In Massachusetts, you may be charged with crimes that require you to defend
yourself in either the District or the Superior Courts.
As a general proposition, and
by statute, misdemeanors are tried in the District Court and felonies are tried in the Superior Court. However, there are a great number
of felonies over which the District Court has jurisdiction.
Both Courts have
jury sessions that allow a defendant's case to be heard
by either a 6-person jury in the District Court or a 12-person jury in the
Superior Court. The jury decision must be unanimous.
The defendant may
decide to have his case heard by a Judge and not a jury. This is
referred to as a bench trial. The same burden of proof
crime apply whether the decision is made by a Judge or a jury.
order under General Laws Chapter 209A, the so-called abuse prevention
order, is a civil matter and is determined by a Judge. However,
of a 209A order is a criminal offense.
Attorney Pitnof practiced criminal
defense law exclusively for the first 10 years of his career, and since
then has continued to represent defendants
crimes in all counties in Massachusetts.
He has appeared and argued
appeals cases in front of the Appeals Court of the Commonwealth and
the Supreme Judicial Court.
Contact Attorney Pitnof.