an “Information”?
Prosecutors in state court often have the option of filing felony charges through an indictment rather than a complaint, which requires a preliminary hearing in front of a judge before an “information” can issue.
What Are Some Common "Strict Liability" Crimes?
Usually, prosecutors must show that the defendant acted intentionally or knowingly. But, with strict liability crimes, the prosecution doesn’t need to prove that a defendant intended to do something that's illegal.
Understanding the New York Criminal Case Against Former President Trump
Jury finds Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts. Learn what happens next.
Understanding the Federal Charges Against Trump for Election Interference
Learn what charges the former president faces in the election interference case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith relating to the January 6th investigation.
Understanding the Georgia RICO Case Against Trump
Breaking down the Georgia indictment and criminal case against Trump and his 18 co-defendants.
Is Incest a Crime?
Most countries, including the United States, make incest a crime. Learn how the laws define incest and the penalties for a conviction.
Criminal Courtroom Layout
Just about everything that happens in a courtroom can seem confusing to someone who hasn’t experienced the justice system firsthand. Even the courtroom itself can be confounding.