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Judge to Lohan: Any plea will involve jail time

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Actress Lindsay Lohan appeared before Judge Keith Schwartz in Del Aire Court this morning to face a felony charge of grand theft. Prosecutors allege Lohan stole a $2,500 necklace from a Venice jewelry store. Lohan entered a not guilty plea to the California theft charge in February.

At the Wednesday morning court appearance Judge Schwartz told Lohan that if she accepts a plea agreement from prosecutors she will face jail time. "If you plead in front of me, if this case resolves in front of me, you are going to jail. Period. It may be an issue as to amount of time," Judge Schwartz told Lohan.

Law enforcement claims they have video of Lohan wearing a necklace at the Venice, California jewelry store, obtained from store surveillance cameras. The Los Angeles Times reports that police also obtained paparazzi photos taken days after the alleged incident showing Lohan wearing the necklace in public. Law enforcement claims they have statements from witnesses who allegedly were present in the store.

The felony Grand Theft proceeding against Lohan was continued until March 10 to give Lohan time to consider a plea offer from prosecutors. If Lohan decides not to accept the plea agreement, the case will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing before a different judge. If Lohan rejects the plea offer from prosecutors and the judge determines that the state has sufficient evidence at the preliminary hearing, the matter will be set for trial before a jury.

At the time the allegations of theft arose, Lohan was on probation in a California DUI case. The actress could also face additional jail time in the DUI case. Prosecutors claim the theft of the necklace is a violation of the conditions of Lohan's probation.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Judge to Lindsay Lohan: 'You will be going to jail' if case is settled," 23 Feb 2011

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