BALTIMORE (AP) — An opinion by the state attorney general’s office says Maryland’s system of holding defendants in jail because they can’t pay a cash bail likely would be found unconstitutional.

The office of Attorney General Brian E. Frosh sent a letter Tuesday to five House of Delegates members who sought Frosh’s opinion. The letter says that judges and court commissioners must consider the accused’s ability to pay before setting bail. The letter says if bail is out of reach, the courts would find that unlawful. The letter is the attorney general’s office’s prediction, based on prior court rulings, of what the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals of Maryland, might do if the question comes before them.

A spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan says the administration is reviewing the opinion.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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