Early Appearance Assistance

Albertans can begin dealing with criminal matters up to 14 days before their first court appearance, by phone, saving trips to the courthouse and speeding the process up.

It’s important to get legal advice to Albertans quickly. A new service called Early Appearance Assistance gives Albertans facing legal charges the ability to connect with Legal Aid Alberta duty counsel over the phone during the 14 days before their first appearance in court. This service is not available for individuals who call the same day as their court date.

This first point of contact helps callers understand what to expect at their first appearance, prepare for it, and therefore have a productive experience. Early appearance assistance is improving access to justice, decreasing the number of court appearances people make before their cases are resolved and reducing “churn” in the justice system.

Quick facts

  • Implemented 2021

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At Legal Aid Alberta, we help some of Alberta’s most disadvantaged citizens. This is an impactful responsibility. By keeping our focus on staying accountable to Albertans, we’re innovating and re-imagining processes to deliver access to justice, making the best use of our expertise and resources, so that we can make the biggest possible impact in our province.

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