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 DUI 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.
Can I Get a DUI for a Prescription Medication (Like a Painkiller) or Legal Drug?
Lots of people have medical prescriptions to use certain drugs, and recreational marijuana use is now legal in a number of states. Here's how DUI/DWI laws apply to various types of legal drug and medication use.
What Happens If I'm Drunk Driving and Get in an Accident That’s Not My Fault?
When a DUI involves an accident, the driver may also be liable for injuries and property damage that result.
What Happens When You Get Your First DUI?
Getting arrested and charged with driving under the influence can be anxiety-provoking. But there are often ways of minimizing the penalties you'll face for a conviction
Are DUI Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?
Generally, police aren't allowed to stop you without having reason to believe you've broken the law. Read about how the law applies to DUI/sobriety checkpoints
What Does "BAC" Mean?
In every state, you can get a DUI if you drive with BAC of .08% or more. And an especially high BAC can increase the already-severe penalties for DUI. But what exactly does “BAC” mean? “BAC” is short for “blood alcohol concentration”—a measurement of how much alcohol is in a person’s blood.
First-Offense DUI in Washington
The state of Washington employs a tiered system for sentencing regarding DUI cases, with lower penalties for offendors with .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) and higher penalties for offenders possessing a BAC at or above .15.
First-Offense DUI in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s DUI law prohibits driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while actually intoxicated or having a BAC of .08% or more. Here are the penalties for a first DUI conviction in the state.
Indiana Drunk Driving Laws, Penalties, and Consequences
How Indiana defines "operating while intoxicated" and the penalties you'll face for a first, second, and third OWI conviction.
New York's Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws and Penalties
New York law prohibits operating a boat or other watercraft “propelled in whole or in part by mechanical power” while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.