Criminal Matters - Resources for Self Represented LItigants

Being a self represented litigant means that you do not have a lawyer and are choosing to represent yourself in a legal proceeding. LawCentraAlberta provides links to basic information resources that may be of assistance to you,  as well as those listed in the other Preparing for Court sections (see the menu on the left).

To get started and learn more about criminal law resources for self represented litigants check out the following LawCentral topic pages and suggested resources listed below:

CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.

Guides for Self-Represented Litigants: civil law, criminal law, and family law

These handbooks developed by the Canadian Judicial Council are intended as helpful guides for people who are navigating the justice system without a lawyer to prepare and present their legal case. The Council has created three handbooks that contain a wealth of information on family law, civil law and criminal law in Canada. The information is provided in an easy to understand format, with various worksheets, useful tips, explanations of legal terms and concrete examples to guide litigants throughout the legal process.

To view the handbooks, click on the links below:

To view all resources of the Canadian Judicial Council see:

Related legal topic(s): Civil law, Criminal law general resources, Family law general resources, Self-representation

Alberta Resources

This Student Legal Services of Edmonton pamphlet provides information about the entire provincial criminal court process, from arrest to resolution. The pamphlet is a step-by-step guide outlining your rights and responsibilities when you have been charged with a criminal offence that proceeds in provincial court. It also translates “legalese” that you are likely to encounter through the process.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Legal process

This Alberta government webpage provides information on recent changes to Alberta’s alcohol- and drug-impaired driving offences and sanctions to align with new federal drug laws are now in effect. Information covered includes:

Related legal topic(s): Crimes and offences, Criminal law general resources, Driving, Drugs and alcohol, Transportation

The Provincial Court of Alberta is primarily the point of first entry into the justice system. The Provincial Court hears most of the criminal and civil cases in Alberta. All criminal cases start in Provincial Court, and 95% conclude there. Most civil cases also take place in Provincial Court. For example, cases involving landlord and tenant, most other claims involving less than $50,000 and many traffic, regulatory and bylaw enforcement hearings take place here. A majority of family law cases and child welfare cases are also heard by the Provincial Court.

This website contains forms that are available for use by the Bar and other members of the public, as well as notices governing practices or procedures within the different regions or divisions of the Provincial Court.

Related legal topic(s): Civil law, Courts and court judgments, Legal process

This booklet provides information on the rules and regulations enacted by cities and provincial law with regard to tickets and fines.

Related legal topic(s): Crimes and offences, Driving, Municipal information and bylaws

Chart describing criminal justice process for adults

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Legal process

This guide provides key resources related to Impaired Driving Offences in Canada. It also includes materials dealing with non-criminal impaired driving offences within the legislation of the province of Alberta. Topics in this guide include:

  • Defences
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Impaired driving devices
  • Sentencing/Penalties
Related legal topic(s): Charter of Rights, Criminal law general resources, Driving

A publication of Student Legal Services of Alberta. It covers: basic definitions, licence rules, ways a licence can be suspended, and how to appeal a suspension / disqualification or Criminal Code offence conviction.

Related legal topic(s): Driving

This booklet outlines some basic information you must be aware of if you plead not guilty to an offence and are planning to represent yourself without a lawyer at your trial. It also provides some advice on how to find a lawyer. The booklet explains what happens during the criminal trial process. The information will help you prepare for your trial if you don’t have a lawyer. If you choose to represent yourself, you are still subject to the law, including rules of procedure and the laws of evidence.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Legal process, Self-representation

The Provincial Court Court Criminal Clerks are able to assist in providing information for Provincial Court Criminal matters regarding judicial procedures, court appearance, trial dates, adjournments, outstanding warrants, summonses, subpeonas, witness fees, and payment of fines. They do not provide legal advice or handle traffic matters.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Legal process

Produced by Student Legal Services of Edmonton. Includes information about: The Case Is Called; The Trial Begins; The Exclusion Order; The Crown's Case; The Defence’s Case; Submissions; Decision; Vocabulary. This resource is also available to download as a PDF.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Legal process, Self-representation

Representing yourself in court is a daunting task. This issue of LawNow offers some suggestions for success.

Related legal topic(s): Self-representation, Small claims court, Taxation

This online tutorial created by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta provides information about the structure of a trial after making a criminal complaint.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Elder abuse, Family violence general resources, Legal process

Legal education publications on this site cover the following topics: assault, parole, possession of controlled drugs and substance, criminal trials, driver's license suspensions, guilty pleas and sentencing, and impaired driving.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources

This online tutorial created by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta  explains what it's like in a criminal courtroom. There are often many people in a courtroom. Knowing who is who, what each person's role is, and what is expected of you as a witness should help you understand what is going on around you.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Legal process, Self-representation

This booklet from Alberta Justice provides general information about proceedings in Traffic Court. Contents include: You Have Been Charged with An offence. Now What?; Do You Need an Interpreter?; Lawyers and Agents; How do You Get A Lawyer or an Agent?; Legal Aid; Alberta Law Line; Other Services; Your First Court Appearance; If You Plead Not Guilty; If You are Thinking of Pleading Guilty; Where and When will the Trial be?; Getting Ready for Trial when You Have Plead Not Guilty; What Happens at Trial?; Sentencing; and Victims of Crime Surcharge on Offenders.(PDF - 16 pages)

Related legal topic(s): Driving, Legal process

You have been charged with a traffic offense. Now what? This Student Legal Services booklet answers this question and more.
Related legal topic(s): Crimes and offences, Driving

If you can’t afford to pay the filing fees for court, you can make an application at a Court Registry office to find out whether or not you qualify to have the filing fee waived. Learn if you qualify to have filing fees waived and how to apply here.

Related legal topic(s): Legal process, Self-representation

This online publication is provided by the Government of Alberta and is divided into sections including: You've been charged... now what?; Duty Counsel; If you don't have a lawyer; How do you get a lawyer?; Legal Aid; Other Services; Where will the trial be?; Pleading guilty; Getting ready for trial when you have pled not guilty; What happens in court?; and Sentencing.

Related legal topic(s): Arrest, Criminal law general resources, Legal process, Self-representation


The Criminal Code of Canada (C-46) provided by the Department of Justice Canada. This Act is also available to download as a PDF.

Related legal topic(s): Crimes and offences, Legislative materials