When do I need a lawyer?

You should talk to a lawyer whenever you: are charged with breaking the law, are arrested or detained by the police, have to appear before the Youth Justice Court, or have questions about your rights.

Why do I need a lawyer?

You need a lawyer to speak for you and to make sure that your rights are protected. Your parents and others who give you advice may not know the legal consequences of accepting their advice.

What does the right to have a lawyer mean?

It means that if you are charged with a criminal offence, you have the right to speak to and get advice from a lawyer. You also have the right to speak to a lawyer if you are offered an extrajudicial sanction. See the section on EJM & EJS.

Must I be told about this right to have a lawyer?

Yes. When you are arrested the police must tell you that you have a right to have a lawyer and must give you a chance to contact one. If you do not have a lawyer at any hearing, trial, or review, the judge must tell you of this right and must give you the chance […]

How do I find a lawyer?

If your region has Legal Aid, your local Legal Aid office may have a list of lawyers who work with young people and criminal law. If so, they will provide you with a list. Look in the yellow pages under “Lawyers”, Call your local community legal clinic (look under “Legal Aid” in your telephone book), […]

How do I pay for a lawyer?

If you have a job, you may be able to afford one yourself. Your parent(s) may pay one for you. If you cannot afford a lawyer or your parent(s) cannot afford or refuse to pay for a lawyer, or there is another reason you don’t want your parents to be involved in hiring your lawyer, […]

Legal Aid

If you can’t afford a lawyer, you can apply for a Legal Aid certificate before your court date by calling Legal Aid Ontario: 416-979-1446. You can also make an application at the Legal Aid office at any of the youth courts in Toronto. If you are outside of Toronto, contact Legal Aid by calling 1-800-668-8258. […]

When will the judge order that a lawyer be appointed for me?

If you applied for Legal Aid and were turned down, you can and should ask the judge to make sure that a lawyer is appointed for you. This right to a lawyer is guaranteed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. However, if you are 20 or older at the time you go for your first […]

Does this mean I can choose my own lawyer?

If you have a lawyer in mind, he or she can ask the judge to order his or her fees paid. Otherwise, someone who works for the province or territory will appoint a lawyer to you.

Community legal clinics and special programs

Some provinces and territories have other legal services available for people with low incomes. Often, universities with law schools have programs that provide legal services for free or for a small fee. Here are some examples: Ontario has a large number of community legal clinics that provide legal services to people with low incomes. Justice […]