Lindsay Lohan in a previous court appearance. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )
Lindsay Lohan pleaded no contest Wednesday to misdemeanor theft for stealing a gold necklace and was promptly sentenced to 120 days in jail — time she may be eligible to serve confined to her Venice home.
Because of jail overcrowding, the 24-year-old actress is expected to serve only a fraction of the sentence, either in jail or on electronic home monitoring, beginning June 17. Her attorney Shawn Holley entered the no-contest plea at the Airport Courthouse on her behalf in connection with the Jan. 22 theft from Venice jewelers Kamofie & Co.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner also placed Lohan on three years' probation and required her to attend a shoplifting offender's program and receive psychological counseling. The actress must also complete 480 hours of community service at the Downtown Women's Center on skid row and at the county coroner's office.
The 120-day jail term is the same sentence she received for violating probation on her 2007 drunk-driving conviction. She will serve the sentences concurrently, Sautner said.
Lohan has applied to be part of a home electronic monitoring program, Holley said Wednesday.
"She is neither requesting or receiving special treatment," the attorney said at a news conference after the sentencing. Lohan did not appear at the courthouse.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said a 120-day sentence would be reduced to 71 days because of good behavior, and to about 16 or 17 days because of overcrowding. Electronic monitoring, if approved, would be for the shorter period, Whitmore said.
"It appears a person like Ms. Lohan will be eligible for home detention," he said, noting that she is a nonviolent offender without a serious criminal history.
In court, Sautner said she was "not about to battle" Sheriff Lee Baca on whether Lohan should serve jail time or home detention.
"It is like shopping at Costco" with a triple discount, the judge said of the notion that Lohan could end up with a short, monitored home detention.
Sautner said Lohan could not perform community service while on house detention.
The actress scored a major victory last month when Sautner reduced the theft charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Loyola law professor Stan Goldman said the community service and three-year probation term remain a real burden for the troubled starlet.
"A few more weeks under house monitoring is a lot easier than all those hours of community service," Goldman said. "Three years' probation is a long time. If she does something in New York, Chicago or wherever, they will hear about it."