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Lindsay Lohan free to leave Betty Ford Center this week

January 3, 2011 |  9:03 am

Lindsay Lohan in October 2010.

Actress Lindsay Lohan can walk out the door of the Betty Ford Center as soon as Monday when her court order to stay at the drug and alcohol rehab clinic ends.

However, Lohan is expected to stay at the clinic a few more days as she tries to rebuild her life after a year in which she made more court appearances than movies. A sign of her anticipated freedom came over the weekend when Lohan returned to the world of social media after a rehab-required absence.

"Today is the first day of the rest of my life," she wrote on Twitter. "'The future depends on what we do in the present.' -- Mahatma Gandhi ... One step at a time ..."

A possible hindrance to that turnaround is a Palm Desert police investigation into an allegation Lohan attacked a female staffer at the clinic, a claim that could potentially send the "Mean Girls" actress back to jail.

Prosecutors say they have not decided whether to pursue the alleged Dec. 12 incident, but the medical technician who made the accusation announced shortly before Christmas that she no longer wanted to press charges and that she sympathized with the plight of a fellow recovering addict.

Technician Dawn Holland initially told Palm Desert police that she wanted Lohan charged with battery after the actress allegedly attacked her when the technician tried to check Lohan's sobriety. Holland initially told police that Lohan hurt her wrist.

Lohan initially called 911, apparently distressed over the conflict at the halfway house in Palm Desert. Police are continuing to investigate, and authorities still could determine Lohan violated her probation.

But Holland's change of heart would make prosecution difficult.

Lohan checked into the Betty Ford Center in September after testing positive for drugs while on probation for a 2007 drunk-driving conviction. A judge that same month ordered that she remain there until Jan. 3. The judge warned if she violated probation again she would do six months in jail.


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Photo: Lindsay Lohan in October 2010. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press