Fact sheets

Young persons' diversion hotline

Are you 17 and under? First time offender?

Call this hotline to learn about your legal options

Youth diversion hotline

If you’re 17 and under and have been arrested for a non-violent crime, you and your parents may want to call the hotline at 1-855-953-1427 as soon as possible.

This hotline tells you and your parents what to expect in the criminal justice system.

It also explains your options for avoiding jail through alternative programs.

Please note: If you’re 18 or over and want to apply for legal aid, please call 1-800-668-8258.

What happens when you call

When you call our hotline, you will hear an automated message that provides details about how the criminal justice system works for people aged 17 and under, including:

  • what to expect and do when required to go to court
  • how young people can have their charges dropped if they comply with terms of “extra-judicial sanctions” such as community work, a written apology or training and treatment
  • the option to leave a message for a lawyer who works for legal aid; these lawyers are available (weekdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.) to return your call and provide you with up to 20 minutes of free legal advice.

For more information

Call the young persons’ diversion hotline at 1-855-953-1427
Email brydgesservice@lao.on.ca or visit www.legalaidon.ca/youth