I can’t afford a criminal law lawyer. Where can I get free legal help?

1. Get legal Information

It can be useful to get legal information and help before you make decisions or even before you talk to a lawyer.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has services for people of all income levels. You can get general legal information, called summary advice, by calling 1-800-668-8258 during regular business hours. This information can help you understand:

  • what you should do next
  • the things you need to think about
  • what will happen at court appearances, such as at a first appearance, , and sentencing
  • if you have options that don’t involve a or pleading guilty, such as or making

The Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario (AJEFO) has a resource called the Ontario Legal Information Centre that gives you 30 minutes with a lawyer over the telephone or in person. Call 1-844-343-7462 to speak with a lawyer about any area of law in English or French. You may have to leave a message, and a lawyer will call you back within 14 days.

You can find free online legal information about criminal law in Ontario at:

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