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

Fighting a Moving Violation Traffic Ticket
When you get a traffic ticket, you have several options for dealing with it. Read about fighting a moving violation by requesting a trial in traffic court.
Can I Get Jail Time for a Speeding Ticket?
Generally, a speeding violation is an infraction. So, unless your case involves certain aggravating factors, no jail time will result
How Traffic Ticket Violations Compare With More Serious Crimes
Read about the differences between minor traffic violations and more serious crimes
Red Light and Stop Sign Tickets in Texas
Texas drivers who run stop signs or stop lights will likely have to pay a fine. A red light or stop sign violation will also add demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some of the consequences of a getting stop sign or red light citation.
State Penalties for Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
Get information about your state's red light and stop sign violation laws.
How to Fight a Stop Sign Ticket
If you get cited for running a stop sign, here are some possible defenses to fight the ticket in traffic court.
How to Fight a Red Light Camera Ticket
Many states now have automated cameras at signals that photograph drivers who run the light. Learn about red light camera tickets, including the consequences of a violation and some of the possible defenses.
Washington's Vehicular Homicide Laws and Penalties
A motorist who drives recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes the death of another person will likely face vehicular homicide charges.    
Virginia's Distracted Driving Laws: Texting and Talking on a Cell Phone
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.
Utah's Distracted Driving Law: Talking on the Phone and Texting While Driving
Unlike many other states, Utah doesn’t restrict all cellphone and wireless device use while driving. Utah drivers are generally allowed to talk on a cellphone. But most text-based communications using a cellphone or wireless device are prohibited. This article gives an overview of what Utah’s distracted driving law covers and the consequences of a violation.