Criminal law – Other help

Legal Advice

Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario provides legal help, including legal advice or a certificate to pay a private lawyer to represent you, if you are eligible for their services.  See their criminal legal issues page or duty counsel information page.  See also their COVID-19 page and COVID FAQs.

People in police custody

If you are in police custody, tell the police you want to speak to duty counsel. The police officer should connect you to a lawyer through Legal Aid Ontario’s Brydges Hotline (see Duty Counsel fact sheet), available 24/7 in any language – whether or not you qualify for legal aid.

Young Offenders

Legal Aid Ontario’s Young Person’s Diversion Hotline (under  18 and arrested for non-violent crime): 1-855-953-1427 (available 24/7)

Legal information is given via an automated message for under-18 offenders. You can leave a message for a legal aid lawyer to call you back and provide 20 minutes of free summary legal advice.

Napanee residents

Queen’s Legal Aid offers legal assistance for some criminal charges and provincial offences for residents in Napanee (or Kingston), Ontario.

Prison law clinic

Queen’s Prison Law Clinic provides legal advice, assistance, and representation in matters relating to prison and parole in Kingston-area penitentiaries and Warkworth Institution.

Private bar lawyers

  • Law Society Referral Service offers a free 30 minute consultation with a lawyer.
  • JusticeNet is a not-for-profit service offering legal services for reduced fees if your income is too high for legal aid but too low to afford standard legal fees.

Other help

Tontakaiê:rine Tyendinaga Justice Circle & First Nations/Métis/Inuit Courtworker

The Justice Circle is an alternative to mainstream court intended for Indigenous people in conflict with the law (adult and youth diversion programs).

Support for ex-offenders and their families

The John Howard Society of Belleville and District and the John Howard Society of Kingston and District provide supports and services to those at risk of entering the criminal justice system, offenders, ex-offenders, their families, schools, communities and the public at large that encourages reintegration, community safety and prevention of crime.

Complaints about a federal institution

If you are in a federal prison and you have a complaint about the facility, contact the Office of the Correctional Investigator.

Complaints about a provincial institution

If you have a complaint about a provincial detention or correctional facility, you can complain to the Ontario Ombudsman’s office takes complaints about provincial institutions. You can make a complaint online or by phone.

FASD and the Justice System is a website with information for justice professionals and other people who work with those with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder).