Lindsay Lohan doesn't need drug rehab, her attorney says
Lindsay Lohan's attorney said his client doesn't need drug rehabilitation.
At court hearing Friday, Mark Heller told a judge that Lohan is in therapy.
"This is not what she needs — rehab," Heller said. "Lindsay doesn't have a problem with alcohol and drugs. Lindsay's issues are different."
Lohan faces trial March 18 for allegedly lying to Santa Monica police when she said she was not driving her Porsche during an accident.
Heller asked the judge for a delay and to "give her leeway to show that she's worthy of compassion." But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Dabney wasn't moved.
"I don't know how the next two weeks is suddenly going to change the history of this case, these cases," Dabney said.
Dabney also warned that if Lohan continues to use Heller, who practices in New York, as her attorney that she will waive her right to "competent" counsel under California law.
"I am somewhat concerned whether you have sufficient guidance from local counsel," the judge told Heller after he filed a bill of particulars — a motion not used in California criminal procedure.
The judge bluntly lectured Heller for 10 minutes on how that motion and some other of his filings were incorrect procedures for a California criminal court.
Lohan was not required to appear in court Friday.
Until last month, Lohan was represented by Shawn Holley, considered one of Southern California's top criminal defense lawyers. Heller took the legal helm recently after representing Lohan in a New York case.
Dabney rejected Heller's motion to dismiss the case, saying it wasn't properly filed. Under state law, attorneys must file motions to dismiss during the arraignment, Dabney said. That period has already passed.
Heller said he could not file a motion to dismiss at the arraignment because he was not Lohan's attorney at the time.
Heller said he was seeking to protect Lohan's constitutional rights and was unable to determine from the charges whether his client made statements at the scene, at the hospital or to emergency responders.
Santa Monica police said the 26-year-old actress told officers she was not driving a Porsche that rear-ended a truck on June 18 as she headed to the set of the TV movie “Liz & Dick.”
Lohan faces one misdemeanor count each of reckless driving, providing false information to an officer and willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer. The misdemeanors each carry potential jail sentences ranging from three months to a year.
She also is accused of violating probation that she was sentenced to for stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store, a misdemeanor grand theft charge to which she pleaded no contest in May 2011.
In recent days, Santa Monica city prosecutor Terry White and Heller had discussed a possible plea deal, sources said. But the L.A. city attorney refused to accept any deal of less than 90 days in a locked rehabilitation facility, they said.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Lindsay Lohan in court with her attorney, Mark Heller, on Jan. 30. Credit: David McNew / Associated Press