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Lindsay Lohan would consider a no-jail plea deal, her lawyer says

By Alan Duke, CNN
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Another day, another charge for Lohan
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The theft charge is "entirely defensible," Lohan's lawyer says
  • A judge will decide February 23 if the actress goes to jail
  • Lohan faces a grand theft charge for a $2,500 necklace

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Lindsay Lohan will consider a plea deal on the charge that she stole a necklace from a jewelry store if she can avoid going to jail, her lawyer said Thursday.

Attorney Shawn Chapman Holley insisted, though, that the grand theft charge is "entirely defensible."

The actress entered a not guilty plea in the case Wednesday before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz, but the judge immediately revoked her probation related to a 2007 drunk driving conviction.

"Ms. Lohan maintains her innocence, and now that I've seen the police reports, I believe the case is entirely defensible," Holley said. "Having said that, we will entertain a discussion concerning a plea if it means no jail so that she can move forward with her recovery and her career."

Lohan was allowed to post bond on the theft charge and the probation revocation after a short hearing Wednesday.

Schwartz will hold a hearing February 23 to decide if the theft charge warrants sending Lohan back to jail immediately on a probation violation. The court date will also be used to consider a possible negotiated resolution to the theft charge, he said.

At the arraignment Wednesday, Schwartz warned Lohan that she could be put back in jail if she violates the law.

"Please don't push your luck, I am telling you," the judge said. "Things will be different."

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The theft charge filed Wednesday comes five weeks after the actress was released from court-ordered drug rehabilitation and less than three weeks before a judge said he might free her from supervised probation from the drunken driving conviction.

Lohan was smiling at times as she sat at the defense table before the arraignment. She wore a tight-fitting white dress, with her long blond hair loosely tied in the back. Lohan wore what appeared to be several diamond bracelets on her right arm, complemented by diamond earrings and a large diamond-filled ring on her right hand.

The 24-year-old actress allegedly walked out of the Venice, California, store with the necklace on January 22, a statement from the district attorney's office said. "The owner reported the theft to the Los Angeles Police Department, which investigated the allegation and presented evidence to the D.A.'s office last week."

The necklace was handed over to police just before they were to execute a search warrant to look for the jewelry in Lohan's Venice apartment last week, police said.

Under California's grand theft law, prosecutor Danette Meyers must prove that Lohan intended to steal the jewelry and that she carried it away from the store.

The penalty for a felony grand theft conviction ranges from 16 months to three years in a California state prison, varying based on the value of the property stolen and the criminal record of the defendant.

Shoplifting offenses are charged as petty theft if the property taken is valued at less than $950. The store owner claims the "one of a kind" necklace is worth $2,500, police said.

The judge could reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, which would carry a prison sentence of no more than one year.

Lohan is on supervised probation for a drunken driving conviction. The judge overseeing that case told her in October that he would send her to jail for 180 days if she violated her probation rules before her next court appearance, set for February 25. That court date is now off, with Judge Schwartz taking over Lohan's legal cases.

She left the Betty Ford clinic a month ago after three months in a drug rehabilitation program. The rehab stint persuaded the judge not to send Lohan to jail for failing a drug test.

 
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