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. You are not able to receive assistance if you call the same day as 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.

Appearing in the Alberta Court of Justice for the first time?
Some changes occurred on April 11 that you need to know about.

Businesswoman taking notes and talking on the phone

How to receive early appearance assistance.

If you are calling within two weeks of your court date, you can connect with duty counsel through our main phone line. Press “2” when you call the main line.

This is not an instant connection to Duty Counsel. After pressing “2” 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 your court date is today…

You must attend your court appearance yourself.

Early appearance assistance is not available on the same date as your court appearance.  Duty Counsel is available at the courthouse and if needed they can provide assistance. At your courthouse, please go to the CMO Counter to check in with a court clerk.

Learn more about Legal Aid services in criminal matters


Stay Informed

The latest news from LAA delivered straight to your inbox.