Adult Criminal Law

Find out if you are eligible.

Do you need help with an adult criminal law matter?

Are you an adult (age 18+) who has been charged with a crime?

We may be able to help you if you are likely to receive a jail sentence or face deportation consequences.

Do you have a court date for a criminal matter within two weeks?

People without a lawyer can contact us up to 14 days before their first appearance in criminal court to request Early Appearance Assistance from a duty counsel lawyer.

Connecting with duty counsel before your first appearance is important to:  

  • Get legal advice and assistance communicating with the Crown and court  
  • Discuss your options and the best course of action for your case  
  • Make sure you know what steps to take next  

Early Appearance Assistance from Legal Aid Alberta is not available on the same day as your court appearance.  If your court date is today, you must attend your court appearance yourself.

Do you need help at court?

If you need help at court, we can provide a duty counsel lawyer to help you set a trial date, speak with the Crown on your behalf, run a bail hearing, explain the nature of your charges, and more. Duty counsel is a free service available to all Albertans, regardless of your income.

Are you being held in jail, or are you in police custody?

You can speak to a duty counsel lawyer by telephone 24/7, free of charge. You have the right to receive free legal advice from a lawyer 24 hours a day. Our reserved phone number is posted in all police stations.

Have you been denied bail or are you awaiting your bail hearing?

If you have been denied bail, you will need to call to apply for legal aid. If you are awaiting your bail hearing, we can provide a duty counsel lawyer who can help you through our Justice of the Peace Bail Program.

Do you need a language interpreter?

Legal Aid Alberta uses a translation service to provide over the phone interpretation and translation for clients who do not speak English.

At the time of the call, the intake officer may first inquire if the caller has a friend, family or worker available to help translate.

Can I apply for legal aid on behalf of someone else in custody?

No, applications cannot be made on behalf of another person unless you can confirm that you are their court-appointed guardian.

Find out if you are eligible.
Find out how we can help you.

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