The Legal Aid Society operates a criminal duty counsel program in all major centres in the province including youth courts. Lawyers conduct pre-court interviews with accused persons in custody in remand centres or police cells before their first appearance on that day and also, time permitting, with persons not in custody prior to their
appearance. Duty Counsel assisted a total of 61,060 people during the past year.
Where the accused wishes to enter a guilty plea, Duty Counsel may speak to sentence
. Other functions of Duty
Counsel include applying for an adjournment so that the accused may retain counsel and speaking to judicial interim release. The Duty Counsel program ensures that an accused person will have the benefit of legal advice and assistance when appearing before the Court unrepresented. All persons are entitled to Duty Counsel assistance regardless of financial circumstances.
Duty Counsel services in Provincial Court in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer are provided by staff lawyers. Duty Counsel services in Youth Court in Edmonton and Calgary are provided by staff lawyers from the Youth Criminal Defence Office. As part of a joint initiative between the Legal Aid Society and Siksika Nation, Duty Counsel services in Siksika are provided by a staff lawyer.
Following the Brydges decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Society initiated a program which provides telephone advice to accused persons upon arrest or detention on a 24 hour basis. Lists of participating lawyers are distributed to all police detachments through the province.
Duty Counsel services are also provided to assist in Review Panel hearings under the Mental Health Act.
Edmonton Edmonton Ft. Saskatchewan Morinville St. Albert Sherwood Park Stony Plain Alberta Hospi- tal,Edmonton
Peace River Assumption Faust Fort Vermilion High Level High Prairie Peace River Slave Lake Wabasca-Desmarais
Wetaskiwin Camrose Drayton Valley Leduc Ponoka Wetaskiwin Alberta Hospital, Ponoka
Calgary Airdrie Banff Calgary Canmore Cochrane Didsbury Okotoks Siksika Strathmore Tsuu T’ina
Fort McMurray Fort Chipewyan Fort McMurray
St. Paul Athabasca Bonnyville Cold Lake Lac La Biche Lloydminster St. Paul Vegreville Wainwright
Whitecourt Edson Evansburg Glenevis Grande Cache Hinton Jasper Mayerthorpe Whitecourt
Lethbridge Cardston Fort McLeod Lethbridge Pincher Creek
Grande Prairie Grande Prairie Valleyview
Medicine Hat Brooks Medicine Hat
DUTY COUNSEL LOCATIONS BY REGION
Red Deer Red Deer Rocky Mountain House Stettler