For criminal lawyers
Information for criminal lawyers on Legal Aid Ontario certificates or working on legal aid cases.
- Expedited habeas corpus application for bail hearings
This application is to be submitted in cases where a client was ready to proceed with a bail hearing and the hearing was adjourned due to court or Crown unavailability. Counsel should provide a brief opinion regarding the legal merits of a habeas corpus application in the form. Learn more.
- Impact of Race and Culture Assessments (IRCAs)
LAO provides funding for IRCAs for individuals who self-identify as Black or as member of another racialized community who:
- has a legal aid certificate and
- is facing jail time of two years or more, or is a youth is facing a custodial sentence (open or closed custody facilities).
Clients who self-identify as Black do not require a court order to obtain an IRCA.
Clients who self-identify as a member of any other racialized community require a court order to obtain an IRCA.
- Merit test for bail review guidelines
Certificates issued after July 7, 2019 will no longer be automatically approved for a bail review. Certificates issued before July 7, where authorization has been given, will not be affected. If the authorization is added on an existing certificate after July 7, then the new merit rules and rates apply.
- Private retainer for bail practice memo
In response to LAO’s decision to remove bail hearing, bail variation and second bail hearing from authorizations on Block Fee Certificates, a question has arisen as to whether you may charge a client a private retainer for bail prior to acknowledging a legal aid certificate. LAO has been asked whether we can provide some additional guidance on how issues of eligibility or set off may be applied in the event that you have been privately retained for bail.
Accounts and billing
- All you need to bill us for services.
- Plea comprehension inquiry form facilitates informed guilty pleas and protects both LAO clients and lawyers.
- Lawyer inmate request for legal aid service. Application form for the Toronto South Detention Centre project.
- For all other forms, visit our forms library.
- Criminal law standards. What you need to be authorized to provide criminal legal aid services.
Projects and programs
- Case management for complex criminal cases likely to cost more than $8 K.
- Bail Strategy, our commitment to making bail faster and fairer.
Research and resources
- LAO Law
Legal Aid Ontario’s research department. You must be a registered service provider to use this service.
- Legal Resources
A list of Law Society resources and other organizations that provide legal information and services in Ontario.
- A Guide to Law in Ontario: Criminal Law
Steps to Justice: questions and answers for accused persons going to criminal court.
- General Criminal Trial Court Info Guide
A guide that provides accused person with general information about criminal trials. (Click here for PDF version)
- General Criminal Law Information
A resource on the Ministry of the Attorney General website that provides information on Criminal Law in Ontario.