Lindsay Lohan case: Judge refuses to delay trial for car crash on PCH
A judge refused Friday to delay Lindsay Lohan's trial on charges she lied to Santa Monica police when she said she was not driving her Porsche when it rear-ended a truck on Pacific Coast Highway.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Dabney also warned that if Lohan continues to use Mark Heller as her attorney before the March 18 trial, 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 Lohan's New York attorney 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, as well as some other motions, were incorrect procedures for a California criminal court.Until last month, Lohan was represented by Shawn Holley, among the region's top lawyers. Heller took the legal helm recently after representing Lohan in New York.
Dabney rejected Heller's motion to dismiss and informed the attorney he had not complied with California legal requirements. Under state law, attorneys must file motions to dismiss during the arraignment, Dabney said. That period has already passed.
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 “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.
To avoid trial on those charges, as well as violating her probation on a separate shoplifting conviction, Lohan will have to agree to serve at least 90 days in a lockdown rehabilitation facility,
She was not required to appear in court Friday.
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 rehab, they said.
Lohan was already on probation for stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store, a misdemeanor grand theft charge to which she pleaded no contest in May 2011. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has accused her of violating her parole.
The misdemeanors each carry potential jail sentences ranging from three months to a year.
-- Richard Winton