Legal Aid Online updates to reflect Bill C‑75 amendments to Criminal Code

Published: February 19, 2020

Bill C‑75 amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada include the hybridization of about 118 straight indictable offences, and standardization of a new maximum term of imprisonment for the majority of summary conviction offences to two years, less a day.

Legal Aid Online will be updated to reflect this on February 23rd.

Changes will include:

  • Adding “Summary Conviction” to the election dropdown menu on the account page for newly hybridized offences
  • Newly hybridized charges will be paid at the Summary II block fee rate, if the election is to proceed summarily.

Updates apply to certificates issued before and after September 19, 2019.

LAO will not seek to recover overpayments for newly hybridized matters that proceed by summary conviction and that were billed as indictment prior to the Legal Aid Online updates.

Offences now exempt from block fees will remain so.

Block fees

Summary conviction block fee rates are based on the maximum term of imprisonment: where the maximum term was six months prior to C‑75, the Summary I rate is payable; where it was greater than six months, the Summary II rate is payable.

LAO recognizes that the amendments to the Criminal Code that standardize the maximum term of imprisonment for most summary conviction matters effectively eliminate the justification for two block fee rates.

We will, in consultation with the bar, set a cost-neutral single block fee rate.

Until this rate has been determined, summary conviction block fees will be paid at current rates.

Questions?

Contact the Lawyer Service Centre at 1‑866‑979‑9934.