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

California's DUI Laws: 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.
Ignition Interlock Devices: Costs and Requirements
Read about how ignition interlock devices (IIDs) work, how much IIDs cost, and what happens if you try to evade detection by tampering with or tricking an IID.
How Much Does a First Offense DUI Cost?
We surveyed readers in different parts of the country who had been arrested for a first-offense DUI to find out how much they paid to resolve their case.
How Long Does a DUI/DWI Stay on Your Record?
DUI convictions typically don't stay on your record and count as prior convictions forever. Here's how it works.
DUI Expungement: Getting a DUI Off Your Criminal Record
A DUI conviction can get in the way of job opportunities and your ability to obtain certain professional licenses, but by obtaining an expungement you might be able to remedy some of these issues
What Happens at a DUI Arraignment?
After you are arrested for a DUI, you will have an arraignment. The arraignment is a court procedure during which you enter a plea and arrange a few other details, including scheduling the next proceeding in your case. This article describes the issues usually covered at an arraignment.
Can I Get Jail Time for a Misdemeanor DUI Conviction?
For most DUI and DWI convictions—even a first misdemeanor drunk driving offense—jail time is a possibility. But the likelihood of receiving a jail sentence for driving under the influence generally depends on the circumstances of your case
Can I Get Arrested for Drinking and Driving on Private Property?
Whether you can be arrested for a DUI on your own private property depends on what state you live in. Some states have DUI laws that apply to all private and public property within state borders.
Pennsylvania's Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws and Penalties
Pennsylvania law prohibits operating or being in actual physical control of a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Read about what the law specifically prohibits and the penalties you'll face if convicted of a BUI/BWI
Oregon's Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws and Penalties
Oregon law prohibits operating, propelling, or being in actual physical control of any boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Read about how boating under the influence (BUI) is defined and the penalties for a conviction.