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Representing Clients Through Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) Rowbotham Orders and Pro-Bono

Toronto Law Firm Handling Serious Criminal Offences

Every person charged with a crime deserves a defence. Unfortunately, many accused people cannot afford legal counsel. If you or your loved one is in this predicament, you should consider applying for financial assistance through Legal Aid Ontario.

If you qualify for Legal Aid assistance, Legal Aid Ontario will issue a certificate that you can present to any defence lawyer who is on the criminal defence lawyer panel. I am on the panel and I often agree to represent Legal Aid clients. When you hire me as your lawyer, you will get the strongest possible defence. I pursue every possible legal option in an effort to win your acquittal or, with your permission, I try to have penalties reduced. I have been defending individuals accused of serious crimes since 1985. I am committed to protecting your rights and your freedom.

To arrange a free initial consultation to discuss Legal Aid and my representation, please call 416-651-2299 or toll free 1-888-399-3164. You can also contact my Toronto law firm online.

How Does Representation Through Legal Aid Work?

The first step is to apply for Legal Aid assistance. This is something you have to do on your own by calling Legal Aid Ontario at 416-598-0200. Legal Aid Ontario will grant or deny assistance based on a few factors, including:

  • Your income
  • The seriousness of the charges
  • The likely impact that a conviction will have on your freedom and employment
  • Whether you are in custody

If you qualify, you will receive a certificate to present to a defence lawyer. If the lawyer accepts the certificate, Legal Aid will pay the lawyer's fees.

Ensuring the Best Legal Aid Defence Possible

Legal Aid Ontario maintains not only a criminal defence lawyer panel but also an Extremely Serious Criminal Matters (ESCM) panel and a Complex Case Rate (CCR) panel which provides for the payment of enhanced lawyer fees. ESCM and CCR lawyers must meet strict and demanding experience requirements before they are admitted to the panels. I have been admitted to the ESCM, the CCR and the regular criminal defence lawyer panels.

Serious and complex charges such as murder, manslaughter or attempted murder will most likely qualify for Legal Aid's Big Case Management (BCM) program which makes possible the setting of a budget to cover lawyer fees as well as disbursements such as the cost of retaining defence expert witnesses, if necessary. First degree and second degree murder cases that qualify for the BCM program will automatically also qualify for CCR funding. I have the experience that Legal Aid is looking for when someone is in need of a lawyer to defend against these serious charges. Over the years, I have earned the trust and respect of Legal Aid, which means that I can negotiate with Legal Aid for a budget that will ensure an effective defense.

Rowbotham Applications

If you are unable to obtain assistance from Legal Aid Ontario, and you cannot defend yourself either because of the seriousness or the complexity of the charge you are facing, you may be a candidate for an application to the Superior Court of Justice for an order granting you state funded counsel to complete your defence.

Such an application is called a Rowbotham Application. If I review your case, and I arrive at the conclusion that you are a good candidate for a Rowbotham Order, I will proceed with your application free of cost, in other words, on a pro bono basis.

In very unique cases, even if your Rowbotham Application fails, I will complete your trial on a pro bono basis.

Whether your case can be resolved through negotiations with the prosecution or must proceed to trial, you can rely on me to protect your rights.

Contact a Toronto Legal Aid Criminal Defence Lawyer

If you are charged with a serious crime but cannot afford legal representation, Legal Aid may be the right solution for you. I defend Legal Aid clients with the same energy and passion that I devote to all my clients.

For a free consultation, please call 416-651-2299 or toll free 1-888-399-3164. You can also contact my Toronto defence law firm online.

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*Experience is Your Best Defence*