LAO Newsroom

LAO reduces red tape for amending Criminal Certificates

Posted on: Monday, May 10, 2010

To reduce red tape for clients and service providers and cut the number of new certificates issued for matters that could be more efficiently handled under an existing certificate, LAO has changed its Criminal Certificate Amendment Policy.

The policy has been increased from six to twelve months for requests by lawyers to add new charges to existing certificates. If a certificate is twelve months old or less, and the client (either youth or adult) continues to be financially eligible, the original certificate may be amended to add new criminal charges.

There is also discretion to make amendments after twelve months if the reason for the amendment is to add an administration of justice charge related to the original charge. Administration of justice charges include such things as fail to comply, fail to appear, breach probation or breach recognizance.

Lawyers doing legal aid work can take advantage of a number of online services including billing, as well as viewing certificate amendments and authorizations through Legal Aid Online. They can also choose to receive email updates and text message alerts for certificate amendments and authorizations. Through these initiatives, LAO is making it easier for lawyers to find out the status and any decisions that LAO makes regarding their client’s certificate.

Reducing red tape and enhancing e-transactions is part of LAO ongoing efforts to use technology to modernize the way it does business, and make legal aid work easier for lawyers. These initiatives also allow for quicker action to be taken on legal aid cases.