Can I have my criminal law trial in French?

5. Find a French lawyer or paralegal

Here are some ways to find a lawyer or paralegal that speaks French. If you can't afford a lawyer or paralegal, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

The Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario

The Association des juristes d’expression française (AJEFO) has a directory of French-speaking lawyers. You can search the directory by name, area of law, and city.

Law Society of Ontario Directory

The Law Society of Ontario has a Directory of all lawyers and paralegals licensed to practise law in Ontario. You can search the directory by name, area of law, city, or postal code. You can also search by whether services are offered in French.

Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) provides legal services to people in Ontario with very low incomes, including legal aid certificates. You must meet their financial eligibility rules and your legal issue must be one that LAO covers.

LAO also has a general legal information and advice line where anyone can get up to 20 minutes of free general legal information and advice in criminal law in French or English. Call 1-800-668-8258 during regular business hours.

Law Society Referral Service

The Law Society of Ontario has a Law Society Referral Service. This online service gives you the name of a lawyer in your area who can talk to you for up to 30 minutes for free. You can ask for a lawyer or paralegal who speaks French.

If you're unable to use the online service, you can call the Law Society of Ontario crisis line at 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255 in Toronto. For example, you can call this number if you're in a shelter or in a remote community without access to the internet. The crisis line is available from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You don't have to hire the lawyer you get referred to. But you can't ask for a second referral for the same legal problem.

Paralegal Association

The Ontario Paralegal Association has a directory of paralegals on their website. You can search by name, keywords, area of practice, and location.

JusticeNet

JusticeNet is a not-for-profit organization that helps people access legal services when their income is too high to qualify for legal aid but too low to afford legal fees. If your net family income is less than $59,000, they will refer you to a directory of lawyers and paralegals who provide help at reduced rates depending on income.

You must register and pay a fee to use the website. This fee may be returned to you if you do not find a professional to work with.

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