Can We Help You?SLA may be able to assist you with the following legal matters:
Legal Information Key Concepts
- Criminal charge: summary offence and the Crown is not seeking a period of incarceration;
- Impaired charge: no impaired conviction in the last five years, no blood sample provided for the purpose of blood alcohol testing, and the incident did not involve an accident involving other parties or causing injury.
Caseworkers are able to make court appearances in Calgary, Airdrie, Okotoks, Cochrane and Canmore
. Appearances in circuit courts are limited to trials and dispositions. All other appearances are made by the client.SLA will not be able to assist you if:
SLA may provide assistance with the following offences:
- You are charged with an indictable offence;
- If your matter is before or needs to be brought before a court other the Provincial Court of Alberta (i.e. Queen's Bench; Court of Appeal);
- The jurisdiction of your matter is outside Alberta, Canada;
- The complexity of your matter requires advice beyond the scope of our service;
- Your matter is in Youth Court;
- You are currently in jail.
- refusal to provide a breath sample
- possession of stolen property
- communication for the purpose of prostitution
- meal/transportation by fraud
- uttering threats
- mischief/wilful damage
- drug offences
- impaired driving
- dangerous driving
- theft under $5,000
- failure to appear
- fraud/forgery/false pretenses
- breach of probation/recognizance
- dangerous driving
- obstruction and more
The Alternative Measures Program is a program of Alberta Correctional Services and is utilized as an alternative to judicial proceedings with persons alleged to have committed minor offences. The goals of the program are:
The program may be offered to first and second time adult offenders in lieu of formal court process. The Crown makes the decision for entry into the program and if approved the person is referred to Community Corrections. If the individual acknowledges guilt and is interested in the program, an agreement is signed which stipulates what the offender must do to satisfy program requirements. The benefit to the offender is that he/she will not acquire a criminal record if the program is successfully completed.
- To prevent the individual from obtaining a criminal record
- Preventing the continuation of criminal behaviour
- Promote community involvement
- Foster community awareness through participation
Source: Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security
Disclosure means copies of all the evidence in your case, such as witness statements and the polie officer's notes. Source: Alberta Justice
The manner in which a matter is resolved without trial and the type of appearance at which the matter is resolved before the court.
An Information is the court document that starts the prosecution of most offences. It is a statement in writing and under oath that someone has committed an offence.
Source: Alberta Courts
Redirecting persons suffering from a mental health disorder or a mental health disorder with a concurrent substance abuse disorder who have been arrested for minor non violent crimes, from the Justice System to community based mental health programs or community support services.Source: Alberta Health Services
Alberta Justice lawyers employed as Crown prosecutors are responsible for prosecutions under some federal statutes, such as the Criminal Code of Canada, and under provincial statutes. In a typical case, the prosecutor's responsibilities include determining appropriate charges, discussions with defence counsel, preparing witnesses for court, examination and cross-examination of witnesses and presenting arguments respecting conviction and sentence.
The prosecutor's decisions are governed by the law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, legal tradition, Alberta Justice policy and the Law Society of Alberta's Code of Conduct which applies to all Alberta lawyers.Source: Alberta Justice
The victim fine surcharge is a fee required by the Criminal Code of Canada. Unless othewise directed by the courts, this surcharge will automatically be added to all Criminal Code fines. Some surcharges may not be waived if you are serving time in a correctional facility; please contact your sentence administrator to see if it is an option for you.
Victim fine surcharges cannot be satisfied through community service or other fine option programs. This money is used to compensate victims of crime and fund other related programs.Source: Alberta Justice
The steps in each criminal matter may vary. Below is a list of common steps involved in resolving a criminal matter.
For more information, please refer to the Alberta Justice brochure: Charged with a Crime: What you Need to Know
Frequently Asked Questions
- Charged with an offence
- Request disclosure
- First Appearance (enter a plea or adjourn if necessary)
- Enter a plea
- If you enter a plea of not guilty, a trial date will be set.
- If you wish to enter a plea of guilty, a disposition date will be set.
Other Resources Disclaimer:
If you do not appear in court or report to the police station when you are supposed to, you may be charged with the Criminal Code offence of "failure to appear" and a warrant may be issued for your arrest.Source: Alberta Justice
Disclosure for your matter can be requested by filling out a form at the Case Management Office at the Calgary Court Centre (601 - 5 Street SW, Calgary) or at the Crown Prosecutor's Office (Suite 600, 332 - 6th Avenue S.W. Calgary).
Offenders sentenced to pay fines may participate in the fine option program if non-payment of those fines will result in a default period of custody. It allows offenders to satisfy the financial terms of their fines through community work service. They can perform this service in lieu of, or as a supplement to, the cash payment of fines. The compensation rate is set at minimum wage standards for adults. This monetary amount is used to compute the number of hours required to meet the court financial requirements.
Participants in the program earn credits at a minimum wage hourly rate. When enough credits are earned, a voucher is issued to the clerk of the court indicating that the requirements of the fine have been satisfied.Source: Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security
The Diversion program is available to adults, 18 years of age or older, and youth, 12 to 18 years of age, suffering from an Axis 1 mental illness who are charged with a less serious criminal offence.
A referral is needed and can be initiated by contacting Calgary Diversion Service. All diversions must be approved by the Crown Prosecutor's office and before sentencing or plea either in court or contact service.Source: Alberta Health Services
A person applying for a pardon must have done the following:
- completed their sentence (including parole) and have paid any fine or financial penalty
- completed any probation period
- have served a required waiting period
- demonstrated that he or she is a law-abiding citizen
- other criteria may apply
Source: Service Canada
After completing all of your sentences, you must have completed a waiting period:
- 3 years for a summary conviction under the Criminal Code (other than an offence listed in Schedule 1 of the CRA) or other federal act or regulation;
- 5 years for an indictable Conviction (other than an offence listed in Schedule 1 of the CRA);
- 5 years for a summary conviction for an offence listed in Schedule 1 of the CRA (sexual offence involving a child). You will need to provide official documentation regarding the conviction and the age of the victim;
- 10 years for a personal injury offence conviction (s.752 CC), for which a sentence of 2 years or more was imposed;
- 10 years for an indictable conviction of an offence referred to in Schedule 1 of the CRA (sexual offence involving a child). You will need to provide official documentation regarding the conviction and the age of the victim;
- 5 or 10 years for all convictions by a Canadian offender transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act (10 years for sexual offences);
- 5 years under the National Defence Act, if you were fined more than $2,000, detained or imprisoned more than 6 months, or dismissed from service; and 3 years under the National Defence Act, for all other service offences.
Source: Parole Board of Canada
The sites listed below are third party websites. Student Legal Assistance (SLA) has no control over these websites. SLA provides these websites as a convenience only. All information is provided for general knowledge purposes only. The information contained within these links and this website is not meant as a replacement for professional legal advice.
If you have a question that requires legal assistance, please contact Student Legal Assistance or consult a lawyer. Legal Assistance Organizations
- Legal Aid Alberta
Legal Aid Alberta exists to provide cost effective legal services for Albertans in need.
- Calgary Legal Guidance
Calgary Legal Guidance exists to provide legal assistance and information to disadvantaged persons who would not otherwise have access to such services.
- Lawyer Referral Service
The Lawyer Referral Service is a program operated by the Law Society of Alberta to assist members of the public in finding a lawyer who will provide the legal services they require
- Student Legal Services of Edmonton
Student Legal Services of Edmonton (SLS) is a student-managed, non-profit society dedicated to helping low-income individuals in Edmonton and area understand their legal issues and solve their legal problems.
- Provincial Criminal Court
The Criminal trial court handles first appearances, entry of pleas, bail hearings, preliminary inquiries and the trials and sentencing of all summary convictions and the majority of Criminal Code indictable offences
- Diversion Services Addiction and Mental Health
Redirecting persons suffering from a mental health disorder or a mental health disorder with a concurrent substance abuse disorder who have been arrested for minor non violent crimes, from the Justice System to community based mental health programs or community support services.