Lindsay Lohan case: Prosecutors hold tough line against actress
Prosecutors are holding a tough line with Lindsay Lohan, who is set to go on trial later this month for allegedly lying to police, sources said.
The L.A. city attorney refuses to accept any deal of less than 90 days in a locked rehabilitation facility, according to sources.
City prosecutors who convicted her of theft from a Venice jeweler are not interested in a jail sentence because it could mean as few as eight to 10 days behind bars due to overcrowding, according to sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing.
Prosecutors are concerned that Lohan, 26, is a potential danger to the public and herself and believe they should curtail her behavior with effective treatment, say sources familiar with the prosecution.
Lohan faces trial March 18 for allegedly lying to Santa Monica police when she said she was not driving her Porsche when it struck the back of a truck on Pacific Coast Highway. She is also facing a violation of her probation for shoplifting jewelry in 2011.
Discussions between Santa Monica city prosecutor Terry White and Lohan's New York attorney Mark Heller have faltered, according to the sources.
Lohan could plead no contest to the judge and throw herself at his mercy at sentencing, stepping around negotiations with prosecutors, according to one scenario. But that could be a risky proposition.Lohan faces one misdemeanor count each of reckless driving, providing false information to an officer and willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer, according to court records. The misdemeanors each carry potential jail sentences ranging from three months to a year.
At a court hearing last week, 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."
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, 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 of his other filings were incorrect procedures for a California criminal court.
Heller recently replaced the highly regarded Shawn Holley as Lohan's attorney after representing the actress in a New York arrest.
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 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.”
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Lindsay Lohan in court with her attorney, Mark Heller, on Jan. 30. Credit: David McNew / Associated Press.