Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Lindsay Lohan judge found way around early jail release for actor [Updated]

September 24, 2010 |  3:40 pm

A Beverly Hills judge on Friday found a way to get around the Los Angeles County jail system’s early-release policy with a ruling to keep actor Lindsay Lohan behind bars for the next month.

Lohan has twice been sentenced to jail time, but in both instances she got out early because of overcrowding in the county’s women’s jail in Lynwood.

But when the actress went into court Friday after failing a required drug test, Judge Elden Fox was waiting with a new punishment. Instead of handing down a sentence against Lohan, Fox ordered her jailed without bail until an Oct. 22 hearing on whether she should be incarcerated for drug use. It’s somewhat unusual for a judge to prohibit bail in such a drug case – a point Lohan’s attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley made to no avail.

Lohan was immediately handcuffed and taken to the Lynwood jail, where she spent 13 days last month after an earlier probation violation. But under the judge’s ruling, Lohan will stay there for at least 30 days until her hearing. And after that, she could be sentenced to even more time behind bars or in locked-down rehab.

Veteran defense attorney Glen Jonas said the judge’s actions effectively side-stepped the early-release process, which covers inmate sentenced to jail time but not to inmates awaiting sentencing.

“Judge Fox guaranteed Ms. Lohan will not receive early release by setting the hearing a month out with no bail. Judge Fox is fed up. Ms. Lohan is being treated like a drug addict on probation instead of a celebrity” with a drug issue, Jonas said.

Because of overcrowding, women convicted of crimes similar to Lohan’s tend to serve about 25% of their sentence.

Fox said he postponed a final decision until October because he needed further information from probation officials on Lohan's compliance before a revocation hearing could be held. Chapman Holley said outside court that she believed Fox’s ruling was legally incorrect because it involved a probation violation for a misdemeanor conviction.

“The case law is clear,” Chapman Holley said. “She is entitled to bail.”

[Updated at 4:40 p.m.: Chapman Holley on Friday afternoon filed an appeal challenging the judge's decision to prohibit bail.]

-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Photo credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

More photos of court hearing.