Lohan pleads not guilty to crash-related misdemeanors

LOS ANGELES - Facing charges that could put her back in custody, Lindsay Lohan pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges alleging she lied to Santa Monica police by telling officers she was not driving a Porsche that rear-ended a truck June 8 on Pacific Coast Highway as she headed for a shooting of the TV film of "Liz & Dick."

The 26-year-old actress was charged by the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office on Nov. 29 with willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer, providing false information to an officer and reckless driving. The misdemeanors each carry potential jail terms ranging from three months to a year.

Lohan was already on probation because of the theft of a necklace from a Venice jewelry store and now stands accused of violating the terms of her probation, which ultimately could result in custody.

Lohan didn't have to appear in court Tuesday because the charges she was asked to respond to are misdemeanors.

Santa Monica Deputy City Attorney Melanie Skehar had said a new attorney from New York was selected to represent Lohan but lacked the necessary California Bar credentials, raising the prospect of the actress going unrepresented this morning, which would have led to a bench warrant for her arrest.

But in the end, attorney Shawn Holley, who has represented the actress in multiple criminal cases, was in court to enter not guilty pleas on behalf of the actress. She exchanged a few words in open court with Superior Court Commissioner Jane Godfrey, then spoke privately with the judge in a sidebar conference.

Godfrey set a pretrial hearing for Jan. 30 and required Lohan to be in court. She also set a Feb. 27 hearing to deal with a misdemeanor traffic violation stemming from the wreck.

Outside court, Holley did not elaborate on her relationship with the 26-year-old actress, who allegedly owes Holley some $300,000.

Though Lohan has been in legal trouble almost continually since 2007, she has managed to stay out of jail except for what amounted to an 84-minute booking on Nov. 15 of that year. She also has had to do community service at the L.A. County morgue, but nothing involving corpses.

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