Nebraska Revised Statute 29-2412
Fine and costs; financial ability to pay; hearing; nonpayment; commutation upon confinement; credit; amount.
(1) Beginning July 1, 2019:
(a) Any person arrested and brought into custody on a warrant for failure to pay fines or costs, for failure to appear before a court or magistrate on the due date of such fines or costs, or for failure to comply with the terms of an order pursuant to sections 29-2206 and 29-2206.01, shall be entitled to a hearing on the first regularly scheduled court date following the date of arrest. The purpose of such hearing shall be to determine the person's financial ability to pay such fines or costs. At the hearing, the person shall have the opportunity to present information as to his or her income, assets, debts, or other matters affecting his or her financial ability to pay. Following the hearing, the court or magistrate shall determine the person's ability to pay the fines or costs, including his or her financial ability to pay by installment payments as described in section 29-2206;
(b) If the court or magistrate determines that the person is financially able to pay the fines or costs and the person refuses to pay, the court or magistrate may:
(i) Order the person to be confined in the jail of the proper county until the fines or costs are paid or secured to be paid or the person is otherwise discharged pursuant to subsection (4) of this section; or
(ii) Enter an order pursuant to subdivision (1)(d) of this section discharging the person of such fines or costs and order the person to complete community service for a specified number of hours pursuant to sections 29-2277 to 29-2279;
(c) If the court or magistrate determines that the person is financially unable to pay the fines or costs, the court or magistrate:
(i) Shall either:
(A) Enter an order pursuant to subdivision (1)(d) of this section discharging the person of such fines or costs; or
(B) If the person is subject to an order to pay installments pursuant to section 29-2206, the court or magistrate shall either enter an order pursuant to subdivision (1)(d) of this section discharging the person of such obligation or make any necessary modifications to the order specifying the terms of the installment payments as justice may require and that will enable the person to pay the fines or costs; and
(d) An order discharging the person of fines or costs shall be set forth in or accompanied by a judgment entry. Such order shall operate as a complete release of such fines or costs.
(2) Whenever it is made satisfactorily to appear to the district court, or to the county judge of the proper county, after all legal means have been exhausted, that any person who is confined in jail for any fines or costs of prosecution for any criminal offense has no estate with which to pay such fines or costs, it shall be the duty of such court or judge, on his or her own motion or upon the motion of the person so confined, to discharge such person from further imprisonment for such fines or costs, which discharge shall operate as a complete release of such fines or costs.
(3) Nothing in this section shall authorize any person to be discharged from imprisonment before the expiration of the time for which he or she may be sentenced to be imprisoned as part of his or her punishment.
(4)(a) Any person held in custody for nonpayment of fines or costs or for default on an installment shall be entitled to a credit on the fines, costs, or installment of one hundred fifty dollars for each day so held.
(b) In no case shall a person held in custody for nonpayment of fines or costs be held in such custody for more days than the maximum number to which he or she could have been sentenced if the penalty set by law includes the possibility of confinement.
An indigent may not be required to satisfy a fine by imprisonment. The court cannot require that a fine be satisfied by applying jail time served without giving defendant an opportunity to pay the fine or show indigency. State v. Holloway, 212 Neb. 426, 322 N.W.2d 818 (1982).
Sentence by county court that defendant was "fined sixty days in county jail" was inaccurate and was reversed with directions to resentence. Sinner v. State, 128 Neb. 759, 260 N.W. 275 (1935).
Issuance of execution to collect fine is not prerequisite to imprisonment until fine is paid. State ex rel. Marasco v. Mundell, 127 Neb. 673, 256 N.W. 519 (1934).
Prisoner, confined for nonpayment of costs, can be released only after imprisonment of at least one day for each three dollars. In re Newton, 39 Neb. 757, 58 N.W. 436 (1894); In re Dobson, 37 Neb. 449, 55 N.W. 1071 (1893).
The credit authorized under former subsection (3) of this section is limited to the situation where the person is held in custody for nonpayment and does not provide for a $90-per-day credit against costs for "extra" time incarcerated prior to sentencing. State v. Zamarron, 19 Neb. App. 349, 806 N.W.2d 128 (2011).