On this site, you will find the full text of the 42nd edition of the Prosecutor's Guide. The Guide presents a timely and comprehensive analysis of Massachusetts criminal law and its practice in the courts of the Commonwealth. It is fully updated each fall and during the year as new developments in the law warrant. Please consult our What's New page for the most recent changes. In addition, this online text is linked to a database of Massachusetts court decisions maintained by the Trial Court Law Libraries at masscases.com.

The text also cites and discusses significant criminal law cases decided by the Supreme Court, the federal Courts of Appeals, and state appellate courts from around the country. The principal focus, however, is on Massachusetts criminal law and its practice in the courts of the Commonwealth.

Access to the Guide is by annual subscription. If you are not yet a subscriber, please take the tour of a sample chapter from the Guide.

Please Note: If you are an employee of the Massachusetts Trial Court or an Assistant District Attorney, you have unlimited access to the Prosecutor's Guide web site thanks to licenses purchased on your behalf by the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Library and the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, respectively. Please contact your office IT Department for access instructions.

Also law students at the following institutions have access through your school Law Library: Harvard, Suffolk, Boston College, Northeastern, Western New England School of Law, New England Law | Boston, Boston University, and the University of Massachusetts.

Please note:

1/17/23:   "Searches Incident to Arrest", "Plain View Seizures", and "Searches with Warrants" have been revised and updated to note the relevant new developments in Massachusetts and federal law.

1/13/23:   "Identification" and "Identification Evidence" have been revised to note new cases on photo arrays, Chapter 22E DNA testing, and courtroom identification testimony, among other topics.

1/3/23:   "Police Misconduct" and "Civil Rights Actions", "Domestic Abuse", "Exigent Searches", and "Trespass" have been revised to note new cases and developments in the law involving, among other topics, qualified immunity, malicious prosecution, Tort Claims Act presentments, emergency police entries of the home, and civil and criminal harassment orders.

Please see What's New for further details.


Massachusetts Prosecutor's Guide Online
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