On this site, you will find the full text of the 40th 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:

8/2/21:   The opening chapters on criminal procedure have been revised to include among other significant new decisions, a discussion of the SJC's guidance in Mushwaalakbar v. Commonwealth on pretrial detention in the time of COVID, and an important right of confrontation case, Commonwealth v. Rand, which adopts the "ongoing emergency" exception defined by the Supreme Court in Michigan v. Bryant. Other new decisions address exculpatory evidence, double jeopardy, continuance, and juvenile justice, among other topics.

7/24/21:   Judge Stearns has revised and updated the chapters on "Searches Incident to Arrest" and "Plain View Seizures" to incorporate among other developments a commentary on Lange v. California, the Supreme Court's recent misdemeanor hot pursuit decision.

7/16/21:   Judge Stearns has revised and updated the chapters on "Domestic Abuse", "Forgery", and "Criminal Trespass".

Please see What's New for further details.


Massachusetts Prosecutor's Guide Online
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