Lindsay Lohan, via lawyer, pleads not guilty in misdemeanor car crash case
Lindsay Lohan has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges issued over a summer 2012 car accident, which had spurred a judge to revoke her probation.
The 26-year-old troubled actress' lawyer, Shawn Holley, made her plea on her behalf in a Los Angeles court on Tuesday, January 15. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 245 days -- eight months -- behind bars. Lohan has undergone more than five years of legal and personal turmoil and has served time in the past.
The judge also asked Holley if she was representing Lohan, following reports that said the actress had dismissed her. The attorney said: "Yes, at this point, yes."
A pretrial was set for January 30 and a trial was scheduled for February 27. The actress is required to appear in person both times.
Lohan's probation, which was handed down for a 2011 necklace theft case, was revoked on December 12, less than two weeks after the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office in Santa Monica, California charged her with three misdemeanors -- willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer in the course of their duties, giving false information to a peace officer and reckless driving.
Authorities say Lohan lied to the cops who questioned her after a Porshe carrying her and a man crashed into a dump drunk on a California highway on June 8. They said evidence showed she was the driver of the car. They did not specify what she told the officers.
Lohan is also dealing with a separate legal problem -- in November, on the day charges were filed against her in the accident case, the actress was arrested in New York on suspicion of misdemeanor assault following a confrontation with a woman, a psychic, at a nightclub.
Earlier this month, Lohan did not appear at a New York court hearing for the case -- her attorney attended on her behalf, a move allowed for misdemeanors.
One of the actress' attorneys, Mark Jay Heller, told reporters that Lohan did not commit any crime and "never made any physical contact with the alleged victim," according to ABC News.
Heller appeared at a court about the matter on the actress' behalf and signed paperwork for her. He said Lohan will only attend a hearing in person when there is an accusatory document, which has not yet been filed. The Associated Press quoted a court spokesman as saying that a criminal complaint has not been drawn up and that the district attorney's office has said that the investigation is continuing.
In March, a judge ruled that Lohan had fulfilled all her probation requirements stemming from a 2007 DUI and cocaine possession case, which had stalled her acting career. Over the past five years, Lohan has served several stints behind bars, which have lasted a total of less than two weeks, and has also been in and out of rehab to treat substance abuse.
The judge did, however, put Lohan on informal probation until May 2014 for taking a necklace last year without permission from a Venice jewelry store.
While she does not have to attend progress report hearings or report to an officer, she was ordered to continue to obey the law to ensure that her probation remains intact. A Los Angeles judge had told her at a March 29 hearing: "You need to live your life in a more mature way, stop the nightclubbing and focus on your work."
The actress has been trying to revive her acting career amid her turmoil. She recently played Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime Television film Liz & Dick." The film drew moderate ratings and 3.5 million viewers but was heavily mocked by many of them on Twitter and Facebook.