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Lindsay Lohan case: D.A. says reduction in charge forces them to drop theft case, hand it over to city attorney

May 4, 2011 |  7:47 am

Lindsay Lohan considers theft plea, 'wants to get all this behind her,' source says L.A. County prosecutors said they had no choice but to drop the Lindsay Lohan necklace theft case after a judge reduced the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the L.A. County district attorney's office, said late Tuesday that officials determined the case should be handled by the L.A. city attorney's office, not the D.A.

"The jurisdictional issue was thoroughly researched by the district attorney’s appellate division. Because the charge was reduced by the court to a misdemeanor, the district attorney no longer has jurisdiction to prosecute the case and therefore, we will give the case to the Los Angeles city attorney’s office," she said in a statement.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner last month reduced the charge in the case from a felony to a misdemeanor, a move that would significantly reduce the amount of time Lohan spends behind bars if sentenced to time behind bars. The judge said she thought the reduction of the charge was justified, noting that it occurs all the time in lower-profile cases. The transfer underscores that the case is not being treated as a serious crime. The city attorney often handles smaller misdemeanor cases.

A source close to Lohan who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the outcome of the case is still pending said the actress wants to settle the case and "get this all behind her and move forward in a positive and productive way." A no-contest plea, the source said, "would be consistent with that."

Lohan's next hearing is scheduled for May 11. Any plea deal would most likely coincide with or come before that court date, the source said, stressing that things could always change.

Sautner ruled that Lohan violated her probation by taking a necklace from a Venice jewelry store and sentenced her to 120 days in jail.

Lohan also was ordered to perform 480 hours of community service at a downtown women's center and the Los Angeles County morgue.


Lohan could face employee of jewelry store accusing her of necklace theft

Lohan almost left jewelry store with diamond earring, saleswoman testifies

Shop owner testifies she noticed necklace was missing 10 minutes after closing

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Actress Lindsay Lohan arrives at the Airport Courthouse on April 22. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times