All youth (12 to 18 years) are eligible to receive representation by a lawyer through Legal Aid Alberta when charged with a criminal offence, as this is mandated under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
When you, or a legal representative, contact Legal Aid Alberta's Legal Services Centre, they will explain the process for representation. In Calgary and Edmonton, lawyers from Legal Aid Alberta's Youth Criminal Defence Office are most often appointed. Lawyers from the private bar are appointed throughout the province.
Youth Criminal Defence Office
The services of Legal Aid Alberta's Youth Criminal Defence Office are available to young persons facing charges in the Youth Courts of Calgary and Edmonton, and are referred through Legal Aid Alberta's Legal Services Centre.
Often there are a number of issues that impact young persons' wellbeing. These may contribute to their involvement with the justice system. Youth Workers can assist young persons with finding housing, accessing treatment, education or work programs and counselling. They may advocate for young persons within the solicitor general, child welfare, health care or education systems. Their role is to work with the youth to address the issues the youth identify as underlying their criminal behaviour in order to assist their rehabilitation.