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What should I do if I’ve been asked to do community service?

Unless you’re participating in a direct accountability program through your courthouse, it’ll be up to you to arrange and bring proof of your own community service. You should try to arrange to start your community service as soon as possible, because the sooner you’re finished, the sooner your charge(s) will be stayed or withdrawn.

While there are many different types of organizations where you can do community service, the most important thing to remember is that it must be volunteer work. You can’t get paid for the community service or it won’t count. You also can’t do community service at a for-profit business. It must be done at a not-for-profit community organization or a recognized charity.

After you complete your community service hours, it’ll be your responsibility to bring proof of completion to show the Crown. In most cases, this will mean bringing a signed letter, on the organization’s letterhead, indicating how many hours of service you did. Also, it is helpful to bring contact information (i.e., a phone number) of the person at the organization who signed the letter verifying that you completed the hours. This is because the Crown may want to call and confirm the number of hours.