Judge tells Lohan she's no star in his courtroom


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LOS ANGELES – Lindsay Lohan walked into a courtroom to face a felony grand theft charge looking like a million dollars, only to be told by a judge she was no different than anyone else.

Lohan's arraignment on a charge that she stole a $2,500 necklace from an upscale jeweler wasn't the first time a judge threatened to throw the troubled starlet in jail. But it was the first time a judge wielded enough power to keep her locked up for a long time.

"You're in a different situation now that a felony has been filed," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz said after the actress pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

"Everybody else has to follow the law," Schwartz said, noting that he was giving the actress a tamer version of a lecture he'd delivered to her attorney behind closed doors and away from the dozens of assembled reporters.

"You're no different than anyone else. So please, don't push your luck."

Testing the limits — in the courtroom rather than the big screen — has been Lohan's calling card in recent months.

She has arrived late to some hearings on a 2007 drunken driving case, and appeared at one with an expletive painted on her fingernails.

Judges sent her to jail twice last year and twice to rehab as well, but her time in custody was shortened each time by overcrowding and the fact that she was being held on misdemeanor charges and bail had to be set.
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During her recent three month stay in rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic, Lohan was accused of battery on a worker. Prosecutors are still considering whether to file charges.

The necklace theft accusation came less than three weeks after Lohan's discharge from Betty Ford.

In both cases, Lohan's attorney has denied wrongdoing by the actress.

Lohan, 24, arrived early for Wednesday's hearing, wearing a thigh-high white dress and sunglasses. She said she understood Schwartz's comments before being led away by deputies to be booked.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore described her as cooperative during the hourlong process, during which a DNA sample was taken.

The "Mean Girls" star is due back in court on Feb. 23, an important hearing in which Lohan could opt to end the case early. Her attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, indicated Wednesday that the actress was interested in an early disposition program if the terms are right.