Assistance in obtaining legal representation or advice may be available to you through Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) if you are facing criminal charges.
Duty Counsel may be able to provide the following services:
- advice about your legal rights, legal obligations and the court process
- assistance in the courtroom for bail hearings and sentencing
- assistance with diversion, guilty pleas and adjournments
- help determining if you need their services or if your matter requires LAO's assistance in retaining a lawyer
- Duty Counsel cannot assist with criminal trials.
- If it is likely that you will go to jail as a result of the criminal charges against you, you may be able to get LAO assistance by getting a Legal Aid Certificate.
- You may face jail time depending on many factors, including how serious the charge is, how many charges are against you and if you have a previous criminal record.
- You may apply for LAO assistance remotely if you or someone you know is already detained in jail or a psychiatric facility.
- To qualify for LAO assistance, your legal matter must be one that legal aid covers and you must also be financially eligible.
- If you are a young person charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, you may be able to get LAO assistance if your parents or guardian meet financial eligibility requirements.
- In some cases, you may be required to repay LAO some or all of your legal fees.
- If you have a court date coming up but don't have a lawyer yet, Duty Counsel may be able to help you.
- If you do not qualify for a Legal Aid Certificate, assistance may also be available from a law student at a legal clinic run by a Student Legal Aid Services Society (SLASS).
- Decide if your legal problem relates to getting help with a criminal law matter.
- Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about getting help with a criminal matter.
- Follow the Steps for instructions on how to get help with a criminal matter.
- Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information about getting help with criminal law issues.
- See the Links for news and other helpful websites.