SLA may help you with the following legal matters:

Criminal Charges where the charge is a summary offence and the Crown is not seeking jail time.

Impaired Charges where you have not been convicted of impaired driving within the last five years, where there is no blood sample provided for the purpose of blood alcohol testing, and where the incident did not involve an accident that either involved other parties or caused injury.

SLA may provide assistance with the following offences:

  • assault
  • refusal to provide a breath sample
  • possession of stolen property
  • communication for the purpose of prostitution
  • meal/transportation by fraud
  • uttering threats
  • mischief/willful damage
  • drug offences
  • harassment
  • impaired driving
  • dangerous driving
  • theft under $5,000
  • failure to appear
  • fraud/forgery/false pretenses
  • breach of probation/recognizance
  • dangerous driving
  • trespassing
  • obstruction and more

What happens now?:

Each proceeding is unique to its own circumstances but here are some common steps involved in a criminal proceeding. For more information please refer to Alberta Justice “You’ve been Charged with a crime: what you need to know”.

  1. You are charged with an offence.
  2. Book an appointment with SLA to seek agent representation.
  3. Request “Disclosure”: Disclosure is evidence compiled by the Crown and Police used to prosecute your case.
  4. First Appearance.
    At this stage you (or SLA retained to act as an agent on your behalf) can either enter a plea or adjourn if necessary.
  5. Enter a Plea
    1. Plea Not Guilty: at this point a trial date will be set.
    2. Plea Guilty: A disposition date will be set.
  6. Trial (if you have pleaded not guilty)

Frequent Questions

Here are some common questions that you might encounter when involved in a criminal matter.

Terminology to Get Familiar with:

  1. Alternative Measures Program (AMP): The Alternative Measures Program is a program of Alberta Correctional Services and is used as an alternative to judicial proceedings if your are alleged to have committed minor offences. The goals of the program are to:
    • Prevent you from obtaining a criminal record
    • Prevent the continuation of criminal behaviour
    • Promote community involvement
    • Foster community awareness through participation

    The program may be offered to you if you are a first or second time adult offender. The Crown must decide if you are eligible to enter the program and, if approved, you will be referred to Community Corrections.  You must acknowledge that you are guilty and sign an agreement that stipulates what you must do to satisfy the program requirements.  The benefit of entering this program is that you will not acquire a criminal record once you have successfully completed the program.

  2. The Crown: Crown prosecutors employed by Alberta Justice are the lawyers whose job it is to argue on the other side of your criminal matter. They are responsible for arguing the law and presenting to the judge the reasons why you should be convicted of the offence. The prosecutor’s arguments 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.
  3. Days in Default: A term of imprisonment imposed by a court if you have defaulted on payment of a fine.
  4. Disclosure: Disclosure means copies of all the evidence in your case, such as witness statements and the police officer’s notes.
  5. Disposition: When your matter is resolved without a trial. “Disposition” also refers to the final appearance before the court to determine the criminal charge.