Nebraska Revised Statute 29-3903

Chapter 29


Indigent defendant; right to counsel; appointment.

At a felony defendant's first appearance before a judge, the judge shall advise him or her of the right to court-appointed counsel if such person is indigent. If he or she asserts indigency, the court shall make a reasonable inquiry to determine such person's financial condition and shall require him or her to execute an affidavit of indigency for filing with the clerk of the court.

If the court determines the defendant to be indigent, it shall formally appoint the public defender or, in counties not having a public defender, an attorney or attorneys licensed to practice law in this state, not exceeding two, to represent the indigent felony defendant at all future critical stages of the criminal proceedings against such defendant, consistent with the provisions of section 23-3402, but appointed counsel other than the public defender must obtain leave of court before being authorized to proceed beyond an initial direct appeal to either the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court of Nebraska to any further direct, collateral, or postconviction appeals to state or federal courts.

A felony defendant who is not indigent at the time of his or her first appearance before a judge may nevertheless assert his or her indigency at any subsequent stage of felony proceedings, at which time the judge shall consider appointing counsel as otherwise provided in this section.

The judge, upon filing such order for appointment, shall note all appearances of appointed counsel upon the record. If at the time of appointment of counsel the indigent felony defendant and appointed counsel have not had a reasonable opportunity to consult concerning the prosecution, the judge shall continue the arraignment, trial, or other next stage of the felony proceedings for a reasonable period of time to allow for such consultation.


  • Defendant's right to desire to have counsel appointed was violated. State v. Sondag, 214 Neb. 659, 335 N.W.2d 306 (1983).