How much will my case cost?
At the very first few meetings, it is always impossible to put a final price on legal services. The reason is that there are far too many unknowns right at the beginning of a case (witnesses, evidence to be called etc). It is common for a lawyer to seek a retainer to cover the initial costs of processing your case.
What is a retainer?
A retainer is an amount of money entrusted to a lawyer in anticipation of legal fees owing. It is provided before work is actually performed. The money remains the client’s until the lawyer performs the requisite services and provides a bill.
How much is the retainer?
Please contact us to discuss your particular situation.
What is our hourly rate?
Please contact Armoured Suits to confirm our hourly rates.
What if I cannot afford the retainer?
For low income individuals, there is a program in Ontario to subsidise legal fees. It is called Legal Aid Ontario. If you think you might qualify contact them at 1-800-668-8258 or www.legalaid.on.ca.
Alternatively, if you do not qualify for Legal Aid or cannot afford the entire retainer all at once, please contact Armoured Suits to see if arrangements can be made.
Does Armoured Suits accept Legal Aid?
For the right client, Armoured Suits will accept Legal Aid certificates.
How long will my case take?
Sadly, it is impossible to predict the likely duration of your case. What can be said with some certainty is that pleading guilty can be achieved more rapidly than a date for trial. Many factors influence the duration of a case. It is not uncommon for a case to take a year or more before a trial is conducted.
I have been given a Promise to Appear to attend court on a certain date. What’s going to happen on the first appearance?
First Appearances happen in a scheduling court (known as a remand court). There are many procedural steps that need to happen before an individual can make an informed decision about how to proceed with their case. Usually the first thing that happens on the first appearance is determine whether the accused person is going to be hiring a lawyer. If the lawyer is already retained, he or she will ask the Court if disclosure is available. The matter is then adjourned for a number of weeks so that disclosure can be reviewed and the client can be advised.
What is disclosure?
Disclosure is now typically provided on a compact disc. It contains all witness statements, police officer investigative actions, records of previous police involvement, criminal records, police officer handwritten notes, or any other relevant piece of evidence. The Crown is required to provide this information to the accused or his or her counsel.
What other steps are involved in my case?
Typically, there are pre-trial meetings conducted with the Crown (government lawyers) and sometimes with the Crown and a judge. These meetings are intended to canvass positions, flush out settlement possibilities (if any), narrow issues for trial, and estimate the length of trial or pre-trial motions (if any).
When will we know exactly how much my case will cost?
Usually after the pre-trial meetings are conducted. That is typically within a month or two of the first appearance in court. Armoured Suits will then be able to advise what applications or pre-trial motions would be pertinent and the timing and costs of the proceeding.
A lawyer that I called got me out of jail, do I need to use him or her?
No, but you might consider it. The lawyer who helped you get out of jail might not have been a private lawyer. They may have been acting as duty counsel. However, if your lawyer was a private lawyer, they may be willing or expect to continue acting for you. If you received good service, you should seriously consider continuing with that other lawyer.
My previous lawyer was a duty counsel lawyer. Should I use him or her?
Duty counsel do not generally do trials or offer extensive legal services. They are generally available to provide cursory legal advice. Depending on your qualification for Legal Aid, duty counsel might not be able to assist with your case.