Lohan due back in court on misdemeanor charges
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lindsay Lohan is returning to court for a hearing that will determine whether the actress goes to jail or averts a trial on charges that she lied to police.
It appears the actress is headed to trial over a June car crash that briefly sent her to the hospital and returned her to a courthouse she could have avoided if she stayed out of trouble.
Lohan has pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanor charges filed after the accident — reckless driving, lying to police and obstructing officers from performing their duties.
Even if she isn’t convicted, the “Liz & Dick” star faces up to 245 days in jail if a judge determines she violated her probation in a 2011 theft case.
The actress is due in court Monday for a hearing that will determine when she goes to trial on the new charges. A judge has previously refused to delay a trial, which would place Lohan in front of a jury for the first time.
Lohan reportedly missed her original Sunday night flight from New York to Los Angeles, instead traveling on a private plane provided by a Los Angeles-based energy drink company for which she has made promotional appearances.
“Thanks Mr. Pink for the private jet see you all in a few hours in LA,” she tweeted early Monday.
Since a pair of arrests for driving under the influence in 2007, Lohan has resolved her numerous court problems without ever going to trial. Instead she has faced numerous judges who have sentenced her to jail, rehab and counseling, which even her current attorney acknowledges have not completely helped the troubled actress.
Attorney Mark Jay Heller’s proposal to allow Lohan time to pursue gigs as an inspirational speaker at hospitals and schools has not yet been formally considered by a judge.
Lohan enters Monday’s hearing with a lawyer whose competence has been questioned by a judge, and another set of attorneys waiting in the wings to take over.
She will not however have her longtime advocate, Shawn Holley, present. Holley left the case this year after keeping the actress out of jail for significant periods of time on probation violations and allegations in 2011 that she took a $2,500 necklace without permission from an upscale jeweler.
In her current case, Lohan and Heller, her New York-based attorney, have apparently been unable to broker a plea deal. Heller has said that his client does not need rehab, but should be allowed to continue to undergo psychotherapy to address issues raised by her turbulent upbringing.
The former Disney star has been under some form of probation since she was arrested twice in 2007 for driving under the influence, and her court troubles have stifled a once-promising career.
Lohan’s return to acting last year in the Lifetime movie “Liz & Dick” was widely panned by critics and viewers. Her upcoming film by Bret Easton Ellis, “The Canyons,” co-starring porn star James Deen, is yet to be released.
A law firm in Orange County, Calif., will be waiting in the wings during Monday’s hearing to assist Heller if necessary in Lohan’s case. Heller has sought a delay in the trial, but was rebuked last year by Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney, who said Lohan’s misdemeanor case should be resolved quickly.
Attorney Paul Wallin wrote in an email last week that he and other lawyers from his firm will be available to assist if necessary during the trial. He wrote that Lohan would have to approve their involvement in the case, but Wallin’s firm had not formally signed on to the case as of Friday afternoon.