NEW: "It's really opened a lot of doors for me," Lohan says in thanking the judge for "being fair"
NEW: The judge tells Lohan to "live your life in a more mature way, stop the nightclubbing and focus on your work"
NEW: Canada gives Lohan a work permit to film Liz Taylor movie in Toronto
Her legal woes began with two drunk driving arrests in 2007
Lindsay Lohan thanked the judge Thursday “for being fair” as the judge ended the felony probation that has followed the actress for nearly five years.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner officially removed Lohan from probation from two 2007 drunken driving convictions, but she remain on informal probation for two more years on last year’s misdemeanor shoplifting conviction.
“The only terms on that case are to obey all laws,” Sautner said. “It’s not that hard.”
Lohan’s probation officer sent another good progress report to the judge, confirming that the actress has completed the 480 hours of community service and the four-times-a-month psychological counseling sessions ordered, Sautner said.
“I know it’s hard when people are following you all over the place, but that’s the life you chose,” the judge told Lohan, advising her to “live your life in a more mature way, stop the nightclubbing and focus on your work.”
Lohan, who has been in court at least 19 times since her first arrest in May 2007, addressed the judge at the end of Thursday’s hearing.
“I just want to say thank you for being fair,” Lohan said. “It’s really opened a lot of doors for me, so I really appreciate it.”
The strict rules of formal probation that tripped up the actress and led to four probation violations in the past two years are now gone, but she could face another 245 days in jail if she is convicted of another crime before the theft probation ends on May 24, 2014.
Instead of near-daily shifts working at the county morgue, weekly visits to her probation officer and monthly hearings, the actress can now focus on the career that ran off track after a May 2007 DUI arrest.
Lohan, 25, has spent 250 days in rehab, 35 days in home confinement, 67 days on community service, 19 days in court and made six trips to jail.
The actress has been cast in an upcoming episode of FOX Television’s “Glee” and filming starts in May on a made-for-TV movie in which she will portray big-screen legend Elizabeth Taylor.
Canadian authorities issued a permit Wednesday for Lohan to work in Toronto, where the Taylor biopic will be filmed, a source familiar with Lohan’s plans said Thursday.
Her recent hosting stint on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” was highly rated, and her nude photo spread in Playboy broke sales records for the magazine.
With the legal scrutiny easing, Lohan must still contend with being the constant focus of the paparazzi’s cameras – and some business security cameras – which follow her day and night.
A recent incident in a Hollywood parking lot threatened trouble for Lohan. A man said he was injured by Lohan’s Porsche, but her probation officer decided it was much ado about nothing, according to a source familiar with the case.
HLN’s Selin Darkalstanian contributed to this report.