LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It seems suspects are appearing in Clark County courtrooms before they ever see the inside of the jail cell.
The speed was recently highlighted by the initial appearance of Scott Gragson in court less than 24 hours after the fatal crash that led to him being charged with DUI.
"Everyone is brought before a judge in 10 to 15 to 20 hours after they are arrested if they haven't been released," District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.
Wolfson said that is the new norm after the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council made up of all the role players in the court system decided to update the old model.
That model could have suspects sitting in jail for as many as five days before a judge.
Now suspects arrested for any crime are put before a judge in less than 24 hours with the initial appearance in court running two times a day seven days a week. That is if the crime doesn't already have a standard bail assigned that lets the suspect bail out before the hearing.
"We want people's custody status to be reviewed by a judge as soon as possible because many of these people deserve to be released, many don't," Wolfson said.
Court records back up those statements showing suspects in two other recent fatal DUI's were also before a judge within 24 hours of their arrests.
Both are still in jail with bail sitting between $100,000 and $250,000.
The higher of those, the amount prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed Gragson had to pay before his release.
"In these types of cases we routinely ask for and sometimes agree to a bail of $250,000," Wolfson said.
Gragson also had to surrender his passport and submit to monitoring.
Prosecutors say they are still reviewing the case to evaluate the charges.
"This case is still being actively investigated. We are looking at everything. We are looking at this man's past driving record because I think that has a bearing on the eventual outcome."
Gragson's attorney said as with every case and investigation has to be conducted and evidence has to be presented in court. He went on to say that is what Mr. Gragson intends to do.