Legal Aid in Brampton: What Is It and How Can It Benefit You?
Are you looking for an experienced legal aid lawyer in Brampton? To find the best legal aid lawyer, it helps to know what legal aid is, how it benefits people, and how it works in Ontario.
As the term suggests, legal aid is a government program that helps low-income people by giving them access to a range of legal services, including representation and advice.
In this post, we will discuss legal aid in detail, including its definition and service areas, so that you understand how it can help you.
What Is Legal Aid in Ontario? What Services Are Included?
The Ontario Legal Aid Plan was changed to Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) in 1999. According to the Legal Aid Services Act (LASA, 2020), which governs Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), the mandate was to provide high-quality legal aid services to low-income clients.
Depending on the situation and financial costs, legal aid lawyers assist their clients with various types of legal programs. Approximately 5,000 lawyers contribute to the legal aid program by accepting lower rates and limits on hours billed for the legal services they provide.
Usually, legal aid is available for severe criminal matters; for example, if there is a strong possibility of imprisonment or if charges are laid under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. It also covers many other legal issues for low-income Ontario residents.
Depending on the individual situation, LAO may cover all or some of your legal costs. The legal matters that LAO covers include:
- Criminal law
- Family law
- Domestic violence
- Refugee/immigration services
- Mental health
Some of the services provided by LAO are:
- A toll-free telephone service and online help offering information, referrals, and free legal advice for family law matters. The phone number for Legal Aid Ontario is 1-800-668-8258.
- Duty counsel service for those who arrive in criminal, youth, or family courts without a lawyer.
- Specialty and community legal clinics funded by LAO. They provide legal help for low-income individuals, with a focus on Ontario Works and ODSP housing, health care, and employment.
- Family Law Service Centers (FLSC) to help individuals who are separated, seeking child support, or facing domestic violence who are trying to get custody of or access to their children.
- Refugee & immigration services for people seeking Canadian immigration status or immigrants facing deportation.
- A Certificate Program which allows you to hire a lawyer from LAO’s community legal clinic or a private criminal lawyer for a certain number of hours. (Not all lawyers accept certificates, so you need to ask first.) You can use the legal aid certification in serious and complex cases.
Who Is Eligible for Legal Aid in Brampton, Ontario?
Legal aid’s costs are shared between the federal and provincial/territorial governments. People left with little or no money after paying for basic necessities like food and housing are mostly qualified to avail themselves of legal aid in Ontario. Depending on your financial eligibility, either partial or complete coverage of your legal costs will be provided.
If you qualify, Legal Aid Ontario will provide you with legal aid services. You will receive this notification by mail. You may be able to get the certificate faster if your situation is an emergency. Legal aid certificates are valid for three months. If you have further questions, call Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 (free anywhere in Ontario) or 416-979-1446 in the GTA.