The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has 63 district courts and 20 superior courts that resolve more than 235,000 criminal cases each year. The fact that a person is charged with an offense doesn't mean that he or she 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 two and a half years, are usually heard in superior court, and the less serious cases are usually heard in district court.
A criminal conviction can result in imprisonment as well as other serious consequences. A few examples of other consequences include the risk of deportation if you not a United States citizen, the loss of public housing benefits, and the inability to obtain a student loan. Included in this website are a variety of links to legal help including assistance that is provided free of charge.