New charges could have Lohan back in hot water

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New charges could have Lohan back in hot water

LOS ANGELES - The troubled American actress Lindsay Lohan pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three misdemeanor charges stemming from an auto accident in a case that could send her to prison.

Lohan did not attend the hearing in Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles, and did not have to do so. The judge convened the next hearing for Jan. 30.

The 26-year-old actress was charged in November with resisting and obstructing an officer, giving false testimony and driving recklessly. All this stemmed from an accident in which a Porsche hit a truck; Lohan said she was not driving the sports car in that June accident in Santa Monica.

Police later concluded she had in fact been driving the Porsche.

If found guilty, Lohan could go to jail for between three months and a year. That’s because at the time of the crash she was already on probation for a shoplifting conviction; she had been found guilty of stealing a necklace from a jewelry shop in 2011.

In December a judge revoked her probation.

Tuesday’s hearing was messy and could have ended in an arrest order against Lohan if her recently fired lawyer, Shawn Holley, had not shown up to defend her, showbiz Web site TMZ reported.

It said Holley, who has shepherded Lohan through numerous brushes with the law in recent years, was dismissed in a letter sent by Lohan’s lawyer in New York, Mark Heller.

But Heller is not certified to practice law in California.

And if the actress had not had legal counsel representing her Tuesday, the court could have issued an arrest warrant against her.

Holley showed up anyway and presented a not-guilty plea on behalf of Lohan.

Though Lohan, who has had problems with drugs, has been in and out of court often since 2007. AFP

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