Lindsay Lohan avoids jail again with last-minute plea
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Lindsay Lohan avoided jail again when she pleaded no contest Monday to misdemeanor charges related to a June 2012 car crash, a last-minute deal that will instead send the troubled 26-year-old to 90 days in a locked rehabilitation facility.
The ‘Mean Girls’ star must also spend 18 months in psychotherapy and serve 30 days of community service as part of the agreement, in which she pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless driving and providing false information to police. A charge of willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer was dismissed.
In pleading no contest to the charges, Lohan admitted she had violated her probation in a 2011 shoplifting case, and Judge James Dabney sentenced her to 180 days in jail. But that sentence was stayed -- the judge said if Lohan met the terms of this deal, she wouldn’t serve additional time behind bars.
But the judge warned there wouldn’t be any discussion about probation if she violated the agreement, implying she would be sent to jail.
Lohan was also ordered to pay restitution to the driver of the truck Santa Monica prosecutors said she hit June 18 while on her way to the set of ‘Liz & Dick.’ Prosecutors said Lohan told officers she was not driving the Porsche at the time.
Prosecutors had for weeks offered 90 days in jail or a locked-down rehab facility, but Lohan did not agree to the terms until Monday morning.
‘I am pleased with the outcome,’ Santa Monica’s chief Deputy City Attorney Terry White said. ‘We got what we offered.’
Mark Heller, the New York-based attorney now representing Lohan, said his client was ‘extremely gratified with the end result.’
‘I’m very confident that you won’t be seeing Lindsay Lohan in any criminal courts anytime in the future,’ Heller said outside the courthouse. ‘She has fully recognized all of the issues that have to be addressed and I’m very confident she’ll be able to move forward in her life with dignity, pride and respect.’
The 11th-hour deal didn’t come without some drama.
Lohan made a last-minute dash from New York to enter the plea, apparently catching an overnight flight to Los Angeles on a private jet, according to her Twitter account.
‘Thanks Mr. Pink for the private jet see you all in a few hours in LA,’ she tweeted early Monday.
But the flight was delayed and landed at LAX about 8:30 a.m., according to media reports. Lohan arrived at the courthouse nearly 50 minutes late. A woman threw gold glitter on the actress as she made her way past the media swarmed outside.
Monday’s court appearance was the most recent for Lohan, who has been on probation for various drunk-driving and shoplifting charges since 2007 and accumulated what the judge described as a voluminous court file.
Until last month, Lohan was represented by Shawn Holley, among the region’s top lawyers. Her new attorney, Heller, had previously been reprimanded by Dabney, who has questioned the attorney’s ability to adequately defend the actress in California, given that he did not seem familiar with the state’s criminal-law system.
Last week, Lohan’s father, Michael Lohan,to assist in his daughter’s defense if needed, saying he was ‘not at all comfortable with the poor representation she is getting’ and that her ‘freedom and future are at stake.’
Paul Wallin, a partner at Wallin & Klarich, confirmed to The Times that attorney David E. Wohl and others from the firm would be in court Monday at Michael Lohan’s request. Wallin said last week that Heller had also asked his firm to help with Lohan’s defense.
Michael Lohan clashed with Heller as the attorney spoke to reporters after Monday’s hearing, telling the lawyer to ‘go home.’
Michael Lohan and his daughter have a strained relationship that has played out in public, with the actress and her siblings frequently criticizing their father in interviews and on social media.
He was present in the courtroom Monday morning, but the two did not appear to communicate.
[For the record, 2:03 p.m., March 18: An earlier version of this post misidentified Santa Monica’s chief Deputy City Attorney. His name is Terry White, not Harry White.]
— Richard Winton and Kate Mather