Local News

Judge Chastises Lawyer, Won’t Delay Lohan Trial

DEL AIRE, Calif. — A judge refused Friday to delay Lindsay Lohan’s trial for allegedly lying to Santa Monica police about a car crash in Santa Monica last June.

Lohan, 26, was not required to attend the hearing. She will have to be present for the trial, which is scheduled to begin on March 18.

lohan-3The judge warned that if Lohan continues to use Mark Heller as her attorney, she will waive her right to “competent” counsel under California law.

“I am somewhat concerned whether you have sufficient guidance from local counsel,” Judge James Dabney told Heller, who is based in New York and not licensed in California.

The remark came after Heller filed a bill of particulars, which is a motion not used in California criminal procedure.

The judge lectured Heller about how that, as well as some other motions, were incorrect procedures for a California criminal court.

Lohan had been represented by Shawn Holley until last month.

Dabney rejected Heller’s motion to dismiss and informed the attorney he had not complied with California legal requirements.

Under state law, attorneys must file motions to dismiss during the arraignment, Dabney said. That period has already passed.

Heller said he could not file a motion to dismiss at the arraignment because he was not Lohan’s attorney at the time.

Heller said he was seeking to protect Lohan’s constitutional rights and was unable to determine from the charges whether his client made statements at the scene, at the hospital or to emergency responders.

Lohan allegedly told police that she was not behind the wheel of her Porsche when it rear-ended a truck on PCH as she headed to the set of “Liz & Dick.”

She faces one misdemeanor count each of reckless driving, providing false information to an officer and willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer.

Each of the charges carries a possible sentence of three months to a year in jail.

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has also accused Lohan of violating her parole.

She was already on probation for stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store. She pleaded no contest to misdemeanor grand theft in May 2011.

Sources say Lohan’s attorney, Mark Heller, and Santa Monica city prosecutor Terry White have discussed a possible plea deal.

But the L.A. city attorney is taking a hard line, citing her history of violating court orders, and won’t accept any deal less than 90 days in a locked rehabilitation facility, the sources said.

In a letter to prosecutors, Heller has offered to have Lohan participate in intense therapy and regular drug screenings.

He also said she would give inspirational speeches to schools, hospitals and other groups while establishing a nonprofit foundation for youth.

For her part, Lohan reportedly says she considers herself innocent and says she’s not accepting any punishment for something that she did not do.

-KTLA/Los Angeles Times

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