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Lindsay Lohan's too poor to pay a psychologist, lawyer says

By Alan Duke, CNN
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Lohan arrives for probation review
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Lohan's SAG insurance expired because of no acting work, her lawyer tells the judge
  • NEW: The judge gives Lohan three weeks to start counseling or face jail
  • NEW: Cheap group therapy won't work because Lohan's famous, the judge says
  • The actress has a year to complete 480 hours of community service

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A lapse in Lindsay Lohan's health insurance -- because she's not been working in the past year -- has prevented her from paying for the psychological counseling ordered as part of her probation, her lawyer revealed in court Thursday.

"Maybe she knows somebody who can help out," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner said, warning Lohan she had 21 days to sign up for counseling.

Judge Sautner ordered the actress to appear in court Thursday so she could review the actress' progress on meeting the requirements of her probation for a shoplifting conviction and two older drunk driving convictions.

Lohan, 25, entered a guilty plea in May to stealing a necklace from a Venice, California jewelry story.

While Lohan is in compliance with her community service, fines and shoplifting counseling requirements, but she has not signed up for the court-ordered psychological counseling, the judge said. She could be ordered to jail unless she proves within three weeks that she has found a psychologist, Sautner said.

Group counseling, which probationers attend, is often free or low-cost, but Judge Sautner agreed with Lohan's lawyer, Shawn Holley, that Lohan's celebrity status makes that unworkable.

"I don't want group counseling for her," Sautner said. "She needs one on one counseling."

Lohan scribbled a note to her lawyer during the hearing saying she believed she could raise the cash soon to enter counseling.

The judge chided Lohan for only completing 33 of the required 480 hours of community service so far. If it's not finished within a year, she could go to jail, she said.

Lindsay Lohan wore these shoes to court?!

She must work 120 hours at the Los Angeles County morgue after she completes 360 hours at the a women's center on Los Angeles' Skid Row section.

"Get done with that community service and your life can be back in order," Judge Sautner said.

Lohan's legal woes, which began four years ago with two drunk driving arrests, have been compounded over the past two years by her failure to attend counseling classes and alcohol and drug test failures.

The 120-day jail sentence also ordered translated into just 35 days of home confinement that ended on June 29. Jail overcrowding rules and and state rules that give credit for good behavior for prisoners allowed for the shortened term.

Her probation is scheduled to end within a year, unless Lohan is charged with breaking any laws before then. It has been extended several times because of probation violations, including failed alcohol and drug tests.

Lohan failed an alcohol test administered by a probation officer in June and was ordered to go before the judge for a probation violation hearing the next week. But Lohan's attorney convinced the judge the testing requirement had lapsed in February.

Judge Saunter ruled that Lohan is now allowed to drink alcohol and she is no longer required to take random drug tests.

The actress has managed to avoid more than a few days in jail despite two drunken-driving convictions, a long list of probation violations and the recent theft conviction.

"Because of budget constraints and because we're under a federal consent decree that requires us to curb our overcrowding situation, nonviolent offenders, lesser crimes, get 20% of their sentence," Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Lohan entered drug rehab last year to avoid a jail sentence imposed by another judge. But Sautner made it clear in court last month that she didn't think drugs and alcohol were the root of Lohan's legal troubles.

"She's got other problems for which she self-medicates," Sautner said at her sentencing in May.

Lohan's four years in and out of court -- and sometimes jail -- started with two drunken-driving arrests in 2007. Since then, she's spent more than eight months in substance-abuse rehabilitation programs.

A probation report released in May said the actress "appears to be continuing to struggle with substance abuse issues."

"It would appear that the defendant's criminal conduct is increasing in seriousness and severity," the probation report said, yet it suggested she serve her sentence on probation and not in jail.

Lohan tested positive for alcohol use, a violation of probation rules, in February, the report said.

It also revealed that the drug test failure last August, which resulted in a jail sentence and court-ordered rehab, involved cocaine and amphetamines.

 
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