Duty counsel lawyers for criminal law matters

You may be able to get help from duty counsel in Provincial Court if you:

  • are charged with a crime, and
  • can't get a legal aid lawyer, or
  • haven't yet applied for legal aid.

Duty counsel can provide you with advice about:

  • the charges against you,
  • court procedures, and
  • your legal rights (including the right to counsel and the right to apply for legal aid).

Duty counsel can also represent you at a bail hearing. If there's time, duty counsel can help with a guilty plea.

Who is eligible for duty counsel services?

You don't have to be financially eligible to get criminal duty counsel services. However, you must meet LSS coverage and financial eligibility requirements to receive ongoing representation.

Where to find duty counsel

Duty counsel is available at courthouses throughout the province. For duty counsel hours in your area:

  • Contact your local court registry. (Click the location nearest you to find the court's address, phone number, and hours.)
  • Look in the blue pages of your phone book under "Government of British Columbia — Court Services."

Are you Aboriginal? First Nations Court

If you identify as Aboriginal, you may be able to have your bail or sentencing hearing in First Nations Court. Courts are located in:

Duncan Court

238 Government Street
Duncan, BC V9L 1A5

Phone: 250-746-1258

See map

Kamloops Court

455 Columbia Street
Kamloops, BC V2C 6K4

Phone: 250-828-4344

See map

Nicola Valley Indigenous Court (Merritt)

3420 Voght Street
Merritt, BC V1K 1C7

Phone: 250-378-1856

See map

New Westminster Court

651 Carnarvon Street
New Westminster, BC V3M 1C9

Phone: 604-660-8522

See map

North Vancouver Court

200 23rd Street E
North Vancouver, BC V7L 4R4

Phone: 604-981-0200

See map

Prince George Indigenous Court

250 George Street
Prince George, BC V2L 5S2

Phone: 250-614-2700

See map

The Provincial Court of BC website gives the dates when First Nations Court sits in each location: Duncan, Kamloops, Merritt, New Westminster, North Vancouver, and Prince George.

If you identify as Aboriginal, you also have special rights under the Criminal Code called Gladue rights. Ask your lawyer about having Gladue applied to your case and what's best for you.

Aboriginal Legal Aid in BC

Find out more about Aboriginal legal rights in BC, including First Nations Court, Gladue rights, fishing/hunting/gathering, and your family's rights.

  Visit website
Media Object