Services in Ontario - COVID‑19 Criminal Law

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Criminal law summary advice line

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_criminal.asp#sla

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

During the COVID-19 situation, LAO is offering more telephone support. Call LAO’s summary advice line at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

LAO has a free summary advice line that can give you up to 20 minutes of information and general advice about your criminal law matter.

This includes information about your legal options and what might happen, first appearance procedures, how to prepare for a pre-trial, diversion, bail, guilty pleas, and sentencing. You can also ask about whether you qualify for a legal aid certificate.

You usually have to call and give some information about your legal issue and where you live, and a lawyer will call you back.

Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) – Find an Ontario Court

Go to MAG’s Find an Ontario court to find the courthouse closest to you.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Criminal Law Services

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_criminal.asp

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

During the COVID-19 situation, LAO is offering more telephone support. Call LAO’s summary advice line at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

LAO has services for people who have been charged with a crime. This includes:

  • a free summary advice line that can give you up to 20 minutes of information and general advice about your criminal law matter
  • criminal duty counsel who can give you free legal advice if you don’t have a lawyer on the day of your hearing
  • a legal aid certificate program if you have a low income and if your legal issue is one that LAO covers

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Legal aid certificates

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/will-legal-aid-pay-for-my-lawyer/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

If you get a legal aid certificate, this means that LAO pays a lawyer to work for you. To get a certificate you must show that you have a low income by giving information about your income, property, and savings.

And, your legal issue must be one that LAO covers. You may get a certificate for some legal issues about:

  • domestic violence
  • family law
  • criminal law
  • immigration law
  • refugee law

To apply for a legal aid certificate:

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Criminal duty counsel

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/duty-counsel/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

During the COVID-19 situation, duty counsel services are being provided by phone. Call LAO’s summary advice line at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

Criminal duty counsel give free legal advice to people who don’t have a lawyer on the day of their hearing. Criminal duty counsel are paid for by Legal Aid Ontario and work in most courts in Ontario. If they aren’t in court, they’ll have an office nearby.

Duty counsel usually can’t represent you at your trial, but they may be able to:

  • help with a pre-trial meeting
  • give information and advice
  • help you find out if you qualify for a legal aid certificate

Inside the courtroom, they can:

  • give information to the court for you
  • reschedule your hearing if you appear without a lawyer
  • tell the court what’s going on with your case when they reschedule it

Student Legal Aid Services Societies

Legal Aid Ontario funds Student Legal Aid Services Societies that operate out of Ontario’s law schools. They offer free legal help to people with a low income in certain legal areas, including minor crimes, housing, and immigration, and when dealing with some tribunals.

They can also help with some family law issues, such as child custody, access, and child support issues. And some help with other family law issues, such as property division and spousal support.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Find a lawyer

If you have a legal aid certificate and are looking for a lawyer who accepts certificates, you can use LAO’s online tool. It lets you look for a lawyer by location, area of law, and language. You can also search for a lawyer with experience in domestic violence cases.

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