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

DUI Expungement: Getting a DUI Off Your Criminal Record
If you were convicted of DUI, you might be interested in expunging your record, especially if you have already dealt with the negative consequences of having a DUI, for example, in an employment application or rental situation.
Does a DUI Conviction Count as a Criminal Offense?
Generally, a DUI conviction is a misdemeanor or felony. However, there are a few limited circumstances where a DUI is an infraction and not considered a crime.
DUI Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) and Your Legal Rights
Learn how police use field sobriety tests (FSTs) to assess whether a driver has had to too much to drink.
DUI Alcohol Breathalyzer Tests
Read about the breathalyzers that police use in DUI cases to prove a driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in court, and the consequences of refusing a breath test.
Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Devices
To lawfully arrest a motorist for DUI, an officer must have probable cause to believe the person was driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police often use PAS breathalyzers to build probable cause.
DUI Blood Alcohol Testing
Most DUI investigations involve either blood being drawn or a breath test being taken. This article addresses some of the issues that arise regarding blood testing.
New York’s Underage DWI Laws and Penalties
All New York drivers are subject to the state’s DWI and DWAI laws that prohibit driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. However, New York additionally has more strict impaired driving rules that apply to drivers who are under the age of 21.
DUI Defenses: Arguing You Weren’t “Under the Influence”
An impairment DUI is based on you being "under the influence" or "impaired" by drugs or alcohol. Read about how you might fight an impairment DUI charge by providing explanations for why you appeared to be intoxicated but actually were not.
California DUI: What are the Penalties?
The penalties for a DUI in California depend—in large part—on how many prior DUI convictions the offender has. Read about the penalties for a first, second, and third California DUI.
California Drunk Driving Laws, Penalties, and Consequences
Learn about California's DUI laws and the penalties you'll face if convicted of a first, second, or third offense.