Friday, October 29, 2010

Youth and Your Rights: What if you can’t afford a lawyer?

If you can’t afford a lawyer, you can apply for a Legal Aid certificate before your court date by calling Legal Aid Ontario (416-598-0200) or by applying in person at the following locations:

375 University Ave., #204 (south of Dundas)
Mon – Fri: 8:00 – 3:30
Tues: 4:30-6:30 (by appt.)

5415 Dundas St. W. (west of Kipling)
Mon –Thurs: 8:30 – 3:30
Fri: 8:30 – noon

Scarborough (beside courthouse)
1921 Eglinton Ave. E. (west of Warden)
416-750-7172 Mon / Tues / Thurs / Fri: 8:30 – 3:30
Wed: 8:30 – 11:00

North York
45 Sheppard Ave. E., #106 (east of Yonge)
Mon – Fri: 8:30 - 3:15

You can also make an application at the Legal Aid office at or near any of the Toronto youth courts.
When you make an application for Legal Aid you will be asked to produce information about your and/or your parents’ financial situation, to show that you qualify. Bring all of the following that apply to you and/or your parents:

  • up-to-date bankbook;
  • investment statements;
  • 3 most recent pay stubs;
  • proof of receipt of EI, ODSP or Worker’s Comp.;
  • verification of monthly debt payments or proof of trusteeship if bankrupt;
  • income tax return; and, 
  • support payments.
If you don’t have the above information or don’t live with your parents, you can bring a letter from staff at a shelter, drop-in centre or other agency, stating that you have little or no money.

You have the right to a lawyer under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.