Lindsay Lohan is preparing to go to trial over a felony theft charge after a Los Angeles judge warned the actress she will serve jail time if she chooses to accept a plea deal. The embattled star has pleaded not guilty to accusations she stole a necklace from the Kamofie & Company jewelery store in Venice, California last month, and maintains the item was loaned to her.
Her lawyer, Shawn Holley, previously expressed interest in settling the case with prosecutors if they agreed not fight for a prison term, but Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz shot down the possibility on Wednesday, February 23. He warned the "Mean Girls" actress that pleading guilty or no contest to the charge will be an automatic admission of probation violation on an existing DUI charge - and that will send her to jail.
Judge Schwartz said, "This case does involve jail time period. If you plead in front of me, you are going to jail. Period... I don't care that you're Lindsay Lohan... You will be treated just like anyone else."
During the hearing, it was revealed Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers had already made a formal offer for a plea deal, which is believed to involve six months behind bars. But, according to TMZ.com, Lohan wants to fight to clear her name and is ready to stand trial. If convicted, she faces up to a year in state prison.
She has until her next court hearing on March 10 to decide whether or not to accept a plea. Lohan is currently free on bail after her probation for a 2007 misdemeanor DUI conviction was revoked earlier this month.
In related news, Lindsay Lohan found herself in more legal trouble on Sunday night after she was allegedly clocked driving a Porsche at 59 miles-per-hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone. TMZ.com reports Lohan was ticketed for the offense.