3. Talk to a lawyer

After a (CAS) contacts you, it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer who has worked on child protection cases. They can give you advice on what happens and can help you through the process.

You can apply for a legal aid certificate to get Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) to pay for your lawyer.  Your income must be low enough for you to qualify.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers offer “unbundled services” or “limited scope retainer” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, you might be able to find legal help in other places.

In some situations, a parent has the right to a lawyer to make sure that their court case with CAS is fair. In those situations, a court can order the government to pay for that parent’s lawyer through Legal Aid Ontario. This doesn’t happen in most cases.

If you think that CAS or the police think you’ve committed a crime, tell them that you would like to speak to a lawyer before you answer any questions. You can do this at any time. You should talk to a criminal law lawyer.

In some cases, you can speak to a duty counsel lawyer for free.

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