JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down a law that denies bail to criminal defendants who cannot prove they are legally present in the U.S.
The unanimous decision Thursday comes in the case of a man who was charged with a felony for possessing a forged Social Security card. Faustino Lopez-Matias has been in jail since Sept. 3.
He was denied bail by a state judge, who cited a Missouri law prohibiting bail for defendants believed to be in the U.S. without legal permission.
The state’s high court said the law violates the state Constitution, which says people have a right to be released on bail pending a trial unless they face capital charges or pose a danger to others.
The court ordered the judge to reconsider granting bail.