Yannetti | Criminal Defense Law Firm | Boston, Salem & Dedham Massachusetts
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Former Prosecutors, Aggressively Fighting For You

Photo of the legal professionals at The Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm

Taking your case to court? Experience matters.


Whether going to Trial Court or all the way to the Supreme Judicial Court, experienced counsel can help better ensure your rights are protected.

Going to court is an intimidating process. Whether dealing with drug charges, a sex offense or the alleged commission of a violent crime, it is important to take the process seriously. If the charges result in a conviction, serious penalties may apply. It is important to know that criminal penalties, which can include monetary fines and potential imprisonment, are also not the end. Additional, societal punishments which unfortunately accompany a conviction include difficulties finding employment and/or housing and lost scholarship opportunities.


Anyone who has been charged with a crime would benefit from a basic understanding of the court system. In Massachusetts, the primary components of the court system are the Trial Court, Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court.


The Massachusetts Court System: The Basics


There are seven different types of trial courts throughout the state, each with its own jurisdiction and responsibilities. Those court departments are the Superior Court, District Court, Boston Municipal Court, Housing Court, Juvenile Court, Land Court and Probate and Family Court.


The Superior Court is responsible for most criminal felonies, as well as civil actions having an amount in controversy that exceeds $25,000. The District Court is responsible for misdemeanors, some felonies and civil matters with less than $25,000 at issue. The Boston Municipal Court is the Suffolk County equivalent to the District Courts in the other counties. The Housing Court hears issues relating to residential housing like zoning matters or landlord-tenant disputes, while the Juvenile Court focuses on cases involving youthful offenders, parental rights, and other issues involving children. Land Court has jurisdiction over title to real property issues and foreclosures. Probate and Family Court has jurisdiction over divorce, child support and other family-law matters.

In some situations, a case that is heard and decided by one of the seven Trial Courts may go on to the Appeals Court. This process involves a review for errors, not a retrial. If the Appeals Court’s ultimate decision is contested, the case may move on to the Supreme Judicial Court – the highest appellate court in Massachusetts.

A long history, but with recent changes

The Supreme Judicial Court is the oldest continuously operating appellate court system in the Western Hemisphere. Although this court has deep roots, there have also been some recent changes. Most recently, three new justices were appointed, which, as the Boston Globe recently noted, marks a “historic remake of Massachusetts’s highest court.” This “new” court began hearing cases in September, including an appeal of a conviction for illegal firearms possession argued by Yannetti Criminal Defense Firm attorney, Greg L. Johnson, who told The Globe that the “panel was very respectful, thoughtful, and asked probing questions of both sides.”

Impact of the changes on future cases

Although it is too soon to tell exactly how the presence of these three new justices will affect the court’s decisions, the change does provide an example of the importance of experienced counsel who understand and can expertly navigate the local court system when handling a criminal matter.


Client Testimonials

5 Star

In the most painful times in our lives–David, Greg and Lisa showed us their professional best–dignified, warm, gracious. David and his team will not let you down, you will be taken well care of and most importantly superbly and justly represented…
Barbara Lynch

Oh my goodness David is a miracle worker! Unbelievable results! David is so highly respected by attorneys and judges and prosecutors that he really makes an impact in court and presented our friend in the best possible light…

Jude Dasilva

Greg Johnson and David Yannetti are simply the best. After having two other attorneys on a case, I hired them and got results where others failed. They work hard for you and I highly recommend them!…

Vivian Trinh

If it was not for Mr. Yannetti I could have lost my career and opportunity to come back to USA again given that I am not a US citizen. Thank you Mr. Yannetti for all you did for me and my family. You and your office were truly there for me in my darkest hour…

Ajit Gupta

Greg Johnson is a charming attorney and seems to truly care about his client’s and the outcome of their case. If you ever need an experienced criminal defense Lawyer, Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm is the one to call!…


“I’ve got your back,” he told me early on. David did not disappoint. By showing up with David in the courtroom, I felt I’d made a clear statement of intent. The case was duly dropped…

James Brooks

Martindale-Hubbell | AV | Preeminent | Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence | 2020
Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S. News | 2022
Avvo | 10.0 | Superb | Top Attorney Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
Fox News | Criminal Defense Analyst
CNN | Criminal Defense Analyst
ID | Investigation Discovery | Consultant
Massachusetts | Lawyers Weekly | Criminal Defense Expert