Criminal Trial Services

The first step is to contact your local legal aid office to schedule an appointment.

Eligibility Criteria

Generally, people with low income or those on social assistance qualify for covered services. Legal Aid determines who is eligible for legal representation based on scope of service and financial eligibility.

Scope of Service

Not all legal proceedings are covered by legal aid. Criminal matters NOT covered include:

• Default hearings;
• Bail reviews;
• Firearms applications;
• Provincial offences, except where a mandatory jail sentence is called for (e.g. certain offences under the Fish & Wildlife Act).

Financial Eligibility

Financial eligibility is determined based on the following three factors:

1. Income:

Your income includes salary, wages, commissions, boarder income, other income, pension, allowances, and any other benefits received. Income earned by your spouse/common-law partner who resides in your household and dependants included under paragraph (b) (see “Household Size” below) is also included in the calculation.

Sources of income NOT included are:

• Child Tax Benefit or Canada Child Benefit (previously called Universal Child Care Benefit);
• GST Rebates;
• Income Tax Refunds;
• Bursaries or grants received from an educational institution or student loans;
• The gross income of your dependants included under paragraph (a) (see “Household Size” below).

2. Allowable Deductions:

The following expenses paid by yourself, your spouse/common-law partner, or dependants included under paragraph (b) (see “Household Size” below) are deducted from your income.

Allowable deductions include:

• Child care payments (Daycare, Babysitter, etc.);
• Child and spousal support payments;
• Medical or dental expenses that are not covered by an insurance plan, if the annual expenses are $1,500 or more.

3. Household Size:

Includes the following people:

• Yourself;
• Your current spouse/common-law partner;
• Children under 18 years of age who live with you at least 40% of the time;
• Dependants:
a) between the ages of 18 and 25 years (inclusive) who are registered at an educational institution and who reside with you at least 40% of the time.
b) 18 years of age or over, who suffers absence or reduction of functional competence because of physical or mental impairment which substantially limits their ability to carry out normal daily activities and who resides with you at least 40% of the time.

You should bring as much information as possible to show your income and allowable deductions, as well as those of your current spouse/common-law partner and dependants referred to in paragraph (b) (see “Household Size” above). 

  • Identification (e.g. Social insurance card, driver’s license, or Medicare card). 
  • Proof of income (e.g. pay stubs received during thirty (30) days prior to date of application, income assistance stubs or Employment Insurance statements; other proof as required).
    • Are you seasonally employed on a regular basis?
      If yes, in addition to the proof of income listed above please bring your most recent Income Tax Notice of Assessment.
    • Are you in receipt of Social Assistance Benefits?
      If yes, please bring your most recent deposit slip and your white or yellow health card issued by Social Assistance.
  • Proof of allowable deductions (e.g. receipts).
  • Court documentation: You should bring all existing court documentation relating to your case (e.g disclosure, etc.).

After you make an application for representation in a criminal matter, Legal Aid will usually notify you of the outcome of your application within 1 – 2 weeks.

Your income (after allowable deductions have been subtracted) and household size are located on our Income Grid to determine financial eligibility and client contribution amounts. Click here for a printable version.

Eligibility and contribution based on gross monthly income

(after allowable deductions are subtracted)

TIER 1 TIER 2 TIER 3 TIER 4
Household Size No contribution $150 contribution $250 contribution Not Financially Eligible
1 0 – $1,200 $1,201 – $1,900 $1,901 – $2,600 $2,601 +
2 0 – $1,800 $1,801 – $2,800 $2,801 – $3,800 $3,801 +
3 0 – $1,900 $1,901 – $2,900 $2,901 – $3,900 $3,901 +
4 0 – $2,000 $2,001 – $3,100 $3,101 – $4,200 $4,201 +
5 0 – $2,100 $2,101 – $3,300 $3,301 – $4,500 $4,501 +
6+ 0 – $2,300 $2,301 – $3,500 $3,501 – $4,700 $4,701 +

Eligibility and contribution based on gross annual income

(after allowable deductions)

TIER 1 TIER 2 TIER 3 TIER 4
Household Size No contribution $150 contribution $250 contribution Not Financially Eligible
1 0 – $14,400 $14,401 – $22,800 $22,801 – $31,200 $31,201 +
2 0 – $21,600 $21,601 – $33,600 $33,601 – $45,600 $45,601 +
3 0 – $22,800 $22,801 – $34,800 $34,801 – $46,800 $46,801 +
4 0 – $24,000 $24,001 – $37,200 $37,201 – $50,400 $50,401 +
5 0 – $25,200 $25,201 – $39,600 $39,601 – $54,000 $54,001 +
6+ 0 – $27,600 $27,601 – $42,000 $42,001 – $56,400 $56,401 +
Your income (after allowable deductions have been subtracted) and household size are located on our Income Grid to determine financial eligibility and client contribution amounts. Click here for a printable version.

Eligibility and contribution based on gross monthly income

(after allowable deductions are subtracted)

TIER 1
Household Size No contribution
1 0 – $1,200
2 0 – $1,800
3 0 – $1,900
4 0 – $2,000
5 0 – $2,100
6+ 0 – $2,300

 

TIER 2
Household Size $150 contribution
1 $1,201 – $1,900
2 $1,801 – $2,800
3 $1,901 – $2,900
4 $2,001 – $3,100
5 $2,101 – $3,300
6+ $2,301 – $3,500

 

TIER 3
Household Size $250 contribution
1 $1,901 – $2,600
2 $2,801 – $3,800
3 $2,901 – $3,900
4 $3,101 – $4,200
5 $3,301 – $4,500
6+ $3,501 – $4,700

 

TIER 4
Household Size Not Financially Eligible
1 $2,601 +
2 $3,801 +
3 $3,901 +
4 $4,201 +
5 $4,501 +
6+ $4,701 +

Eligibility and contribution based on gross annual income

(after allowable deductions)

TIER 1
Household Size No contribution
1 0 – $14,400
2 0 – $21,600
3 0 – $22,800
4 0 – $24,000
5 0 – $25,200
6+ 0 – $27,600

 

TIER 2
Household Size $150 contribution
1 $14,401 – $22,800
2 $21,601 – $33,600
3 $22,801 – $34,800
4 $24,001 – $37,200
5 $25,201 – $39,600
6+ $27,601 – $42,000

 

TIER 3
Household Size $250 contribution
1 $22,801 – $31,200
2 $33,601 – $45,600
3 $34,801 – $46,800
4 $37,201 – $50,400
5 $39,601 – $54,000
6+ $42,001 – $56,400

 

TIER 4
Household Size Not Financially Eligible
1 $31,201 +
2 $45,601 +
3 $46,801 +
4 $50,401 +
5 $54,001 +
6+ $56,401 +