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Lindsay Lohan issued warning by judge


Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan

Mario Anzuoni

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan has pleaded not guilty to grand theft, and will be back in court on February 23.

The actress attended an arraignment hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday, after she was officially charged with felony grand theft. She is accused of taking a necklace worth $2,500 from a store in Venice, California.

The 24-year-old arrived at court wearing a tight white dress, with some sources claiming she chose the colour as it stands for innocence.

The star is currently on probation following her 2007 conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and that was revoked by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz. He set her bail at $40,000 - $20,000 for the probation violation and the same amount for the new charge.

The judge told Lindsay she must stay away from the store in question, and the court heard workers at Kamofie & Co. had been shocked when flowers from Lindsay arrived at the shop. According to TMZ, Lindsay sent the blooms to “be nice”.

Judge Schwartz was forceful when telling her what her current legal trouble means.

“I'm trying to put this as polite as possible. You're in a different situation now that a felony has been filed against you. You now have a pending felony case. If you violate the law, I will remand you and set no bail,” he said. “You need to follow the laws just like everybody else. You're no different than anyone else so please don't push your luck.”

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He then asked Lindsay if she understood what he’d said, and she confirmed she did. She is due back in court on February 23.

The actress was taken into custody straight away, but was not put into handcuffs. She will have posed for a new mugshot – her fifth over four years – and had DNA and fingerprints taken.

Her bail was posted by a bondsman, and Lindsay was then released.

According to law enforcement sources, there is security video footage of Lindsay wearing the necklace in question, which went missing after she was at the store. Shop workers reported the lost necklace to police, who made moves to search Lindsay’s rented home in Venice. The piece of jewellery was later handed in to police, and although it is unknown who by it is thought Lindsay’s stylist gave it to authorities.

The star has apparently insisted the item was on loan to her, she did not take it. TMZ reports she has even offered to take a polygraph test to prove her innocence, but her request was turned down.

This is the latest in a string of legal issues which have engulfed the star over recent months.

She spent time in prison and rehab last year after she violated the terms of her 2007 DUI conviction by not attending enough alcohol education classes.

Upon her release she failed two of her court-ordered random drugs tests, and then voluntarily checked into the Betty Ford Center in California. Lindsay received treatment at the clinic for three months before her release in January, and was said to be determined to get her life back on track.

If convicted of the new charge she could receive a three-year prison sentence.

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