Help with Criminal Law Problems
Criminal Law Information Centre (CLIC) Advice Lawyers
CLIC offers general legal information on criminal law matters free of charge. You must meet Legal Aid Ontario’s financial eligibility requirements to speak with duty counsel.
- Thursday afternoons from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Ontario Court of Justice, 36 Wyndham Street South, Guelph.
- (Not Operating due to COVID-19)
- If you have an upcoming court date and need to speak with Duty Counsel, you can call (519) 826-4431 x 228 and leave a message for a call back.
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)
Legal Aid Ontario provides a number of different programs for those who qualify financially, including: (a) certificates to cover the cost of lawyer, if there is a strong possibility you will receive a custodial sentence (b) summary advice and information from a lawyer for up to 20 minutes; (c) expanded certificates for individuals who identify as First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. If you self-identify as First Nations, Metis or Inuit advise Legal Aid Ontario staff.
Telephone: 1-800-668-8258 Monday to Friday, 8 am- 5 pm (collect calls are accepted) or visit LAO courthouse staff at the courthouse at 36 Wyndham Street South on Monday, Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons for assistance with your Legal Aid application.
Duty Counsel Assistance
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, you do not have a lawyer, and qualify financially, duty counsel services are available on your court date. Duty counsel lawyers can give immediate legal assistance, and may be able to assist you on the day that you are in court by offering advice, preparing and reviewing documents, assisting with settlement negotiations, and representing some clients in some motions and hearings.
COVID-19: Beginning March 24, you can speak to duty counsel over the phone about your criminal matter without having to qualify.
Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis (WOMEN ONLY)
This organisation provides safe shelter and 24 hour staffing for women and their children experiencing violence and/or abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual, verbal and/or financial. Other programs include the Sexual Assault Centre, the Rural Women’s Support Program and the Transitional Support Program. Telephone: 519-836-1110 24 hour Crisis Line: 519-836-5710 or 1-800-265-7233
Victim Services Wellington
Victim Services Wellington assists police and emergency services, as well as the community, in providing short-term emotional and practical assistance to the victim(s) of crime, trauma and tragic circumstances.
Telephone: 519-824-1212 ext. 7304 (Guelph) or 519-323-9660 (Wellington County)
Law Society Referral Service
This is an online service for referrals to lawyers or paralegals who provide a free, up to 30 minute consultation. A crisis line is available Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. The crisis line is intended for people who are unable to use the online service, such as those in custody, in a shelter, or in a remote community without access to the internet. You can ask to be referred to a lawyer or paralegal who speaks languages other than English or French, or a lawyer who accepts legal aid certificates. Toll-Free Crisis Line: 1-855-947-5255
Steps to Justice
Steps to Justice gives reliable, and practical information on common legal problems for residents of Ontario. It gives comprehensive online information on common legal problems that people experience in family, housing, employment and other areas of law.
John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington – Pardons (Record Suspensions)
Provides information and services regarding criminal justice issues. Services include community aftercare, record suspensions, domestic violence partner response programming and adult diversion programs.
Legal information is available regarding Criminal Law issues in different languages.
Telephone: Toll-free: 1-800-518-7901
National Parole Board
Makes independent, quality conditional release and record suspension decisions and clemency recommendations.
Record Suspensions/Pardons: 1-800-874-2652 (toll-free)
Ontario Office for Offenders: 613-634-3857