Early Appearance Assistance

Charged with a crime? No lawyer? We’re here for you.

If you are an adult charged with a criminal offence, you can call Legal Aid Alberta for early appearance assistance up to two weeks before your first court appearance. The quicker you call after being charged, the more likely we can help. Don’t wait until your court date. We prioritize clients calling for early appearance assistance.

Call us early for the best chance at getting help.

See if you qualify for legal aid.
So you know earlier and get a lawyer faster.

If you don’t qualify, there’s time to talk to a duty counsel lawyer.
So you are supported and know your rights.

Get brief legal advice and help with documents.
So you’re informed and prepared when your court date arrives.

Businesswoman taking notes and talking on the phone

Miss your chance to call early? Here’s what to do.

Do you have a court appearance scheduled in the next day or so? If you are calling on the day of your court appearance on an adult criminal matter, you have until 11 a.m. to check-in with duty counsel through our main phone line. Press “3” when you call the main line.

This is not an instant connection to Duty Counsel. After pressing “3” and completing your application, we will give your contact information to a duty counsel lawyer for a callback. You must stay by your phone so duty counsel can get in touch with you.

If it is your day of court and you call our main line after 11 a.m. it is too late to check in with duty counsel through our main line. You must attend to the courthouse or call the courthouse to make your appearance if the courtroom is still open.


Learn more about Legal Aid services in criminal matters