LAO in brief

Effective December 10, 2017: Changes to charges heard separately certificate issuing process

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Legal Aid Ontario has refined its process for the charges heard separately exception to ensure all new certificate requests meet legal aid eligibility requirements. The new process includes answering additional questions to help determine if the new charges meet the criteria when you make a request for a separate certificate through Legal Aid Online.

As of December 10, Legal Aid Ontario will no longer automatically issue a separate certificate in the following circumstances.

  1. The original charges have been resolved. New certificates issued when the charges on the original certificate have been resolved has resulted in Legal Aid Ontario covering unrelated charges that do not meet its legal eligibility criteria.

  2. You are unsure how the Crown is proceeding. As of June 2015, you can bill for a second bail hearing on the original certificate if the client is arrested and detained on new charges pursuant to an application under s. 524. A separate certificate is not needed. However, if you learn subsequently that charges are proceeding separately, you can apply for a separate certificate.

  3. There are new charges with no likelihood of incarceration. New charges only meet the legal eligibility criterial if incarceration is likely.

  4. If new charges have already been resolved, you will not be issued a new certificate unless a director general has reviewed. You cannot retroactively apply for a new certificate for criminal charges proceeding separately when the charges have already been resolved.

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