Handbook  Understanding the Criminal Court Process

Guidance and information to help you understand more about the criminal court process.

Organization: District Court Boston Municipal Court
Date published: April 5, 2018


Massachusetts courts resolve more than 235,000 criminal cases each year. The fact that a person is charged with an offense doesn't necessarily mean that they committed the crime. Guilt must be determined by a judge or jury. The most serious cases, the ones that often result in a prison sentence of more than 2.5 years, are usually heard in Superior Court, and the less serious cases are usually heard in District Court.