COVID-19: Get updates on the law and legal services on Steps to Justice

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Mental Illness, Criminal Offences, & Deportation

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Legal Aid Ontario

Low income people may be able to get help through Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). For more information, visit their website at or call them at:

Toll-free 1-800-668-8258

Toll-free TTY 1-866-641-8867

Toronto area 416-979-1446

Toronto area TTY 416-598-8867

Criminal duty counsel are located in the courthouses. They can give criminal law advice and some assistance to people who appear in court without a lawyer. Duty counsel can refer people to the legal aid certificate program. A certificate will pay for a lawyer to represent someone. There are financial eligibility requirements for some types of duty counsel assistance and to get a legal aid certificate.

LAO rarely gives certificates for immigration admissibility hearings. Sometimes they give certificates to people who want to appeal a deportation order to the IAD.

Someone who has been detained for immigration reasons, or wants to appeal a deportation order, may be able to get assistance from the Refugee Law Office of LAO. The person must be financially eligible for legal aid, but they do not need to apply for a legal aid certificate. It is not necessary to be a refugee claimant.

To contact the Refugee Law Office, call:

Outside Toronto area or from a detention centre 1-855-854-8111

Toronto area 416-977-8111