Nebraska Revised Statute 23-3402
Public defender; duties; appointment; prohibitions.
(1) It shall be the duty of the public defender to represent all indigent felony defendants within the county he or she serves. The public defender shall represent indigent felony defendants at all critical stages of felony proceedings against them through the stage of sentencing. Sentencing shall include hearings on charges of violation of felony probation. Following the sentencing of any indigent defendant represented by him or her, the public defender may take any direct, collateral, or postconviction appeals to state or federal courts which he or she considers to be meritorious and in the interest of justice and shall file a notice of appeal and proceed with one direct appeal to either the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court of Nebraska upon a timely request after sentencing from any such convicted felony defendant, subject to the public defender's right to apply to the court to withdraw from representation in any appeal which he or she deems to be wholly frivolous.
(3) It shall be the duty of the public defender to represent all indigent persons charged with misdemeanor offenses punishable by imprisonment when appointed by the court.
(4) Appointment of a public defender shall be by the court in accordance with sections 29-3902 and 29-3903. A public defender shall not represent an indigent person prior to appointment by the court, except that a public defender may represent a person under arrest for investigation or on suspicion. A public defender shall not inquire into a defendant's financial condition for purposes of indigency determination except to make an initial determination of indigency of a person under arrest for investigation or on suspicion. A public defender shall not make a determination of a defendant's indigency, except an initial determination of indigency of a person under arrest for investigation or on suspicion, nor recommend to a court that a defendant be determined or not determined as indigent.
(5) For purposes of this section, the definitions found in section 29-3901 shall be used.
- Laws 1972, LB 1463, § 2;
- Laws 1975, LB 285, § 1;
- Laws 1984, LB 189, § 2;
- R.S.1943, (1989), § 29-1804.03;
- Laws 1990, LB 822, § 2;
- Laws 1991, LB 732, § 27;
- Laws 1991, LB 830, § 28;
- Laws 2004, LB 1083, § 85.
A public defender is not attorney for a defendant until appointed to represent him in the particular case by a judge. State v. Russell, 194 Neb. 64, 230 N.W.2d 196 (1975).
A public defender may apply to the court to withdraw from appeal when he deems such appeal to be frivolous. State v. Kellogg, 189 Neb. 692, 204 N.W.2d 567 (1973).