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Legal aid in criminal law in Montreal and Quebec City

Legal aid in Québec – Doyon Avocats accepts legal aid clients

Do you need legal aid?

Doyon Avocats provides legal assistance to low-income people. These services include:

  • legal representation for eligible clients who appear before a court without a lawyer;
  • legal aid requests and information over the phone

Am I eligible for legal aid?

To receive legal aid services, you must meet two main conditions:

  • Being financially eligible according to the limits specified in the Legal Aid Act;
  • The service must be covered by the Legal Aid Act.

For example, statutory offences under the Highway Safety Code are not among the services covered by legal aid, except in rare circumstances.

Click here to learn more about legal aid.

Type of aid

Here are some examples of legal fields in which we can accept legal aid clients:

  • Criminal law
  • Youth justice
  • Family law
  • Housing
  • Social assistance

If you’re at the courthouse and you don’t have a lawyer, you can receive assistance and legal advice from duty counsel. These are lawyers who can provide immediate legal assistance.

Please note that you must speak with duty counsel before your court appearance.


Statutory mandate

Legal aid grants Doyon Avocats the mandate to facilitate access to justice throughout Québec for low-income people in the following manner:

  • Providing consistently high-quality legal aid services in an efficient and effective way;
  • Encouraging and promoting flexibility and innovation in providing legal aid services;
  • Determining, evaluating, and acknowledging the diverse legal needs of the low-income individuals and disadvantaged communities of Québec;
  • Providing legal aid services to low-income people.

To fulfil this mandate, Doyon Avocats is committed to providing services that recognize the importance of diversity, access, fairness, creativity, and quality.


Our vision

We make sure that healthy communities can take advantage of attentive and effective legal aid services and better access to justice.

Our values

We act with integrity on the assumption that others will do the same.

We show respect in all our relationships.

We listen to our clients, our partners, and our employees. We treat people fairly and consider their needs.

We strive for excellence and the constant improvement of the quality of our services. We try to attract and keep the best employees.

We are an independent component of the legal system.

We are responsible to the government, our clients, our partners, and our employees.

We consult and keep an open mind when making decisions.

We demonstrate consistency in our methods and decisions. We ensure unity throughout the organization. The decisions we make are based on facts and sound principles.

Our obligations

Under the Legal Aid Services Act of 1998, legal aid mandates help facilitate access to justice throughout Québec for low-income individuals by consistently providing high-quality legal aid services in an efficient and cost-effective way.

Our clients

Our legal aid clients all have no or limited incomes. Each year, Doyon Avocats comes to the aid of nearly 500 disadvantaged people. Among these are victims of domestic violence, people demanding custody of their children to protect them from mistreatment, people injured at work, refugees, and defendants.

vieux livres

Only people who meet strict financial eligibility criteria are entitled to legal aid. We ask the clients who can do so to pay some of the costs.

    • How do I know if I’m entitled to legal aid? There’s just one way to find out: make an appointment over the phone with the legal aid office nearest you and show up at the agreed time. Please note that it’s impossible to determine your eligibility over the phone or internet.
      Learn more – Legal aid offices
    • I don’t know a lawyer. How can I get legal aid services?
      You don’t need to know a lawyer to take advantage of legal aid services. If you’re eligible, your case will be assigned to a lawyer.
      Learn more – Legal aid offices
    • I’m being sued in Ontario, but I live in Québec. Am I entitled to legal aid? In civil law, there’s a reciprocal agreement between the federal government, the provinces, and the territories. You should file an application at the legal aid office nearest you.
      Learn more – Services outside Québec
    • I know a lawyer who works at a private firm and I’d like them to represent me. Can they do so even if they aren’t a permanent legal aid lawyer? Of course. A lawyer who works at a private firm can represent a legal aid client if they accept legal aid mandates. Make an appointment at your legal aid office to learn what steps to take.
      Learn more – Legal aid offices
    • My annual household income only exceeds the eligibility limit by a few hundred dollars. Am I still eligible for legal aid?


  • No, the eligibility limit for legal aid is established under the Act Respecting Legal Aid and the Provision of Certain Other Legal Services. However, it is indexed annually. Learn about your eligibility for the free or contributory level.
    Learn more – Am I financially eligible?
  • I’m being sued because I’ve had trouble paying my parking fines. Do I qualify for legal aid? No, because no legal aid is provided for any defence relating to parking-related offences. Some other services also aren’t covered by legal aid.
    Learn more – Why was I rejected?
  • Is it possible to verify my eligibility over the phone or internet? No, it’s only possible to verify your eligibility in person during an appointment with a permanent legal aid lawyer.
    Learn more – Legal aid offices
  • Is my child entitled to legal aid? Minors who need to be represented by an attorney may be eligible for legal aid. Make an appointment with a legal aid lawyer to verify your eligibility.
    Learn more – Are minors eligible?
  • I was denied legal aid. Can I challenge that decision? Yes, it’s possible to file a review application with the Review Committee at the Commission des services juridiques. It’s also possible to challenge the withdrawal of aid to a beneficiary, request a reimbursement of costs, or determine a financial contribution (contributory level).
    Learn more – Apply for a review
  • I’m involved in a case and I’m convinced that the opposing party isn’t entitled to legal aid, even though it’s been granted to them. What can I do to report this situation? It’s possible to file a challenge request with the director of the regional legal aid centre in question. The director’s decision may be subject, within 15 days of the date on which it was issued, to a review request with the Review Committee at the Commission des services juridiques.
    Learn more – Review Committee

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