John McCurley


John McCurley started writing criminal law articles for Nolo as a freelancer in 2015. He joined the Nolo staff as a Legal Editor in 2016.  

Education. John has a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from the University of California, San Diego, and completed law school at the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2008.

Legal training. During law school, John became interested in the criminal justice system while interning with the Prison Law Office and the San Francisco and Contra Costa County public defender’s offices. After graduating and passing the California Bar in 2008, John practiced criminal defense and juvenile dependency law, primarily doing writs and appeals.

Legal career. John is currently a member of the California State Bar and has been a certified appellate law specialist since 2017 (certification from by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization). John maintains a small private practice in San Diego (see, handling mostly court-appointed juvenile dependency appeals out of various Southern California counties. He has a number published victories, including In re Juarez (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 1316, K.F. v. Superior Court (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1369, People v. Hill (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 1100 (co-counsel), and In re Bianca S. (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 1272.

Articles By John McCurley

Nevada's Vehicular Manslaughter and Homicide Laws and Penalties
When a motorist negligently commits a traffic violation and someone is killed, vehicular manslaughter charges may follow.
Virginia's Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws
Virginia’s distracted driving law generally bans texting-while-driving for all motorists and talking on a cellphone for only certain drivers. Read about the law's specifics and the penalties you'll face for a violation.
Arizona’s Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws
Read about Arizona's distracted driving laws and the penalties for a cellphone or texting ticket.
Idaho’s Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws
In Idaho, it’s against the law to text message while driving. However, the state currently has no restrictions on cellphone calls while operating a vehicle.
Missouri's Vehicular Manslaughter Laws and Penalties
A motorist who drives negligently or recklessly and kills another person may face manslaughter charges. Read about how the offense is defined and the penalties for a conviction.
Drivers' Rights at a Police Traffic Stop
How 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure apply to traffic stops: When can police stop you and how long can police keep you there.
Traffic Tickets for Following Too Closely or “Tailgating”
If you were served a ticket for following too closely, you can either pay the fine that is shown or you can head to court to contest the charge.
How Traffic Courts Are Operating During the Coronavirus Outbreak
With COVID-19-related health concerns, traffic court are mostly closed. But you can still pay a ticket and do traffic school online. Or, you can wait for the courts to reopen.
Can I Still Renew My License or Registration at the DMV During Coronavirus Shutdowns?
In most situations, drivers can renew their license or registration online or by mail. However, some states have simplified things by automatically extending the expiration dates of licenses and registrations for a certain period of time or until further notice.
Can Police Pull Me Over for Violating a Coronavirus Stay-at-Home Order?
Coronavirus-related traffic stops and checkpoints: Are they legal?