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Finding and paying for a lawyer

Region: Ontario Answer Number: 754

Hiring a lawyer

Although you are not required to hire a lawyer to defend yourself against a criminal charge, a lawyer will help you to better prepare your defence. Certainly, for all serious and technical offences, you will not be able to defend yourself properly without a lawyer. It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after being arrested.

If you do not know a criminal lawyer, you can find one on the Legal Line website, at a local legal aid clinic, or through the Law Society of Ontario Referral Service.

Lawyers’ fees

There are a few different ways that lawyers can bill you for their services. In criminal cases, lawyers usually charge a set hourly rate for the time they spend working on your file, or a flat fee for a specific service. Contingency fees, which are based on a percentage of the outcome of the case do not normally apply to criminal cases. The amount a lawyer will charge depends on how experienced they are, and on how complicated your case is.

Most lawyers will ask for some payment in advance called a retainer. They may require their clients to pay the cost of court fees and other disbursements as the proceedings unfold. You should ask questions about legal costs and disbursements before your lawyer begins working on your case.

For more information about how to find and pay for a lawyer, visit the Find a Lawyer or Paralegal section of Legal Line.

For more information about criminal law and the justice system in Canada, visit the Government of Canada, Department of Justice, or the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-866-898-7767 or learn more at Pardon Pros. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with any criminal offence, contact one of our preferred criminal law experts:

Rotenberg Shidlowski Jesin Criminal Lawyers

Calvin Barry Criminal Lawyers

RSJ Law Criminal ON June 2018RSJ Law Criminal ON June 2018

Calvin Barry Criminal ON May 2018Calvin Barry Criminal ON May 2018

Pardon Pros Criminal Ontario Sept 2017 – 754Pardon Pros Criminal Ontario Sept 2017 – 754

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